Tunisia's Ons Jabeur will become the first Arab player to crack the top 10
Ons Jabeur punched her ticket to the BNP Paribas Open's final four with a straight-sets victory in Indian Wells; It was also a history-making result for Jabeur, as the victory guarantees she will become the first Arab man or woman to earn a top 10 singles ranking
Last Updated: 15/10/21 7:24am
Ons Jabeur will become the first Arab player to crack the top 10 of the world rankings after reaching the Indian Wells semi-finals on Thursday.
The 27-year-old defeated Estonia's Anett Kontaveit 7-5 6-3 in the California desert, converting five of her 12 break-point chances on the way to her 48th match win of the season, the most of any player on the Tour this season.
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"Top 10 I know is the beginning," Jabeur said in post-match comments.
"I know I deserve this place from a long time since I was playing well. But I want to prove that I deserve to be here, I deserve to be one of the top 10 players.
"There is a lot of things that I need to improve. I'm very happy, a lot of emotions right now, but I'm still in competition so I'm trying to calm down and not overthink about top 10. Probably will celebrate after the tournament. I just believed in myself, I worked hard, and this is just the beginning of great things."
Jabeur, who will face Spain's Paula Badosa in her first WTA 1000 semi-final on Friday, said she faced many obstacles in her career because of her background.
"I've been rejected by sponsors because of where I come from, which is so not fair," she said. "I didn't understand why before, I accepted it. I am really proud of the person I became today, just not relying on others.
"Everybody probably had a difficult career. I'm not saying I have the most difficult one.
"I didn't want to depend on a sponsor or someone who doesn't even care about tennis or sport in general. It gave me the courage to continue and achieve my goals, and I'm in top 10 today."
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Badosa upset German 10th seed Angelique Kerber 6-4 7-5 and after her match she spoke about taking on Jabeur for a place in the final.
The Spaniard said: "She's really talented, she plays different as well, very tricky opponent, she's gonna be a very tough one, she's gonna make me run a lot so, I will have to be ready for that. Then, she's playing very good so, I expect a very tough one."