Ons Jabeur’s landmark appearance in the last 16 of Wimbledon was hailed in her native Tunisia on Saturday for helping lift the gloom of the country’s political and health crisis.
‘Ons Jabeur has joined the greats,’ read the headline in Arabic-language newspaper Al Chourouk, propelling tennis to the front pages, a rare occurrence in a country where football is king.
‘It makes us dream! Fortunately we have it to brighten up our days,’ said Sarra, a Tunisian internet user. Another Twitter user Kamel said Jabeur’s achievement in becoming the first Tunisian woman to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon brought ‘the light that was so lacking in the dark sky of our country.’
Tunisia is currently suffering a third wave of coronavirus likened to a ‘tsunami’ by health officials.In some areas of the country, hospitals are full to capacity. Several regions are under lockdown while gatherings and parties have been banned in the capital Tunis and many large cities.
Jabeur, the world number 24, has reached the second week of Wimbledon with impressive wins including against five-time champion Venus Williams and 2017 winner Garbine Muguruza.