Tunisian Ons Jabeur, beaten in the final of the Wimbledon tournament on Saturday July 9 in London, received the Great Medal of the National Order of Merit from President Kaïs Saïed on Thursday for “his remarkable sporting successes”.
By receiving her at the presidential palace in Carthage with her trainer and her husband – who is also her physical trainer – the Head of State wanted to deserve her with this prestigious decoration for having hoisted “raise the flag of the country in international sporting events”. “She was the ambassador of Tunisia” and showed “the ability of our youth to shine in all areas when the necessary means and conditions are provided”according to an official statement.
Ons Jabeur, nicknamed “Minister of Happiness” in Tunisia, became the first Arab and the first African to reach the final of a Grand Slam tournament after beating Germany’s Maria Tatiana in the semi-finals at Wimbledon. The Tunisian then lost in the final against Kazakh of Russian origin Elena Rybakina (3-6, 6-2, 6-2).
Selfies and autographs
“Congratulations on this success and the future successes. You give an image to young Tunisians and of the Tunisian woman who takes up all the challenges”President Kaïs Saïed told him when awarding him the medal. “It makes us proud as Tunisians. We want to give more hope to the young people watching us. We will continue on this take. We are proud to be Tunisians and we will continue in this success.”replied the 27-year-old, who went from second to fifth in the world despite her achievement at Wimbledon.
Friday, a popular celebration will take place on the central artery of Tunis, Habib-Bourguiba Avenue. Ons Jabeur is very popular in her country and on social networks: when she arrived at the airport on Wednesday, she graciously took many selfies, also agreeing to sign dozens of autographs. Since she resumed her rise in the WTA rankings in 2018, the number of members in her club in Hammam Sousse (center-east) has doubled to 700 members.
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