'No regrets': Ons Jabeur targets No 1 spot after US Open final heartbreak

Tunisian defeated by Iga Swiatek 6-2, 7-6, two months after losing the Wimbledon final

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Ons Jabeur said she is targeting the world No 1 ranking and insisted she has "no regrets" after falling short of a maiden Grand Slam title for the second time in as many tournaments.

Tunisia's Jabeur was defeated 6-2, 7-6 by top seed Iga Swiatek in the US Open final on Saturday night, two months after losing the Wimbledon final to Elena Rybakina having held a one-set lead.

"I have nothing to regret because I did everything possible," said Jabeur, who will return to No 2 in the world on Monday.

Swiatek remains comfortably in the rankings' top slot with twice as many points, but 28-year-old Jabeur is already drawing up a battle plan for 2023.

At the Australian Open, she will have no points to defend having missed this year's tournament with injury before she suffered a shock first-round exit at the French Open.

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."

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 said. "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.

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!"

Updated: September 11, 2022, 4:18 AM
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