Ons Jabeur-what a player! Will reach a slam final someday.

Will Ons Jabeur ever reach a singles slam final?


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  • Poll closed .
A gifted and successful junior but a late developer (and late developers have won slams-Schiavone, Penetta etc.) because there's a lot to her game. If Hicham Arazi was the male magician of Africa, Ons is the female equivalent; already the greatest female Arab player and the greatest Africa-born female player in singles (unless I'm forgetting someone?).

She reminds me of a female Nalbandian, not just the physique. The forehand cross-court from just inside the deuce court, the forehand drop-shots, the way she closes in at the net to finish well-constructed points with angled touch. Add a sprinkle of Rios (jumping backhand) and Murray (cross-court forehand passes on the stretch, inside out forehand from just inside the court, nice court coverage for a big girl, a slightly similar stride). One of the most naturally talented female players on tour; drop shots, slices, volleys, variation...a tweener lob, which you can just about spot in this video:


Barring injuries and misfortune, she will reach a slam final someday, possibly the upcoming US Open. Bank on it. I don't know if she'll ever win one, but I hope she does. She's a credit to women's tennis in an era of ball bashers. Give her and Serena wooden rackets and she might still get beaten by the serve and power of the great, but she would bamboozle the American in the process.

No one is talking about her but, with her 26th birthday a few days away, she is entering her prime and will be a force to be reckoned with in years to come. So for Ons the maestro, if you're reading, the Italian Stallion appreciates your magic!

Here is a slightly related article about African tennis from N.Y. Times which you may find of interest.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/29/...tennis-talent-though-obscure-is-apparent.html

I have spoken.
 
D

Deleted member 735320

Guest
All this above is true. I was surprised that she did not appear to have used her COVID time off to get trimmer. Unless the player male or female was in bed recovering from a torn Achilles or broken ankle, 2020 was the year to actually get into excellent physical shape. Winning 7 matches in a row is very hard as Halep and Wozniacki will attest. Three hours matches in a row take their toll and carrying an unnecessary 20 -40 lbs will bury ones chances to win a major. Back me up Ms. Navratilova.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
I saw her like 2 years ago and did not know what to think of her play but now, very impress by her tennis style and smarts. She may not look like she going be competitive until you see her dominate her opponent that is! Love watch her move up the ranks now. I think she will garter a lot of fans because her play and recreational looks. A massive 1st serve and variety of ground strokes makes her game perfect to go against hard hitting WTA players.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Honestly love Jabeur's game. Knows how to expose the opponents flaws and sticks to it and doesn't get rattled.

It's amazing seeing an athlete from North Africa/middle east having such success.

Also, wouldn't say she's a latecomer, only 25 so a big future ahead (Pennetta was 33 when she won the USO by the way).
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
All this above is true. I was surprised that she did not appear to have used her COVID time off to get trimmer. Unless the player male or female was in bed recovering from a torn Achilles or broken ankle, 2020 was the year to actually get into excellent physical shape. Winning 7 matches in a row is very hard as Halep and Wozniacki will attest. Three hours matches in a row take their toll and carrying an unnecessary 20 -40 lbs will bury ones chances to win a major. Back me up Ms. Navratilova.
I guess it depends on your opponent. Bartoli when winning the 2013 Wimbledon wasn't at her best shape and was very lucky to face mediocre players through the tournament and also faced players who had just played marathon matches in the previous round (e.g. Sloane v Puig in the 4R (before playing Sloane in the QF) and Lisicki v Radwanska in a SF thriller (before playing Lisicki in the final)).
 

Lukhas

Legend
I remember having a talk with my local pro saying he got phone calls from the Tunisian tennis association from some previous work he'd done. Ons Jabeur had just fired her coach in the middle of the Aussie Open. The reason: she wanted to have a breakthrough. We discussed it as I remarked that she already was breaking through, the summer of 2019 saw her making huge progress, and she just had reached her best result in slams at AO 2020. Why would you fire your coach when your partnership is clearly working and bearing its fruits? It's not the only odd career move in the history of tennis, but still a head scratcher.

