Meet Ons Jabeur, the top-5 tennis star known as the 'Minister of Happiness' on tour

Ons Jabeur smiles after advancing to the semifinals of Wimbledon 2022.
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  • Ons Jabeur has been one of the top-ranked women's tennis players on the planet for several years.

  • The Tunisian star, known as the "Minister of Happiness," is one of the friendliest players on tour.

  • Get to know the WTA's fifth-ranked player as she seeks her first Grand Slam title at the US Open.

Ons Jabeur is one of the best tennis players on the planet.

She's also reportedly one of the nicest.

The Tunisian superstar began the 2023 US Open as the fifth-ranked player in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). Though she's regularly found success on her sport's biggest stages, Jabeur is still seeking her first Grand Slam title — and she's one of the favorites to do it in New York City.

Get to know the 29-year-old known to many as the "Minister of Happiness" thanks to her cheerful personality:

Ons Jabeur is one of tennis' top stars.

Ons Jabeur during her first-round match.
Ons Jabeur competes during the 2023 Australian Open.Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

The 5-foot-6, 29-year-old is ranked fifth in the world among women's tennis players. She made her way into the top-50 between 2019 and 2020, and has consistently found herself among the world's top-10 players in the years since.

Jabeur has won four singles titles over the course of her 13-year professional tennis career, all of which have come in the last three years: the 2021 Birmingham Classic, the 2022 Madrid Open, the 2022 German Open, and the 2023 Charleston Open. She's earned more than $11 million in prize money in that same span.

She's dubbed the 'Minister of Happiness' because of her friendly and upbeat demeanor.

Ons Jabeur waves to the crowd at the 2023 French Open.
Ons Jabeur waves to the crowd at the 2023 French Open.REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A favorite among fans and her fellow competitors alike, Jabeur is known as one of the kindest players in all of tennis. More often than not, she's seen with a smile plastered across her face, and she has a great sense of humor. Most of her peers on tour consider her a friend.

Jabeur is gracious in wins and losses alike, regularly encouraging those she defeats and applauding those who take her down. And in her home country, which finds itself in the throes of an economic and refugee crisis, Jabeur is seen as a beacon of hope and strength.

A native of Tunisia, Jabeur takes pride in representing the African and Arab world on the global tennis stage.

Ons Jabeur kisses the Tunisian flag.
Ons Jabeur kisses the Tunisian flag.AP Photo/Hassene Dridi

Jabeur is the highest-ranked Arab and African tennis player among men and women alike. She's adored in Tunisia, where she was born and raised, and is widely credited for helping grow the popularity of her sport across the entire continent of Africa.

The former world No. 2 has twice become the first-ever Arab and African player to reach a Grand Slam final — first at Wimbledon in 2022 and, a few months later, at the US Open.

She's known for her crafty style of play.

Ons Jabeur delivers a shot during her first-round match at the 2023 US Open.
Ons Jabeur delivers a shot during her first-round match at the 2023 US Open.REUTERS/Mike Segar

Jabeur is something of a magician on the court. Unlike many of her peers who rely on power and speed to beat their opponents, Jabeur primarily uses her dexterity to outmaneuver foes.

She's a master of angles with a variety of shots in her arsenal; slices and drop shots regularly mystify the players standing across the net from her.

Though she's had success at several Grand Slams, Jabeur has never hoisted the trophy at one of tennis' four major tournaments.

Ons Jabeur wipes tears from her eyes after losing in the 2023 Wimbledon final.
Ons Jabeur wipes tears from her eyes after losing in the 2023 Wimbledon final.AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Jabeur has advanced to a whopping three Grand Slam finals in the last two seasons. But in all three instances — Wimbledon 2022, the 2022 US Open, and Wimbledon 2023 — she's fallen short under the bright lights.

Jabeur was the higher-ranked player in each of her losses in the Wimbledon final — first against Elena Rybakina and, a year later, against Markéta Vondroušová.

She's a favorite to break through at the 2023 US Open.

Ons Jabeur pumps her fist in celebration at the 2022 Madrid Open.
Ons Jabeur pumps her fist in celebration at the 2022 Madrid Open.REUTERS/Juan Medina

Even after the devastation of that second Wimbledon defeat, Jabeur expressed optimism that she'll eventually break through and hoist a Grand Slam trophy during her tearful on-court speech.

"It's gonna be a tough day today for me, but I'm not gonna give up," Jabeur said to raucous applause. "I'm gonna come back stronger and win a Grand Slam one day."

She's hopeful she'll make that dream run at the 2023 US Open. Just last season, she advanced to the final in Flushing Meadows before falling to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

Jabeur has said she believes she's grown into a stronger, more complete player in the year since. And according to IBM's AI Draw Analysis, she's one of the top contenders to win it all at the final Slam of the season.

Read the original article on Insider