INTERVIEW: [4] ONS JABEUR lost to [10] BELINDA BENCIC 6-1 5-7 6-4 – FINAL

INTERVIEW: [4] ONS JABEUR lost to [10] BELINDA BENCIC 6-1 5-7 6-4 – FINAL

SINGLES FINAL: B. Bencic DEF. O. Jabeur – 6-1 5-7 6-4

Question: Ons, such a battle out there. How are you feeling now? Talk us through the match a little bit.

ONS JABEUR: Yeah. Tough match. Really, Belinda plays really well. I had trouble adjusting with the roof and the shades. It was kind of difficult for me, and I don’t believe I played a few matches there. Yeah, I took my time. First set wasn’t that great, but then I tried to come back, and I felt like every time I was like behind trying to race, and it was tough to come back every time. Unfortunately my serve didn’t help me much, but, yeah, another final and I’ll have to learn from this one as well.

Question: Ons, you seemed a little out of sorts in the first set. Did you feel that way? And how did you fight your way out of it?

JABEUR: Honestly, I wasn’t — I couldn’t see the ball very well. I was having trouble reading the ball, especially Belinda plays kind of fast. So it was tough adjusting to that. But I mean, I’m glad that I came back in the second set because I was really trying to focus on the ball, to focus on the bounce. I’m someone that needs to see the bounce of the ball. So it was kind of tough at the beginning. But really I tried really hard to kind of adjust my game, to kind of serve better and return better with Belinda. But, yeah, it was very, very tough for me.

Question: How do you describe just the atmosphere today overall in playing the final?

JABEUR: The crowd is amazing. I think without them I would have lost maybe two quick sets. But their support reminded me of never giving up. It’s what I needed the whole match. I tried to push until the last moment, but not this time. Hopefully next time.

Question: Ons, I know it’s the start of the clay court season. What can you take out of this week here in Charleston?

JABEUR: I mean, for first tournament it’s kind of good result. I cannot wait to play on the red clay. I mean, obviously it’s a little bit different than here. Next I have Stuttgart, which is completely different. It’s indoor clay. I’ve never played there. I’m really excited to go. I just want to keep playing matches, keep gaining confidence and then learning from every mistake that I’ve made here, and hopefully I can really grab one more title.

Question: All the emotion that seems to be pouring out of you and the tears, is that because it’s this specific tournament or is it because of the overall record in finals? What is it that’s causing the emotion?

JABEUR: I think a combination of both. Being here, it’s such a great tournament. I lost already two finals. I think about losing finals, it doesn’t help much. But I didn’t want to disappoint my team, especially my team has been working very hard. We’ve had really tough moments here, but hopefully next time. It’s crying day today. Don’t ask me those questions anymore. (Laughs).

Question: Ons, I think everybody was quite aware that you were half of putting on an outstanding performance for the crowd. And you were very much a part of that. After such a disappointment, how do you tend to yourself? What will you do to take care of yourself?

JABEUR: Well, now I’m going to grab a tissue. I thought I cried it off in the shower, but apparently it’s coming. Honestly, I don’t know. Just I’m just going to go to Paris now, just stay a day or two. I’m going straight to Stuttgart for sure. Going to practice there and get used to the courts. I obviously going to talk to my coach, but not today. Too many emotions today. But hopefully I can get past this. It’s a very tough loss. I think one of the toughest in my career. But I’ll keep going, you know.

Ons Jabeur