One site gives Ons Jabeur an undeservedly harsh label

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Ons Jabeur appears to be a universally liked player on the WTA. She does not have the high-end skills of Iga Swiatek or Aryna Sabalenka, however, and instead, she relies more on guile and shot-making to win matches and make deep runs in tournaments. She has to maximize every bit of her ability to have any chance of winning titles.

And for the most part, she has kept herself in the conversation among the best players in women’s tennis for several years now. In 2023, she had a record of 36-17 and won two more titles to grow her career number to five. She once again made the WTA Finals and was the year-end No. 6 ranked player.

Does Ons Jabeur seem to have some kind of mental struggle in trying to get wins late in Grand Slams? Yes, though every loss she has had in a major final, of which she has three including losing in the 2023 Wimbledon final for the second straight year, is acceptable. She lost to a red-hot Marketa Vondrousova at Wimbledon this year, fell to current WTA No. 4 Elena Rybakina in last year’s Wimbledon, and lost to No. 1 ranked Iga Swiatek in the 2022 US Open final.

Ons Jabeur unfairly labeled a ‘flop’

But would you call Ons Jabeur a “flop”? I certainly would not. Even with some unexpected early exits in Masters 1000 tournaments, over the course of a full year, she stays relevant and dangerous. But Tennis365 (admittedly an excellent tennis site overall), has her listed among the top flops of 2023.

Ons Jabeur might not have won a major, but she also did not fall apart at any point during the season. Tennis365 said, “Jabeur suffered too many early exits in big tournaments this year, as she struggled to get into top gear when it mattered most.” Again, she did make the Wimbledon final and ran into a player playing better, and hitting the ball harder and cleaner, than Jabeur.

Instead, we might have seen the best of Jabeur. Very possibly her limits as far as hitting with pace and not having an overwhelming serve hinder her. But she was still good enough to win a couple of tournaments this year and make a major final, so that is anything but a “flop.”

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