Naomi Osaka and Ons Jabeur are set to make a unique and exciting collaboration as doubles partners at the upcoming Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open. Despite their illustrious careers top women’s singles players, both athletes rarely venture into the doubles arena. This exclusive pairing presents a special opportunity for fans to witness these tennis stars join forces on the doubles court for the very first time.
The WTA 500 tournament in the United Arab Emirates shared the exciting news on social media, dubbing the new collaboration with the catchy nickname “OnSaka.” The duo is set to join the main-draw competition as wildcards. The event starts on February 5.
Naomi Osaka’s experience in doubles
Naomi Osaka is not a regular in the doubles scene, making her upcoming participation in the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open even more noteworthy. This deviation from her usual singles focus might be a strategic move to accumulate more match experience and build momentum in her comeback after becoming a mother. It’s interesting to note that Osaka’s last doubles match took place six and a half years ago alongside her sister Mari Osaka at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
Throughout her career, Osaka has only engaged in a handful of doubles matches, with her sister Mari being her most frequent partner. She has also teamed up with players like Risa Ozaki, Ilona Kremen, Misaki Doi, Kurumi Nara, Monica Puig, Zhang Shuai, and Francesca Schiavone. Notably, since turning professional, Osaka has secured just one doubles victory, which occurred at the 2016 French Open alongside Misaki Doi.
Ons Jabeur’s doubles career
While Ons Jabeur may not be a regular in the doubles tennis circuit, she boasts more experience in the category compared to Osaka. Jabeur teamed up with Payton Stearns at the Guadalajara Open in September of the previous year, securing a victory in one match. In 2023, she participated in two more doubles tournaments alongside Paula Badosa and Petra Martic, unfortunately experiencing first-round exits on both occasions.
Notably, Jabeur has had the privilege of playing doubles with Grand Slam champions such as Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Garbine Muguruza, Aryna Sabalenka, and Sania Mirza. Her sole appearance in a WTA doubles final occurred at Birmingham 2021, where she partnered with Ellen Perez.
Osaka, Jabeur in Abu Dhabi singles draw
The Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open marks Naomi Osaka’s third tournament since her return from maternity leave. Her comeback journey began at the Brisbane International, where she suffered a second-round loss, while the Australian Open saw Osaka exiting in the first round.