It’s been a long time coming, and it’s finally here: Ons Jabeur, one of the most talented players on the tour—as well as one of the most popular—has broken into the Top 10 on the WTA rankings.

She jumps from No. 14 to No. 8 today—Monday, October 18, 2021—after reaching the semifinals of Indian Wells, her first time going that far at an event at the WTA 1000 level or higher.

The Tunisian is now the first Arab tennis player, male or female, to reach the Top 10 of either the ATP or WTA rankings.

“It means a lot. I’m really happy,” Jabeur told Tennis Channel. “That’s the goal that I set up from the beginning of the season. I said that I wanted to be in the Top 10.

“I honestly thought it was going to be very difficult—at the beginning I started to play well, but then ranking points weren't dropping from 2019, so it was kind of tough, and I was kind of like, ‘What can people do to get to Top 20 or Top 10?’

“But then I got to Top 20 and then right away Top 10, and the only thing I’m going to say right now is I’m going to work harder to prove that I deserve this spot. There are a lot of things to improve. It’s not easy to be in the Top 10, and I want to stay there as long as I can.”

Jabeur had just made her Top 20 debut two months ago, two weeks before the US Open.

Before Jabeur, the three highest-ranked Arab tennis players were all from Morocco, and all men: Younes El Aynaoui, who reached a career-high of No. 14 on the ATP rankings in 2003; Hicham Arazi, who reached a career-high of No. 22 in 2001; and Karim Alami, who peaked at No. 25 in 2000.


Jabeur was ranked No. 22 coming out of the Olympics in August. She's gone 15-5 since then and is now ranked No. 8.

Jabeur was ranked No. 22 coming out of the Olympics in August. She's gone 15-5 since then and is now ranked No. 8.

So what’s next for Jabeur?

More tennis, and maybe even more milestones.

The Tunisian will already be back on court this week, playing the WTA 500 indoor event in Moscow. She currently leads the women’s tour with 48 wins this year—no one else even has 45—and if she wins her first two rounds, she’ll become the first woman to 50 tour-level wins this year.

She’s also got her eye on a spot in the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“So many players are playing so well right now—Anett, me, Badosa, Kerber—it’s very close, and we’re fighting each other. I’m doing my best to keep far away from them,” she said about the race to Guadalajara.

“If I’m gonna go then so be it, but if not I’ve made my peace with it.”

Jabeur plays Ekaterina Alexandrova in her first-round match in Moscow. The Russian actually leads their head-to-head, 5-1, but they haven’t played each other in more than three years.