Editor's Note: After the WTA initially confirmed this projection, a re-check revealed that Jabeur will not reach the Top 10 if she loses her quarterfinal match to Anett Kontaveit on Thursday, and one of the following happens: a) Kontaveit or Jessica Pegula wins the title; b) Angelique Kerber reaches the semifinals.

Ons Jabeur’s rise up the rankings over the last few years has already been historic, but it’s going to reach a whole new level now.

With her 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 151-ranked Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya in the fourth round of Indian Wells on Tuesday night, the Tunisian is projected to break into the Top 10 when the next WTA rankings are released, the WTA has confirmed.

Jabeur is set to become the first Arab tennis player, male or female, to reach the Top 10 in either ATP or WTA rankings history.

Currently at a career-high of No. 14, Jabeur is already tied for highest-ranked Arab tennis player in ATP or WTA rankings history. Morocco’s Younes El Aynaoui was as high as No. 14 on the ATP rankings during 2003 and 2004.

Jabeur already held several firsts for Arab women in tennis before this: first to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2020 Australian Open (she's since reached another one at 2021 Wimbledon); first to reach the Top 50 on the WTA rankings (achieving that after the 2020 Australian Open); and first to win a WTA title (achieving that at the WTA 250 grass court event in Birmingham earlier this year).

Advertising

Jabeur was already the first Arab woman to reach the Top 50 on the WTA rankings in 2020.

Jabeur was already the first Arab woman to reach the Top 50 on the WTA rankings in 2020.

Jabeur was in phenomenal form against Kalinskaya on Tuesday night, hitting more than twice as many winners as unforced errors—32 to 15—and fighting off all four break points she faced. She converted four of her own eight break chances.

She wrapped it up after an hour and 18 minutes with one last drop shot.

“She’s an unbelievable player,” Jabeur said of the Russian in her on-court interview. “She’s everywhere, she gets every ball, so I had to use each angle from the court. The drop shot helps, the slices—my forehand was really good today.

"I’m really happy with my performance.”

It was Jabeur’s tour-leading 47th win of the season, and she was asked afterwards how she felt about becoming such a leader on the tour over the last few years.

“Starting playing tennis, I wanted to win the French Open for some reason,” she replied. “I won it in juniors, and then I always told my mom I want to be No. 1. I always believed, but leading wins on the WTA is a dream coming true, and I hope I can inspire the new generation. Not so many players from my country play.”

She then turned and spoke directly into the camera.

“So if I’m here today, you guys can make it. Work hard, believe in yourself, and you’re gonna be there.”

Awaiting Jabeur in the quarterfinals is another player who’s been on fire as of late: Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian has won 16 of her last 17 matches, highlighted by a WTA 250 title the week before the US Open in Cleveland and a WTA 500 indoor hard-court title in Ostrava, Czech Republic a few weeks ago.