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Rothesay Open Nottingham

Lexus Nottingham Tennis Centre 2025 dates TBC

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Ons Jabeur smiles whilst training with Emma Raducanu
International

Returning to Nottingham, training with Emma Raducanu & bouncing back from Wimbledon – Ons Jabeur gets set for grass court swing

• 3 MINUTE READ

It’s hard to find many better grass court players on the WTA Tour right now than world No.10 Ons Jabeur.

The 29-year-old Tunisian finished runner-up at Wimbledon in each of the last two years and has won two of her five WTA titles on grass – lifting silverware in Berlin (2022) and Birmingham (2021), where she became the first Arab woman to win a tour-level trophy.

This week, the three-time Grand Slam champion returns to the Rothesay Open Nottingham for the first time since 2014 aiming to get her grass court season off to a winning start.

Coming off the back of a quarter-final run at Roland Garros, Jabeur is the top seed in Nottingham and is excited to get started back on the grass.

I love how amazing the people are here and how they support tennis; I think it’s such a great tournament.

“I’m feeling great,” said Jabeur as she opened her pre-tournament press conference with a big smile on her face. “You know how much I love the grass. You know how happy I feel even just stepping out on the court. The shoes, the outfit, it always makes me feel special on this beautiful surface.

“I love to see how the tournament has evolved since years back and it’s amazing to see it’s a WTA 250 event now. I love how amazing the people are here and how they support tennis; I think it’s such a great tournament.

“I’m trying to bring the Tunisian sun, but otherwise I’m very happy to be back! I’m looking forward to playing as many matches as possible.

“I do feel I’m a little bit more popular in England for some reason. When I come here, I always get more followers on Instagram! It’s nice to be here and I feel the energy and the love from people, and they really appreciate me playing on the courts, which is an amazing feeling.”

In just her few days here at the Lexus Nottingham Tennis Centre, Jabeur has already been spending time with a few familiar Brits.

On Sunday, she spent the afternoon practicing with 2021 US Open champion and friend on tour, Emma Raducanu, and she’s also managed to catch up with Tournament Director Laura Robson who she used to compete with regularly throughout the age groups.

It's go time! | Behind the Scenes at the Rothesay Open | Ft. Raducanu, Jabeur, Norrie, Boulter | LTA

“Honestly, she’s (Raducanu) practicing really well,” Jabeur said. “I’ve seen her hitting great balls and she’s been practicing on grass for a long time. I love how Emma plays, I love her personality and I honestly want to see her succeed.

“She’s got more rhythm at the moment, and I still have some things to adapt from clay – usually I wait for the ball but it’s super-fast here on grass. I think it could be an advantage for her in the first couple of weeks on grass.

“I really like Laura a lot and I think she’s doing a great job. I know last year was her first year and I wish more players would do it (become Tournament Directors) – especially female players. It’s been nice going and asking her for things.

“I remember playing Laura a lot. At my first Grand Slam – the US Open – she kicked my ass there 6-0, 6-1 I think, so she really welcomed me on the tour at the time!”

In the aftermath of defeat in her second straight Wimbledon final in July last year, Jabeur cited it as ‘the painful loss’ of her career.

She vowed to return again to SW19 in 2024 – putting her well-documented family plans on hold – in a bid to try and make it third time lucky at Wimbledon this summer.

2024-Ons-Jabeur-Rothesay-Open-Nottingham-practice.jpg

“I’m definitely feeling better after last year – time is helping me heal from that,” she explained. “I learnt a lot from that experience. It is what it is and everything happens for a reason and I’m trying to take the positive from it more than anything.

“The belief is there. I play tennis for many reasons but for me the most important thing is to actually believe in myself – otherwise I wouldn’t play tennis.

“I need to keep my level if I want to stay in the top 10, there’s lots of people behind me. I’m super grateful for everything I’ve been through.

“It’s not a secret – I want to be a Mum. Not just to have a kid and not play tennis anymore but my dream was always to have a baby and come back because where I come from, I want to show anything is possible, even if you’re a Mum or a female player, or anything.

“It’s still in my project but I don’t know when. Seeing a lot of Mums coming back on the tour motivates me even more. I know it’s possible and I know it’s such a great thing to be a Mum.

“I’ve been hearing like Rafa saying that he wants his kid to have memories of watching him play and I want that as well.”

Jabeur will play Colombia’s Camila Osorio in the first round at the Rothesay Open Nottingham.

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