“I fought so long to win my first WTA title. My defeat at the US Open is hard to accept, but I’m not one to give up, I’m sure I’ll come back strong, the most important thing is to learn from the many finals I lost.”
With these phrases, and under a shower of cheers from the fans on the stands of “Arthur Ashe” Stadium in New York, tennis player Anas Jaber spoke after losing the US Open final against the Polish world number one Iga Chiantek in two sets without a response, before she failed to overcome her tears while her coach, Issam Al-Jalali. And the physical trainer Karim Kamon trying to mitigate the impact of defeat on her.
In fact, this touching message to the Arab tennis icon was nothing but an expression of a renewed sense of heartbreak at the last leg of the tournament, in a scenario that was repeated on several occasions and Jaber suffered for a long time this year.
heartbreak and determination
In less than a year and a half, Jaber missed the title on 6 occasions out of the 8 final rounds she was a party to, including the Wimbledon and American Open finals, so the failure in the final turned into something like a difficult obstacle for the player whose shares have risen at rocket speed in the last two years. , as she often successfully completed all stages to reach the final, before she was defeated by an identical scenario in the decisive match and forfeited a title that was close to her.
While the yellow ball fans and Anas Jaber fans eagerly awaited her first Grand Slam title, the Tunisian player lost – last Saturday – another final role, the second in a row in the major tournaments and the sixth since April 2021.
During her coronation ceremony as runner-up to Chiatnik, Anas Jaber said – in direct statements – “It will not be easy to forget the two weeks I lived in New York. I know that one day I will be one of the winners of a major championship, it took time to crown my first professional title, and it will take time for me to win a major championship as well. That title will come with difficulty, but it will come one day.”
Earlier, Anas Jaber’s neglect of the title in the crucial stages sparked controversy about the mental and physical preparation supervised by her coaching team, but the player replied at the time, saying: “I thank my team, who worked hard to help me develop my level throughout this period, we were all hoping for For the end to be better, my confidence in myself and the crew that works with me continues, I owe them and my family what I achieved.”
Missed opportunities at the crucial moment
And between April 2021 and September 2022, Anas Jaber played 8 final rounds in the WTA, but she missed the title on 6 occasions. In April 2021, she missed the chance to crown the American “Charleston” tournament, when she lost the final to Australian Sharma by two sets to one, after she was one game away from winning the competition title, which she gave up again last April against the Swiss Belinda Bencic in two sets to one. .
Anas Jaber missed winning the 2021 Chicago tournament, losing to Spain’s Muguruza (2-1), before the finals’ troubles continued by compromising the Rome Open title (1,000 points) in front of her traditional rival, “Iga Chiatnik last May, then in the Wimbledon and America finals. open.
On the other hand, the Tunisian player won the Madrid tournament (1,000 points) in May 2022, and Berlin (500 points) in June of the same year.
Commenting on the loss of crowning opportunities on several occasions, the Tunisian coach, Abdel Razzaq and her, told Al Jazeera Net: “Before talking about the circumstances of the Arab champion’s loss in the final of the American Tournament, it is necessary to pay tribute to what I consider a fictional achievement for Anas Jaber and results that no tennis player or player will be able to equalize, But it is certain that technical, physical and mental errors committed by Anas made the difference in favor of her Polish rival, as the sport of tennis requires complete focus during defining moments of the match.
He told her: “There are direct mistakes made by Anas Jaber, personal mistakes related to her, not her competition. At a high level, such as Wimbledon, the US Open or other major tournaments, the player must avoid direct mistakes that are considered a zigzag of the match, and unfortunately Anas did not succeed in this particular point. Although she returned in the second half, and after being late by two sets to four, the Tunisian player managed to adjust the balance, but she quickly fell again into the trap of fatal direct errors.
And the coach who supervises the training of tennis players at the Sfax Academy (south) added, “The problem was mental. The Polish competition went through a void period in the second half that Anas did not succeed in exploiting, as she got confused in some balls and lost mental control, and I think that the image of the cup came to her mind.” Before the end of the match, it also happened in the Wimbledon final last July.”
The speaker believes that the solution “lies in more mental focus and work to avoid direct mistakes, but this does not prevent us from saying that Iga Shevtnak was less of a mistake than Anas, and that is what resolved the confrontation. In general, this does not diminish in anything the historical achievement of Anas Jaber, who is considered Pride for Tunisia and Arab tennis, and the coronation will definitely come soon,” he said.
After her neglect of the Wimbledon championship, Anas Jaber admitted that “small mistakes she made in crucial moments prevented her from winning the title” at the time.
Jaber is one of the players who have achieved an inspiring career in the sport of yellow ball, but they missed more than one title at the last stop, which is what happens to many tennis players and players, such as the British Andy Murray, who lost the final of the Grand Slam 6 times completely and perfectly, including 5 finals in the Australian Open, and Spain’s Aranxa Sancher, who lost 6 finals in the four Grand Tours.
And Anas, who regained second place on Monday in the ranking of professional players, deserved to be the “Minister of Happiness” – the title given by the Tunisians, after she became, last July, the first Arab and African player to reach the final of one of the four major tournaments after she qualified for the Wimbledon final. , before adding a new achievement last Thursday and becoming the first Arab and African to reach the final of the US Open.
Throughout her professional career, which began in the Qatar Open 2012, the 28-year-old won three titles, namely Birmingham in 2021, Madrid and Berlin in 2022.
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