Ons Jabeur expressed her emotions and stated that she will be donating a portion of her prize money from the WTA Finals to aid Palestinians. This announcement came after her first victory at the tournament in Cancun.
The ex-Tunisian second-ranked player sought revenge for her defeat in the Wimbledon final against Markéta Vondroušová by defeating her with a score of 6-4, 6-3. This victory allowed her to make a comeback in the semi-final competition after being defeated by Coco Gauff on Monday.
During the interview after the match, she held back tears while discussing the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
“I am pleased with the victory, but I have not been feeling content recently. The current state of the world is not bringing me joy,” stated Jabeur, a three-time grand slam finalist. She paused to collect herself before apologizing.
It is difficult to witness the deaths of children and infants on a daily basis. It is truly devastating. In light of this, I have made the decision to donate a portion of my prize money to aid the Palestinians. I cannot find joy in this victory.
She clarified, “This is not a political statement, it’s about humanity. My only desire is for peace in this world.”
The 29-year-old competitor will be going up against the group leader, Iga Swiatek, in the final group stage match in an attempt to make it into the top four of the WTA Finals for the very first time. This comes after being eliminated in the group stage in 2022.
In Cancun, Swiatek defeated Coco Gauff 6-0, 6-4 in a match that was affected by strong winds. This result has now made the journey to the semifinals unpredictable.
Swiatek came out firing in their group stage match and broke the US Open champion for a second time with a lovely looping crosscourt winner to take a 4-0 lead. Two games later, the second-seeded Pole pounced on a poor drop shot from the American teenager and blasted a backhand past her to capture the one-sided first set.
In the beginning of the second set, Gauff improved her performance and won three consecutive games, giving her a 3-1 lead. She then triumphed in a lengthy service game with a score of 4-2. However, the experienced four-time major champion refused to give up, easily holding her serve and then breaking Gauff’s serve after a mistake on her forehand, tying the set at 4-4.
After that, Gauff’s performance started to deteriorate. She angrily tossed her racket onto the court after making four consecutive double faults while trying to win the set at a score of 5-4. In the following game, she struggled to return a serve and ended up not scoring any points. This caused her to become emotional and nearly cry.
Swiatek improved her lifetime tally to 9-1 against Gauff when the third seed’s overhead landed in the net on match for her 31st unforced error of the contest.
The Wimbledon final rematch was played during the evening group stage match, with sixth seed Jabeur defeating grand slam winner Vondroušová in straight sets.
The initial round began with a close competition as both players were tied 2-2. However, Jabeur shifted the momentum in her favor by breaking Vondroušová’s serve.
Jabeur needed less than an hour to secure the first set and approximately half that time to win the second, breaking her three-game losing streak against Vondroušová with a dominant performance.
Jabeur earned her first group win following her loss to Gauff on Monday, bringing both of them to one win each. Swiatek remains at the top with two wins, while Vondrousova is at the bottom with two losses. However, all four players in the group have a chance to reach the semi-finals.