LONDON (AFP) – Ons Jabeur said that the seeds of her history-making charge to the Wimbledon final were sown 12 months ago when she told her coaching team: “I’m coming back for the title.”
Jabeur became the first African woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the modern era when she beat close friend Tatjana Maria, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in the semi-finals.
She will face Russian-born Elena Rybakina, now representing Kazakhstan, for the title today.
Twelve months ago, Jabeur, 27, made the quarter-finals for the first time, losing to Aryna Sabalenka.
But on the way she knocked out five-time champion Venus Williams, 2017 winner Garbine Muguruza, as well as current number one Iga Swiatek.
Having never previously got past the second round at the All England Club, that run gave her the taste for more.
“Not to lie to you, the dream kind of started last year when I enjoyed playing here, enjoyed the crowd,” said the world number two.
“I didn’t play so many Wimbledons before. Usually it was the first and second round. It’s tricky on grass but I knew I was playing good on grass because of my game and everything.”