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‘No regrets’ as Jabeur targets world top spot

Ons Jabeur insisted she had “no regrets” after losing to Iga Swiatek in the US Open final as she targeted the Pole’s world number one ranking next year.

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Ons Jabeur insisted she had “no regrets” after losing to Iga Swiatek in the US Open final as she targeted the Pole’s world number one ranking next year.

Jabeur’s 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) loss on Saturday was her second successive defeat in a Grand Slam final after also coming off second best at Wimbledon in July.

“I have nothing to regret because I did everything possible,” said Jabeur, who will return to number two in the world on Monday.

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Swiatek remains comfortably in the rankings’ top slot with twice as many points.

The 28-year-old Jabeur, however, is already drawing up a battle plan for 2023.

At the Australian Open, she will have no points to defend having missed the 2022 tournament before she suffered a shock first round exit at the French Open.

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Despite being the Wimbledon runner-up, ranking points were stripped from the event by the WTA after the All England Club banned Russian and Belarusian players.

“Points-wise, I don’t have defending points in Australia, in French Open, in Wimbledon, which is good. It’s a good thing. I’m definitely going for the No. 1 spot,” said Jabeur.

“I still have the Masters (WTA Finals in Fort Worth). I will maybe show myself there and build more confidence to really get ready for the next season because I feel like I have a lot to show.”

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Jabeur, a late bloomer on the tour having still been outside the top 30 at the end of 2020, believes history shows that time remains on her side when it comes to her Grand Slam future.

It took her until she was 26 to capture a maiden WTA title in 2021 at Birmingham, adding Madrid and Berlin trophies this year.

“I struggled to win my first WTA title. It took me time,” she added.

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“So I believe this will take me time. The most important thing is accepting it, learning from the finals that I lost.

“But I’m not someone that’s going to give up. I am sure I’m going to be in the final again and I will try my best to win it.”

In the meantime, Jabeur acknowledged that 21-year-old Swiatek, who now has three Grand Slam titles after also winning the French Open in 2020 and this year, is the sport’s most formidable force.

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Swiatek has 10 career titles. She has won her last 10 finals without dropping a set.

“Physically she’s everywhere. It will always be great to compete against Iga,” said Jabeur.

“I was joking when I said I don’t like her. I’ll forgive her when she gives me a Rolex or something!”

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