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Ready to Rise, Jabeur Rolls in Wimbledon Opener


Ons Jabeur handed Iga Swiatek her last Wimbledon loss.

The second-ranked Jabeur aim to match world No. 1 Swiatek's lofty level of play and someday succeed the Pole as world No.

Onwards: Jabeur Passes First Test

Empowered by memories of her Roland Garros first-round loss to Magda Linette last month, Jabeur dismantled 125th-ranked Mirjam Borkland 6-1, 6-3 in a confident Wimbledon first rounder that spanned just 54 minutes on No. 1 court today.

"I learned a lot from the first round in Roland Garros. Obviously everything feels different here," Jabeur told the media at Wimbledon. "I feel like more ready. Starting Monday not Sunday is much better for me. Let's say I opened the Court 1, and it was great.

"I enjoy playing a lot on grass. Scheduling, playing few matches, just get the perfect amount of playing on grass was great.

"Plus, you know, gaining more confidence playing along Serena also helped me with the great attitude on the court. Kind of start to be a leader on the court. That's what I'm trying to do. Trying to have that attitude."

An assertive attitude has seen the Tunisian trailblazer bounce back from a disappointing dirt season end to embracing the grass. Jabeur, who beat Coco Gauff and Belinda Bencic back to back to win Berlin, scored her sixth straight lawn win today.



The second-ranked Jabeur is striving for a first-rate goal: reach world No. 1.

"I do feel more confident. I do feel like I deserve to be in this level," said Jabeur, who knocked Swiatek out of Wimbledon last summer. "Hopefully next step will be No. 1."

Tennis Express

To supplant the superb Swiatek, who rides a 35-match winning streak into her Wimbledon opener vs. Croatian Jana Fett on Centre Court tomorrow, Jabeur knows she must elevate her level even more.

"It's going to be tough, but not impossible. Obviously Iga is kind of a little bit far from us now. Yeah, you never know," Jabeur said. "Well, not this Grand Slam, but there is the US Open, other 1000s on tour, and hopefully the Masters. I'll try my best to catch up to her.

"Obviously if I don't do it this year, hopefully beginning of next year. But the most important thing, I want to have the level to be No. 1. I don't just want to be No. 1 like that, put a lot of pressure on myself. I mean, everybody is looking forward to win against No. 1. I want to be, like, really deserve that spot. Hopefully I can be the level that Iga is playing right now."

Photo credit: Getty

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