Tennis star donates WTA Finals prize money to Palestine and left ‘heartbroken’
An emotional Ons Jabeur has revealed that she will donate part of her WTA Finals prize money to victims of the conflict in Gaza. The world No. 7 bounced back from her opening group stage defeat at the hands of US Open champion Coco Gauff to beat Martina Vondrousova 6-4, 6-3 in Cancun keeping her hopes of progression to the semi-finals alive.
The victory, which was a reversal of the result at this year’s Wimbledon final, should have been a moment of real celebration for the Tunisian. But after her victory on Wednesday evening, an emotional Jabeur told reporters that she wanted to do what she could to help Palestinians caught up in the crossfire.
The first Arab player to reach the top tier in the sport said: “I am very happy with the win but I haven’t been very happy lately. The situation in the world doesn’t make me happy
“So I feel like … I am sorry.” Jabeur then pauses to recompose herself. “It’s very tough seeing children and babies dying every day. It’s heartbreaking. I have decided to donate part of my prize money to help the Palestinians. I can’t be happy with this win.
“It is not a political message, it is humanity. I want peace in this world. That’s it.”
Having won one of her group stage matches so far, the 29-year-old has already made £328,000 from the tournament and can bank another £162,500 if she wins her final round-robin match against former world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.
Progressing to the semi-finals automatically releases another £44,320 and a win in the last four will take the pot up to £620,460. The eventual winner will walk away with £1.15million.
Jabeur will have to be at her very best if she is to prevail against Swiatek. After Gauff dismantled Jabeur 6-0, 6-1 in their opening match the American was blown away by Swiatek 6-0, 7-5 in her second match, putting the Pole on course to reach the semi-finals.
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At this stage, however, all four players can still make it into the top four from an ultra-competitive group. With Swiatek on two wins, both Jabeur and Gauff have one win each.
Wimbledon champion Vondrousova has lost both of her matches but could still make it through if she beats US Open champion Gauff and Swiatek beats Jabeur.
On the other side of the draw, Jessica Pegula is currently top with two wins from two matches, followed by world No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina and Maria Sakkari.
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