July 6, 2021
Wimbledon, London, UK
A. SABALENKA/O. Jabeur
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Tough luck today. How do you feel about the match in general? What do you think Aryna did best today?
ONS JABEUR: Honestly I think she played the match of her life. She didn't do any mistakes. She served well from the beginning till the end, which is kind of hard for a tennis player to find solution in the middle of the match.
I think she didn't make a lot of mistakes. I didn't see the unforced errors. But for someone like her, I don't think she made a lot.
But, you know, I'm honestly proud of myself for trying and being positive the whole way because it's not easy to accept that someone is playing good from beginning and the end of the match, you know?
Yeah, but today she deserved to win and I hope she can go as far as she want to. I know she's been waiting for this for a long time. But this gives me the opportunity to work even harder, be ready for those kind of matches. The good news is I have things to work on. I'm very positive for the future.
Q. What are your biggest takeaways from what you've experienced at Wimbledon? You had a difficult draw. You played on big courts. In your opinion, what do you take with you from this tournament?
ONS JABEUR: Yeah, talking about the draw, it was very difficult one (smiling). It wasn't easy. But I know I love playing here. I love the energy. I always say that the British crowd is amazing. Even if you play a British girl, they always, like, supporting but respectfully, which is amazing here. I love that about them.
I love how the Centre was full. I love how people are encouraging both sides. I think Wimbledon is one of my favorite Grand Slams right now. Hopefully I could be able to come back stronger and have better results here.
Like I said before, like the Centre Court was different this time. Usually when I play on Centre, it's kind of more stressful than the other matches. This time I think I loved it and I was able to express myself even more.
Q. You had to face today a lot more power. What was the original plan how to make up for the difference in power between your shots and her shots?
ONS JABEUR: Well, the plan was to be aggressive from the beginning and try to change the rhythm if I can because I know she can hit really hard. Sometimes to change up the rhythm is kind of difficult.
But the thing is, I wasn't really expecting her to serve really good from the beginning till the end. You can have momentums where you serve good, but you just, like, make at least second serves. But we know her second serve are also amazing. It was kind of difficult for me to be on the edge all the time.
Like I said, it happens. I was trying to accept it on the court, and it was difficult. But I tried my best. That's the thing that I don't want -- I don't feel like I have any regrets for this match.
Q. What is your plan from here to the Olympics? I think the last time you came to Japan was six or seven years ago. You won two ITF tournaments, I think. Can you recall some memories? What do you remember about your experience in Japan?
ONS JABEUR: Yeah, I was after that in Japan for WTA, but it didn't go as well as the ITFs. I remember having a great time there. Like people were amazing. I enjoyed. That was my first time actually going there. I loved it. I cannot wait to come back.
My next tournament is Tokyo, so I'm preparing myself to go there.
Q. Are you going to fly from here to Japan?
ONS JABEUR: No, no, from Tunis, from Tunisia. I'll go rest a little bit now, prepare myself on hard court, and hopefully I will be ready for Tokyo.
Q. Walking around the grounds I saw some fans holding a Tunisian flag. They waved to me and said, We're still very proud of her. Obviously there's a lot of support for you this whole tournament. Are you still feeling proud of what you did in this moment? Disappointment from not winning today? What is the overwhelming emotion right now?
ONS JABEUR: Yeah, it's always tough to lose. Sometimes I just not try to focus on this match but see the whole tournament. I know I did my best. It was really unbelievable moments here. I'm not going to let this loss ruin everything.
I'm still going to think about the good times that I had here. Also, Tunisians, they're always supporting me. It's very important for me. Honestly, just the beginning of so many good things. Like I said, like good news, I have so many things to work on right now. I still have Tokyo, I still have the US Open swing. A lot more tournaments to come.
I need to rest a little bit obviously and be ready for the next tournaments.
Q. What you've done recently, your results, how things go in Tunisia, the way of tennis progressing in the country, how little girls try to play tennis on your pattern, on your model. What do you expect more in the country to be done?
ONS JABEUR: I know that since 2011, since I won the junior Roland Garros, I know that there is many girls wanted to play tennis and dreaming more. I feel like I've been carrying a great message trying to represent my country as best as I can.
I think right now they are dreaming even bigger and they want to be here, they want to be and follow my steps. I hope I am giving the right example for them.
Yeah, everybody is following me. Everybody's texting. They're really proud and hope I can break this barrier of quarterfinals next time for Grand Slams and be able to go further, show even more the great example they're waiting for.
But, yeah, if they're following, I hope they're working hard and believing in themselves. I hope one day they can make it here.
Q. I talked to a lot of Tunisian fans here today who have never been to a tennis match in their lives, men, women, who have found it's a sport they're interested in because of you. How do you build on that going forward, this inspiration really from your home country and across Africa?
ONS JABEUR: I'm honored. Also trying to represent a whole continent for me is very important. I try to behave well and give the right example for the young generation, for people following. We're going through tough times in Tunisia with COVID and everything.
Sometimes when you just change it up to sports, try to have a positive thoughts, I'm glad that I'm giving that to people there.
I'm just going to continue working hard and give the right example. Hopefully we can see more and more young kids playing tennis and parents encouraging them to be here, to be able to play. It's very important for me. I'm not just playing for myself, but I'm playing for a whole other country.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports