Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur has achieved the first step towards achieving her goal of reaching the semi-finals of this year’s Wimbledon with an easy first round win over Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson.
The number 24 seed won 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday, after the match was postponed from Monday because of rain.
It was the 26-year-old’s first win over the Swede having twice lost to her in semi-finals in the past.
Earlier in June Jabeur won her first singles title to become the first Arab to win a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title as she beat Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in straight sets in the final of the Birmingham Classic.
“I just want to take it (Wimbledon) step by step, match by match. I’m always hoping to go to the second week, it’s always my goal there,” she told BBC Sport Africa ahead of the tournament.
“I know I play good on grass, so there is a little bit of pressure on me but it’s OK. Let’s say my goal is to go to the semi-final, one step more than I have managed at a grand slam.”
Her best performance at a Grand Slam so far has been reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in 2020, while at Wimbledon the second round in 2018 is as far as she has managed so far.
In the second round Jabeur will face either five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams of the USA or Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu.
Jabeur, who is currently ranked 24 in the world, says her biggest dream is to become the world number one.
“I have big, big dreams and big goals. I want to be number one, I want to win grand slams you know… I aim high, so I can push myself to work harder and to achieve my goals,” she said.
“And for now, I’m getting there slowly but I feel I’m on the right track.”
She is also hopeful that her success, especially at the Birmingham Classic, will inspire a new generation of tennis players
“I’ve been waiting for this title for a long time now, and it finally happened. And I feel great, I feel happy,” she explained.
“I always try to send a great message to Arab players, and Tunisian players. If I did it, it’s possible for you to do it also.
“You know, I’m not just looking at myself, I am also looking at the generation behind me, trying to inspire people and hopefully it’s working.”