Tennis stars Ons Jabeur and Mayar Sherif on their journeys to the top

In the first episode of our Abtal podcast, host Reem Abulleil is joined by two Arab tennis stars, Tunisian Ons Jabeur and Egyptian Mayar Sherif, for their first interview together.

Jabeur is the highest-ranked African woman and Arab player in tennis history and Sherif is the second-highest-ranked Arab woman in history and the highest-ranked Egyptian tennis player ever.

The conversation features their journeys from their early days trying to make it in the sport, and how each has taken a completely different path to the top echelons of women’s tennis, reflecting on the key decisions they made along the way.

Jabeur and Sherif also share the turning points in their careers – the highs, the lows, the desperation that comes with trying to break through and the pressure that comes with finally doing well.

Jabeur opens up about her heartbreaking defeat in the 2023 Wimbledon final, while Sherif reveals what pushed her to pursue a career in professional tennis halfway through college.

They share stories from their appearances at the Olympics and even quiz each other on things they’ve always wanted to learn about one another.

You can listen to the full conversation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms, or watch the full interview on The National News YouTube channel.

The specs: 2018 Maserati GranTurismo/GranCabrio

Price, base Dh485,000 (GranTurismo) and Dh575,000 (GranCabrio)

Engine 4.7L V8

Transmission Six-speed automatic

Power 460hp @ 7,000rpm

Torque 520Nm @ 4,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 14.3L (GranTurismo) and 14.5L (GranCabrio) / 100km


2pm: Serve U – Maiden (TB) Dh60,000 (Dirt) 1,400m; Winner: Violent Justice, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Doug Watson (trainer)

2.30pm: Al Shafar Investment – Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (D) 1,400m; Winner: Desert Wisdom, Bernardo Pinheiro, Ahmed Al Shemaili

3pm: Commercial Bank of Dubai – Handicap (TB) Dh68,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: Fawaareq, Sam Hitchcott, Doug Watson

3.30pm: Shadwell – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Down On Da Bayou, Xavier Ziani, Salem bin Ghadayer

4pm: Dubai Real Estate Centre – Maiden (TB) Dh60,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Rakeez, Patrick Cosgrave, Bhupat Seemar

4.30pm: Al Redha Insurance Brokers – Handicap (TB) Dh78,000 (D) 1,800m; Winner: Capla Crusader, Bernardo Pinheiro, Rashed Bouresly


Name: PlanRadar
Started: 2013
Co-founders: Ibrahim Imam, Sander van de Rijdt, Constantin Köck, Clemens Hammerl, Domagoj Dolinsek
Based: Vienna, Austria
Sector: Construction and real estate
Current number of staff: 400+
Investment stage: Series B
Investors: Headline, Berliner Volksbank Ventures, aws Gründerfonds, Cavalry Ventures, Proptech1, Russmedia, GR Capital

Name: Peter Dicce

Title: Assistant dean of students and director of athletics

Favourite sport: soccer

Favourite team: Bayern Munich

Favourite player: Franz Beckenbauer

Favourite activity in Abu Dhabi: scuba diving in the Northern Emirates 




Updated: May 02, 2024, 8:35 AM