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Tunisia’s Jabeur says Wimbledon final defeat is ‘most painful’ of her career



Second-placed Tunisia's Ons Jabeur cries after receiving her prize during the ceremony following her defeat in the women's singles final tennis match against Czech Republic's Marketa Vondrousova on the thirteenth day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 15, 2023. Photo: AFP  

Tearful Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur on Saturday described her third defeat in a Grand Slam final as the “most painful” of her career but vowed to bounce back and break her jinx at the majors.


World number six Jabeur was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by unseeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, one year after she lost the Wimbledon final to Elena Rybakina

More pain followed at the US Open later in the year where she was runner-up again, this time to Iga Swiatek.

The 28-year-old is the eighth woman to lose her first three Grand Slam finals although she can take comfort from knowing that Chris Evert and Kim Clijsters suffered the same fate before going on to capture multiple titles.


“It will be tough to speak. I am going to look ugly in the photos so that’s not going to help,” Jabeur told the Centre Court crowd.

“I think this is the most painful loss of my career.”

She added defiantly: “I promise I will come back one day and win this tournament.”

Jabeur led 2-0 and 4-2 in the first set on Saturday before the 24-year-old Vondrousova hit back.

The Tunisian’s 15 unforced errors in the first set were key as the Czech left-hander committed a miserly six.


Jabeur was 3-1 ahead in the second set but still couldn’t convert the advantage as Vondrousova, who missed last year’s Wimbledon due to wrist surgery, mounted another comeback.

“Congratulations to Marketa. You’re an amazing player. I know you have had a lot of injuries so I am very happy for you,” said Jabeur after her third defeat this year to the Czech.

“It’s going to be a tough day for me today. I’m not going to give up. I’m going to come back stronger and win a Grand Slam one day.”




Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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