Ons Jabeur: Tunisian tennis star wants to impress at French Open

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Tunisia's Ons Jabeur with the Madrid Open winners trophyTunisia's Ons Jabeur adds the Madrid Open to her maiden title which she won in Birmingham last year

Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur is determined to impress at the French Open after her success on clay at the Madrid Open.

The second title of her singles career saw her move from number 10 in the world to a career-high seventh in the latest rankings.

Having twice reached the last 16 at Roland Garros she is now aiming to at least repeat that success at a tournament she says has a "great story with the Tunisian people", when the main draw begins on 22 May.

"I always wanted to be in the second week [at Grand Slam tennis tournaments] no matter what happens," she told BBC Sport.

"Of course now I have played a lot of great matches on clay. I have more confidence in myself. So yeah, the goal is to go as far as I can in the French Open.

"It is the first Grand Slam that I won in the juniors - well, the first and only I have got to say.

"The French Open has a great story with Tunisian people because it's really the Grand Slam that everybody follows.

"People were trying to kind of imitate Serena Williams in the generation before me. Now it's amazing to see how people are really just waiting to see me there.

"I know there are a lot of French-Tunisians who live in Paris, so it's going to be a great tournament for me."

Inspired and inspiring

Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur celebratesJabeur won the French Open juniors title in 2011

Jabeur says she has been inspired by the support she has received in the wake of her win in Madrid, and is determined to continue being an inspiration to youngsters.

Meanwhile, she thinks having her family in the stadium for the final in Madrid helped her to win the title, despite being in two minds as whether they should be there or not.

"I was a little bit superstitious, I didn't want them to come, I didn't know if they should be there or not," she admitted.

"But I know their support is really amazing. Just seeing my box full, which really never happened before, was amazing and great emotions for me. I think their support really helped me push through the finals."

It is not just the backing of her family that Jabeur appreciates.

"I've really received a lot of message from home and not just Tunisia, but the Arab world," she added.

"That was my goal from the beginning - to really try to inspire more and more players, just to set the goal really high.

"It's amazing to see how people are following tennis right now. It's like football in Tunisia now - people were going with their cars celebrating, screaming, dancing, and it was a great feeling.

"It [the support] does make me really proud and it's pushing me right now to do better and behave better on and off court."

Jabeur hopes her success can help more Tunisian tennis players believe in themselves.

"We in Tunisia were always missing a little bit of belief. We need someone to tell us that we can do it," she said.

"I know we have a lot of talented players and the fact that I can say 'I can do it' means that maybe they can one day.

"That's really my main goal right now and I hope I can inspire them. I know they are hard workers and they can achieve so many things. We just have to believe a little bit more."

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