Ons Jabeur first etched her name in the record books at the 2020 Australian Open, becoming the first Arab woman to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. On Monday, the Tunisian added one more feather to her cap as she became the first Arab woman to make it to the last eight at Wimbledon.
The magnitude of her achievement earned appreciation from all corners, with plaudits pouring in from her peers too. And Roger Federer was among those to congratulate Ons Jabeur after her 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 fourth-round win over seventh seed Iga Swiatek.
Speaking at her post-match press conference, Jabeur admitted that such messages from the game's greats motivate her to deliver her best.
"Actually I got congratulated by Roger [Federer] after my match, which was amazing," Ons Jabeur said. "I think now I'm good enough in my tennis career. He was very nice and he took the time to say congrats. That inspires me a lot and gives me the hunger to win more."
Continuing to speak about the players that inspire her, the World No. 24 revealed that former US Open champion Andy Roddick has been one of her idols.
"I get inspired by many players, be it tennis players or other athletes," Jabeur said. "Andy Roddick was my idol before. I looked up to many players."
Being aggressive was key today: Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur had a chance to serve out the first set when she led Iga Swiatek 5-4, before the Pole bounced back to take it 7-5. However, Jabeur managed to push the setback aside and get into the groove soon after.
Swiatek is one of the most aggressive players out there, so the Tunisian knew she had to match her shot for shot rather than rely on her finesse alone to to do the job. Jabeur's underrated firepower was the key in keeping the former French Open champion at bay on Monday.
"It was a great match and I had to stay calm rather than get angry when I failed to close out the first set as getting angry would not have helped my cause," Jabeur said. "Today I decided to change my game a bit as everyone knows I am doing drop shots, and being aggressive was key today."
Ons Jabeur also thanked her Tunisian supporters for giving her confidence during the high-pressure moments.
"Tunisia is everywhere," remarked the Birmingham Open champion. "They were singing a football song. I felt the need to sing with them also. I felt so happy that I wanted to hear more. It is amazing to hear that.
"Most of the crowd was helping me and supporting me," she added. "It gives me a lot of confidence and I hope they come even for the next match."