Then COVID became a thing and now there's no way to know what could've been. :whistle: She seems to be playing well so far at least. She has the kind of playing style that I like, but firing her coach mid AO tainted my perception of the player. That being said, I think she'd need a quite favourable draw to win a slam; she doesn't have the brute firepower or physicality of some of the younger players, and she doesn't seem to have a reliable bail-out card like Barty's serve+1 combo for example.
I guess it depends on your opponent. Bartoli when winning the 2013 Wimbledon wasn't at her best shape and was very lucky to face mediocre players through the tournament and also faced players who had just played marathon matches in the previous round (e.g. Sloane v Puig in the 4R (before playing Sloane in the QF) and Lisicki v Radwanska in a SF thriller (before playing Lisicki in the final)).
To be honest, while Bartoli has often been a puzzling case, she was a fairly consistent top 10 player and already had reached a final at Wimbledon. The draw was... well, hum, something I hardly can describe without throwing shade on the WTA. That being said, she was in a position to knock at the door moreso than the shinier but more mentally (Lisicki) or physically (Radwanska) suspect players left in the draw. I wouldn't have put a cent on Radwanska winning a slam, but I'm very biased against her. :censored: Bartoli was playing the epitome of boring but practical tennis.
 
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She's got amazing hands and power.

I've seen her make some big runs but lose energy and intensity in her final match when she has had a lot of big matches in a row.

Whether she has the energy required to win enough matches in that pressurized environment is the big question mark for me.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
To be honest, while Bartoli has often been a puzzling case, she was a fairly consistent top 10 player and already had reached a final at Wimbledon. The draw was... well, hum, something I hardly can describe without throwing shade on the WTA. That being said, she was in a position to knock at the door moreso than the shinier but more mentally (Lisicki) or physically (Radwanska) suspect players left in the draw. I wouldn't have put a cent on Radwanska winning a slam, but I'm very biased against her. :censored: Bartoli was playing the epitome of boring but practical tennis.
Bartoli may have been a top 20 player and a former slam finalist but she wasn't consistent in 2013. She didn't have a single top 20 win that year going into Wimbledon, one point she was on a 4 match losing streak

In fact, she didn't even register a top 15 win all year even though she won a slam!

She was the last one standing. Lisicki did all the hard work taking out slam champs including Schiavone, Stosur and Serena (who was on a 34 match winning streak) and then #4 Radwanska in an epic. It's the least deserving slam in the 21st century in my eyes. Schiavone's 2010 RG title is up there too in my eyes. Some could argue Barty's 2019 RG run was easy but it was better than Vondrousova's.
 

atatu

Legend
A gifted and successful junior but a late developer (and late developers have won slams-Schiavone, Penetta etc.) because there's a lot to her game. If Hicham Arazi was the male magician of Africa, Ons is the female equivalent; already the greatest female Arab player and the greatest Africa-born female player in singles (unless I'm forgetting someone?).

She reminds me of a female Nalbandian, not just the physique. The forehand cross-court from just inside the deuce court, the forehand drop-shots, the way she closes in at the net to finish well-constructed points with angled touch. Add a sprinkle of Rios (jumping backhand) and Murray (cross-court forehand passes on the stretch, inside out forehand from just inside the court, nice court coverage for a big girl, a slightly similar stride). One of the most naturally talented female players on tour; drop shots, slices, volleys, variation...a tweener lob, which you can just about spot in this video:


Barring injuries and misfortune, she will reach a slam final someday, possibly the upcoming US Open. Bank on it. I don't know if she'll ever win one, but I hope she does. She's a credit to women's tennis in an era of ball bashers. Give her and Serena wooden rackets and she might still get beaten by the serve and power of the great, but she would bamboozle the American in the process.

No one is talking about her but, with her 26th birthday a few days away, she is entering her prime and will be a force to be reckoned with in years to come. So for Ons the maestro, if you're reading, the Italian Stallion appreciates your magic!

Here is a slightly related article about African tennis from N.Y. Times which you may find of interest.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/29/...tennis-talent-though-obscure-is-apparent.html

I have spoken.

great article !
 

