Emotional Jabeur speaks out for Gaza and pledges prize money to Palestinians
After earning her first win of the week at the season-ending championships in Cancun, Tunisia's Jabeur choked back tears as she spoke on court.
"I am very happy with the win, but I haven't been happy lately," said Jabeur, the only Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam final.
"The situation in the world doesn't make me happy," Jabeur added as she broke down in tears, before composing herself enough to talk about Israel's war on the besieged Gaza.
"It's very tough seeing children, babies dying every day."
Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur will donate part of her WTA Finals prize money to Palestinians currently enduring Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) November 2, 2023
Jabeur choked back tears as she spoke on court last night after earning her 1st win at the season-ending championships in Cancun pic.twitter.com/c3MYjmXv7N
It's heartbreaking, so I've decided to donate part of my prize money to help the Palestinians.
"I cannot be happy with just this win, with what is happening. I'm sorry guys, it's supposed to be about tennis, but it's very frustrating looking at videos every day.
"I'm sorry - it's not a political message, it's just humanity. I want peace in this world and that's it."
Israel's onslaught on Gaza has so far killed over 9,000 Palestinians, including 3,760 children and 2,326 women.
Later, in her post-match press conference, the 29-year-old Jabeur said it had been a challenge to focus on tennis.
"I try to stay off social media as much as I can, but it's very tough," Jabeur said.
"You go through videos, photos, they're horrible, horrible photos every day. It doesn't help me sleep or recover very well and the worst thing is I feel hopeless.
"Maybe donating some money would help a little bit with what they have been going through. But I know money doesn't mean anything right now to them. So I wish freedom for everybody and really peace for everyone."
Jabeur must beat world number two Iga Swiatek in the final match of round-robin play on Friday to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals in Mexico.