Ons Jabeur Honored By Tunisian President With Order of Sports Merit
Tunisia– She made Tunisia proud as the first Middle Eastern woman to enter the prestigious Wimbledon open, only to lose the first position. But she made it to the semi final making Tunisia proud.
To honor her contribution to her country and liberation of women, Kais Saied, the self-proclaimed dictatorial President presented tennis player Ons Jabeur with the Order of Sports Merit during an official ceremony in Tunis, Tunisia.
The 27-year-old fell just short in her quest for a maiden Grand Slam, losing Saturday’s Wimbledon women’s final to Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
It is a historic achievement as Ons Jabeur becomes the first Tunisian Arab woman to win the Wimbledon quarter final defeating Marie Bouzkova, a few weeks back. She challenged Germany’s Tatjana Maria for a spot in the final after the 34-year-old beat countrywoman Jule Niemeier 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Jabeur has continued to go places but has been in the vanguard for a long time now. She has been trailblazing quartet of Islamic players from the Middle East and North Africa. One shouldn’t feel surprised but emancipation, growth and development comes to nations which encourage sport. This is one reason that both the Middle East and North Africa have been popularizing tennis in a region where for centuries Muslim women have had to be content with playing indoor sports while sequestered from the world.
Along with Jabeur, three other pros — Cagla Buyukakcay (WTA ranking, No. 158) and Ipek Soylu (No. 162), both from Turkey, and Fatma al-Nabhani (No. 473), from Oman — are trying to level the playing fields for women.
It is worth noting that prize money for women tennis players has merely totaled to $120 million in 2014, with a mere 1 percent of players pocketing 51 percent of those purses. Yet Middle Eastern players, many of whom are not among the ultra-rich, move on even as the cost of competing on the professional circuit hits about $160,000 per year.