Lukhas

Legend
Bartoli may have been a top 20 player and a former slam finalist but she wasn't consistent in 2013. She didn't have a single top 20 win that year going into Wimbledon, one point she was on a 4 match losing streak

In fact, she didn't even register a top 15 win all year even though she won a slam!

She was the last one standing. Lisicki did all the hard work taking out slam champs including Schiavone, Stosur and Serena (who was on a 34 match winning streak) and then #4 Radwanska in an epic. It's the least deserving slam in the 21st century in my eyes. Schiavone's 2010 RG title is up there too in my eyes. Some could argue Barty's 2019 RG run was easy but it was better than Vondrousova's.
Didn't say otherwise. I wouldn't have put my money on Schiavone or Stosur either; not at Wimbledon at the very least. It's a name drop of former slam champions, but none of which I would've vetted on either. Then Schiavone's epic against Kuznetsova at RG redeemed her in my eyes so hey. I don't particularly like Bartoli as a pundit , and I had the "pleasure" to listen to her commentary enough to confirm that. That being said, she definitively had the mental strength to get the job done at Wimbledon moreso than some other players in the draw that I would've never bet on for the win. Boring but practical.

But the point was that so far Jabeur hasn't struck me as having the kind of nerve even someone like Bartoli had, who on top of that was a much more seasoned player at the time and had the killer instinct despite not having anything particular to her game. Obviously it's something Jabeur had time to improve, but her choice to fire her coach during a good steak really is something that I find debatable. A boring bailout card would more than compensate for that.

I think she'd have the draw clear out significantly... Like right now at the US Open. After all, the WTA always find a way to... "subvert expectations".
 
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London007

New User
Yep, Ons' tennis has been great. I know physical looks are deceiving and weight management is really tricky but you would have thought she'd be 'leaner' as this year / next year may be her best shot at some quality titles and rankings.

To be clear I'm talking about her potentially improving physical endurance from potentially lowering her body weight; I'm not commenting on her body from an aesthetic perspective.
 
But the point was that so far Jabeur hasn't struck me as having the kind of nerve even someone like Bartoli had, who on top of that was a much more seasoned player at the time and had the killer instinct despite not having anything particular to her game. Obviously it's something Jabeur had time to improve, but her choice to fire her coach during a good steak really is something that I find debatable.
There are possibly four other ways of looking at her coach-firing.

A/ It could just mean Ons is headstrong with high standards and she knows exactly what she wants and she disagreed with her coach.
B/ She and her coach had incompatible personalities even if the coaching was going well.
C/ She felt she was improving herself and her coach was just along for the ride.
D/She felt she was improving herself and her coach was actually hindering her improvement.

I don't think a player's improvement should always be put down to the coach. It's like football; sometimes the players make the coach look good.
 

Lukhas

Legend
There are possibly four other ways of looking at her coach-firing.

A/ It could just mean Ons is headstrong with high standards and she knows exactly what she wants and she disagreed with her coach.
B/ She and her coach had incompatible personalities even if the coaching was going well.
C/ She felt she was improving herself and her coach was just along for the ride.
D/She felt she was improving herself and her coach was actually hindering her improvement.

I don't think a player's improvement should always be put down to the coach. It's like football; sometimes the players make the coach look good.
I hope for her. I'm watching her match against Azarenka right now.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
I like Jabeur the Hutt's game, but she is mentally suspect, like Fiasco. IIRC she just folded completely against Kasatkina in that final in Russia and was blubbering before the match was even over.
 

Lukhas

Legend
I like Jabeur the Hutt's game, but she is mentally suspect, like Fiasco. IIRC she just folded completely against Kasatkina in that final in Russia and was blubbering before the match was even over.
It echoes what I've seen today. A match between an physically in-form player without much experience and a former #1 not quite where she wants to be.

The first set could've gone either way, but you could sense that Jabeur was a bit frustrated not to be able to get through Azarenka the same way she would've been against a player of equivalent quality but less experience or court sense. In the first set, the Belarusian was holding on thanks to her still good shot selection and anticipation and managed to run away with the tie break.

However early in the second set, the Tunisian clearly showed frustration, chose poorer shots and targets as she couldn't hit the ball past her opponent. Her level dipped ever so slightly as Azarenka got more and more used to the ball, leading to a fairly routine set. Jabeur seemed to think that Azarenka had all the answers regardless of her form; which wasn't completely true but ended up becoming reality.

