MONASTIR, TUNISIA (AFP) – Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur eased into the second round of her home tournament at Monastir yesterday with a straight sets win over American Ann Li.
Top seed Jabeur, a finalist at both Wimbledon and the United States (US) Open this year, won 6-2, 6-3 in the first ever WTA tour event to be hosted in Tunisia.
The world number two took 73 minutes to dispatch her 67th ranked opponent in their first meeting.
The Monastir tournament, staged on the central coast of Tunisia, is just the second women’s professional circuit organised in Africa, after that of Rabat in Morocco.
Jabeur is hugely popular in north Africa, and the world number two is hoping “to reach the final and win in Monastir to make Tunisians happy”.
The 28-year-old, whose ambition is “to be a good example for all the young people who follow her” has won three WTA titles including two this year in Madrid and Berlin.
“Young people must gain self-confidence to achieve their ambitions,” said the player dubbed “Minister of Happiness” in a Tunisia hit by a deep political and economic crisis.