December 16, 2021
Ons Jabeur made history in Abu Dhabi on Thursday night, becoming the first Arab to play at, and win, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC), at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City.
Jabeur faced Tokyo Olympics gold medal Belinda Bencic in the headline women’s match, as she came from a set down to claim a memorable 4-6, 6-3, (10-8) victory, to the delight of crowd.
Bencic looked in good touch early in the match, taking the first set 6-4. But Jabeur, who reached a career high No.7 earlier this season, showed great desire to get back in the match, targeting the Bencic backhand and racing into a 5-0 lead in set two. Bencic, though, showed why she is Olympic champion, fighting back to claim the next three games.
Jabeur refused to be denied, and immediately broke her opponent’s serve to level the match at 1-1 and into a deciding super tiebreak.
Both players showed great determination to secure the victory. Jabeur, on match point at 9-6, attempted a drop shot for victory, which had Bencic racing from the back of the court to crash a powerful cross-court winner to great applause.
The history-making Jabeur stood firm to wrap up the super tiebreak 10-8 for a memorable victory and was delighted with her performance.
“It feels amazing. Belinda plays tough and surprised me with her drop shots, so it was great to get through it. It was always a dream to play her in an Arab country to represent Tunisia and the Arab world. A real privilege. And to pick up the victory is great,” said the 27-year-old African No.1
“I want to keep breaking records, continuing my journey, and proving I’m deserving of a place in the top 10. I’m surprised at the reaction I’ve been receiving, hopefully what I’m doing can do something to help bring more Arab players into the game.”
Tickets for the 13th Mubadala World Tennis Championship, starting from AED 100 for adults and AED 50 for children, are available from ticketmaster.ae and Virgin Megastores across the UAE. Tournament organisers have made it game, set match for fans with special promotions on group tickets. Groups of 10 or more Premier Hospitality, Category 1 and Category 2 tickets are available at 15% discount. Premier Hospitality tickets offer fans a premium F&B menu and courtside seating providing prime viewing and an unparalleled experience.