Tl; Dr: Jabeur checked out mentality against a player that used her experience and court sense to overcome the difference in physical form.
 

hurworld

Hall of Fame
It echoes what I've seen today. A match between an physically in-form player without much experience and a former #1 not quite where she wants to be.

The first set could've gone either way, but you could sense that Jabeur was a bit frustrated not to be able to get through Azarenka the same way she would've been against a player of equivalent quality but less experience or court sense. In the first set, the Belarusian was holding on thanks to her still good shot selection and anticipation and managed to run away with the tie break.

However early in the second set, the Tunisian clearly showed frustration, chose poorer shots and targets as she couldn't hit the ball past her opponent. Her level dipped ever so slightly as Azarenka got more and more used to the ball, leading to a fairly routine set. Jabeur seemed to think that Azarenka had all the answers regardless of her form; which wasn't completely true but ended up becoming reality.

Tl; Dr: Jabeur checked out mentality against a player that used her experience and court sense to overcome the difference in physical form.
Only watched the WTA YT highlights, but pretty much what you said. But no denying her run in this tournament has been a joy to watch.

But yeah, she needs a good coach who would toughen her up mentally.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
A gifted and successful junior but a late developer (and late developers have won slams-Schiavone, Penetta etc.) because there's a lot to her game. If Hicham Arazi was the male magician of Africa, Ons is the female equivalent; already the greatest female Arab player and the greatest Africa-born female player in singles (unless I'm forgetting someone?).
What about Younes El Aynaoui? He won 5 titles vs Arazi’s 1. Career high #14 vs Arazi’s #22. Same amount of slam QFs.

Amanda Coetzer with her former #3, ranking, nine titles and three slam SFs is the African-born female standard bearer.
 

Tanya

Hall of Fame
To be honest, while Bartoli has often been a puzzling case, she was a fairly consistent top 10 player and already had reached a final at Wimbledon. The draw was... well, hum, something I hardly can describe without throwing shade on the WTA. That being said, she was in a position to knock at the door moreso than the shinier but more mentally (Lisicki) or physically (Radwanska) suspect players left in the draw. I wouldn't have put a cent on Radwanska winning a slam, but I'm very biased against her. :censored: Bartoli was playing the epitome of boring but practical tennis.
I mean, let's be honest Bartoli didn't even have to do much in the final. Lisicki was a total basket case. Still, she held her nerve and beat the opponent in front of her on that day which is what the sport is about - so no shade from me there (I actually like Bartoli).
 

Lukhas

Legend
She's got the game to win a Slam. The shotmaking skill is definitely there.
I also think the fitness is there. She has a body type similar to Wawrinka and looks fatter than she actually is. I think she just lacks a bread and butter capacity to get her out of tough spots. Her match against Azarenka showed it for me: lacked an extra gear to really put the match to rest. I like her game better than some other slams winners like Muguruza... Jabeur has a very complete technical set with few rough spots, which I tend to appreciate even if it's not necessarily path to success; especially on the WTA when you can get blow off the court every two matches or be counter-punched incessantly.
I mean, let's be honest Bartoli didn't even have to do much in the final. Lisicki was a total basket case. Still, she held her nerve and beat the opponent in front of her on that day which is what the sport is about - so no shade from me there (I actually like Bartoli).
Well, Bartoli's mental attitude was her "bailout" move. With her decent albeit limited skillset and considering she's left-handed, she couldn't have become a fairly consistent top 10 player without her very, very generous self-belief.
 
What about Younes El Aynaoui? He won 5 titles vs Arazi’s 1. Career high #14 vs Arazi’s #22. Same amount of slam QFs.

Amanda Coetzer with her former #3, ranking, nine titles and three slam SFs is the African-born female standard bearer.
El Aynaoui was a more effective player than Arazi, but he wasn't a magician for me.

Amanda Coetzer was one of my favourite players; I can't believe I forgot her.

Ons just seems well-built to me, not unfit. Can anyone give good recent examples of her fitness failing her?
 
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