Ons Jabeur, who became the first Arab or African woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final last week, was honoured by Tunisian President Kais Saied on Thursday for "her remarkable sporting successes".
The 27-year-old fell just short in her quest for a maiden Grand Slam, losing Saturday's Wimbledon women's final to Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
On presenting her with an Order of Sports Merit, Saied hailed Jabeur for raising "high the country's flag in international sporting events" and described her as "the ambassador of Tunisia".
"Congratulations for this success and future successes."
Jabeur, nicknamed "Minister of Happiness" by fans in Tunisia, said she hoped to inspire other Arab and African players to succeed at tennis.
"We want to give more hope to the young people who watch us. We hope to continue this momentum. We are proud to be Tunisians and we will continue with this success story," she said.
Jabeur was greeted by hundreds of fans when she made her way out of the Tunis-Carthage International Airport in the capital of Tunis on Thursday. She is the highest-ranked African or Arab player, male or female, in history after entering Wimbledon ranked No 2 by the WTA.
She is the first Arab to win a WTA Tour title - achieved in Birmingham last summer - and the first to win a Masters tournament when she lifted the Madrid trophy in May.