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February 23, 2020

Ons Jabeur

Doha, Qatar

O. JABEUR/K. Siniakova

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Seemingly nice performance today. Can you just talk through the match and your thoughts on how you played.
ONS JABEUR: Yeah, well I think I played really good and I'm happy with the way I played today. Especially being here in Qatar, my first singles win, I'm really happy with that. Also first singles win against her (laughing), she's extra special, really glad that I was really focused and played my game. Impressed with my forehand today, I was really good. Kind of worked on it the past few days since I missed the match point on the forehand (laughing.) So I'm really glad the way I played, really happy with my performance. I thank all the people that came to watch me Tunisians, I think they were most of them Tunisians. Glad to be here in Qatar, hope I can stay as long as I can.

Q. Do you feel as though for this swing through Dubai and Doha, did you feel any extra pressure playing in the Middle East especially after the big result in January and everything like that and how do you feel like you've been able to handle that?
ONS JABEUR: Well actually I was, I know that I did great in Australia, I know many people watched me. But then every time I go and see more Tunisians or more people who watched me I can see that like many people are following, but really I knew that, but I really didn't see that coming through, so I'm like surprised and at the same time proud to see that many people came to watch me. Because before I came to play here or in Dubai it wasn't the same like people are coming and everything. So I'm really happy that they made the effort and they're following me more.

Also my parents are here. They don't come often so I had to really put extra effort to play better here. They didn't come to Dubai, but at least seeing them on the court in my box it was a really incredible feeling.

Q. To the same question, you were playing in the Grand Slam in Australia, the Tunisian President said that every shot you play on court is like a salute to the Tunisian flag. You know when that kind of a feeling celebrates in the Arabian world, how does it make you feel and after the success now, I mean --
ONS JABEUR: I mean it's a good pressure, I say, it's a good pressure to play good, especially if the President is interested in what you're doing and many other political people were out there following me. I'm proud of what I'm doing, I hope I can inspire many people and I mean hopefully it could continue because I think it's just the start of the season. I put in my mind that I want to be in top 20 and I think I'm going in the right track. Most important thing is to improve my game, I see that I'm better with holding the stress or with managing some points, so I think I can really play better and maybe like really, really play and win a good tournament.

Q. In terms of dealing with that pressure and it seems like you're filling that or you're coming up to it, you're rising with the pressure to play well with the eyes on you, more attention on you. Is that how you feel right now?
ONS JABEUR: Yeah, like I have the song, "All Eyes on Me" that Tupac one. Well, no, I know how to be able to manage the stress. I mean, before I was, it was kind of like going away or not like being able to face it, but now I'm like more facing it, more going and like whatever happens, happens. I'm just there, I'm jumping from a rooftop or something, that's me, you know, going, going there. And I know myself, I know my character, if I put something in my mind, I just do it. For me, if I put myself in this position to be one of the best players in the world, then I think it's going to happen and I have pretty good feeling about this season.

Q. Do you feel because, you know, we have known how talented you are and the shot making and things like that, a lot of times that would be happening on outer courts, in first rounds, in qualifying rounds, when your ranking was much lower. Now you're kind of on the show courts and you're showing everybody what Ons can do, the hot shot reels and Tweets and things like that. That has to feel pretty nice to be able to kind of have this platform to show off your tennis and your personality as well.
ONS JABEUR: Well, to be honest, before I used to focus a lot on the hot shots because it's part of my game, that's what I want to do, that's what I want to -- I kind of want to entertain the crowd, but now I'm focusing more on myself, focusing more on my game and it's kind of happening, you know, some pretty good shots from Dubai, from here also, from today, it's part of my game I love to put some spices into this game and I think it's really good to -- because I mean sometimes it could be boring just hitting the ball and it's not me, so that's, I go along with any drop shot, with any passing shot, that's me, that's my game and hopefully I can do more.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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