Ons Jabeur is “living the dream” after recording an opening round win at Wimbledon on the day she became the world number two.
The Tunisian, who beat Swede Mirjam Bjorklund 6-1 6-3 on Court One in under an hour, marked becoming the highest ranked African player in history by reaching the second round.
And the third seed has set her sights on going even higher in the WTA rankings.
“I’m honestly living the dream,” she said. “I always wanted to achieve, always wanted to be in this level, always wanted to inspire players from my country, from my continent. It’s very important.
“Honestly, I didn’t know I’m the first one to be number two in the African continent. I just read that. I’m like, ‘Wow, I’m really one step away from being number one’.
“I hope I really inspire so many people from my country. My dream, one of my dreams, is to see more and more players from the Arab world, from Africa. Hopefully let’s have maybe in the next five years more and more players.
“It is great pressure. I’m trying to handle it. The learning, obviously I never been in this situation before. I was joking with (Novak) Djokovic, told him, ‘Give me some of the touch to win Wimbledon’. I was stealing.”
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 27, 2022
2018 champion Angelique Kerber won the first set in just 17 minutes on her way to a 6-0 7-5 win over Kristina Mladenovic while second seed Anett Kontaveit beat American Bernarda Pera 7-5 6-1.
Seventh seed Danielle Collins was the biggest casualty of day one as she was beaten 5-7 6-4 6-4 by world number 66 Marie Bouzkova.
Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia was also a surprise loser as, having won warm-up events in Nottingham and Birmingham and finished runner-up in Eastbourne, the 23rd seed went down 6-4 4-6 6-2 to Kaja Juvan.