(Reuters) – Ons Jabeur made huge gains to climb to career-best rankings last year, but the Tunisian trailblazer is fed up with only reaching quarter-finals and wants to win titles in 2021 to secure a place in the top 10 of women’s tennis.
Jabeur became the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final at last year’s Australian Open to start her march up the rankings and she has not looked back since.
The 26-year-old also reached the fourth round at Roland Garros and four other quarter-finals during a breakthrough season that catapulted her to a career-best ranking of 31.
“The goal for this year, I want to go for titles, enough of quarter-finals,” Jabeur told reporters on the eve of the WTA’s season-opening event in Abu Dhabi.
“I want to be in the top 10. I know I have the level, I can be in this ranking. For me, I set up my goals like this, and I know that I can achieve them. I know that I’ve put in the hard work to have these titles, to be able to win more and more.”
It was time to build on the gains made during the pandemic-hit season and Jabeur was confident she can put her 2020 experience to good use in the new season.
“I feel like I am more ready, players know me more, they know what I’m capable of, I know what I’m capable of, which will help me even more to achieve what I want,” Jabeur said.
“I’m going to use the experience I gained from 2020 to really have a great season in 2021.”
Jabeur feels she has had a strong off-season at the end of 2020 and it was different from the previous year.
“I feel like I’m a different player, I feel like I’m practising much harder than before, I’m improving as a player,” she added.
“I’ve noticed the amount of work on the court with fitness was much more than last year … I feel much better and fit on the court.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by David Goodman)