Ons Jabeur and Serena Williams will team up in doubles at next week’s Rothesay International Eastbourne. In a recent interview with Racquet, Jabeur explained how this unexpected doubles pairing came about, exclaiming that she’s still over the moon for having the opportunity to play with the tennis legend.
A few days ago we learned that Serena Williams is finally ending her one-year absence from competition. The fact that she has received a wildcard for Wimbledon 2022 is not surprising at all, but what is surprising is the fact that she’ll be warming up for the Grand Slam by playing doubles with Ons Jabeur at the WTA 500 tournament in Eastbourne.
The singles world No.4 Jabeur is not known for her doubles expertise and Serena has only been her acquaintance, so she’s super thrilled with this unexpected opportunity:
Doubles specialist! [Laughs] Oof, I’m still over the moon. I found out before the French Open, and it’s an honor and privilege to play with her. I’m actually nervous, but I’m going to try to be the doubles specialist for the next week and hopefully make zero mistakes. [Laughs] But it’s a great honor to play with such a legend, and to be able to really share the court with her is unbelievable because we never played each other and now we’re playing next to each other—we are a team. I’m really excited to be in Eastbourne next week, more and more excited than ever.
The partnership was negotiated by the players’ coaches. Now that her long-term coach Patrick Mouratoglou has moved on to Simona Halep, Serena is working with Eric Hechtman during this comeback. Hechtman had previously coached Venus Williams.
When asked whether she knows why Serena picked her, Jabeur replied: “I have no idea.” The Tunisian will leave her heart at Eastbourne: “I’m pretty lucky that she picked me, and I’m going to try to be 100 percent on the court, and serve like Andy Roddick, make volleys like the Bryans, just trying to be really good on court.”