HIGHLIGHTS: Jabeur defeats Pegula in Madrid final

Ons Jabeur's first WTA 1000 title win in Madrid was a big career goal, and it could also help achieve her next—a Top 5 ranking.

That could happen as soon as this week in Rome, where the 27-year-old from Tunisia will come in with a career-high ranking of No. 7 and a lot of momentum on clay. After reaching the final of Charleston, she ran the table in Madrid, edging Jessica Pegula for her biggest trophy to date.

"Definitely those matches will give me a lot of confidence. I'm just going to try to take as much points as I can in Rome," Jabeur told press following her win against Pegula. "You know, when you're confident like that and you win a lot of matches, I think I should take this opportunity to go like really forward and win."

Jabeur will start around 500 points behind No. 5-ranked Anett Kontaveit, with 1000 points on offer to the winner in Rome—an event she did not play in 2021. Though she'll be playing her second week in a row, Jabeur wants to take advantage of the opening.

"Conditions probably are different in Rome, so I'm telling you I have to be smart in Rome. I have to really take my opportunity, because I don't have any defending points and I'm going there," said Jabeur. "I'm going to do my best to go as far as I can in this tournament and of course prepare for the biggest challenge, French Open."


Jabeur reached the 20-win mark this season as a result of her Madrid run.

Jabeur reached the 20-win mark this season as a result of her Madrid run.

But regardless of ranking, Jabeur wants to keep playing her game. Filled with drop shots and variety. Jabeur's style has turned her into a crowd favorite, all while continuing to break new ground.

"I think it helps me a lot with my game. It reflects a lot my personality. I like to have fun," said Jabeur, though she acknowledged that nerves affected her during the Madrid final. "I don't like to play the same shot all the time, so I hope I can show the real game that I want to show and entertain people."

Even if she doesn't hit her next rankings high on clay, she'll still have the rest of the season to get there.

"I knew that it had to come, like not now on clay, to be honest with you. I was more excited about the grass season," said Jabeur, who won her first WTA title at Birmingham last year.

On Tuesday, the former Roland Garros junior champion opens her Rome bid against Sorana Cirstea.