Jasmin Open: Tunisia picked to host prestigious WTA tennis event in October

Tunisia is renowned for its wide array of historical attractions and beach resort holidays but it is now fast becoming a focal point in women’s tennis.

The North African nation has already produced arguably the continent’s best female player to date in Ons Jabeur, who has made history in the sport for both African and Arab players, male or female.

FILE PHOTO: Ons Jabeur of Tunisia celebrates the winning the Women’s Singles final match against Jessica Pegula of the United States at the Mutua Madrid Open. Jabeur is currently the highest-ranked African player, male or female. /CFP

The 27-year-old has put Tunisia and Africa on the map with her scintillating performances and achievements since her breakthrough season in 2020 and gone from strength to strength.

This month saw her win the Madrid Open, her biggest title to date, becoming the first Arab or African player to win a WTA 1000 title. She also climbed to a career-high ranking of world number six.

But now, Tunisia can also claim the prestigious honor of hosting a WTA event after the association announced an upcoming tournament in the country.

In an update to the 2022 Tour calendar, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced that Monastir, a city on the central coast of Tunisia, will host a WTA 250 event, named the Jasmin Open.

Prior to the addition of the Jasmin Open, Morocco was the only African country to host a WTA event: the Morocco Open which is played in the capital Rabat.

The event will be played on hard court surface and take place between October 3-9 and is expected to generate a great interest in the sport locally.

Jabeur has previously said that she hopes that her success in tennis will inspire many young girls either in Tunisia or the Arab world, especially in Africa, to take up the sport.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)