Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur applauded Princess Reema for “an unbelievable response” she made to Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova when addressing their criticism directed at the possibility of the WTA Finals going to Saudi Arabia.
In a column published by The Washington Post, Evert and Navratilova heavily opposed the prospect of a major tournament like the WTA Finals taking place in Saudi Arabia, writing that step would see women’s tennis make “a significant regression.”
After reading about the column by Evert and Navratilova, Reema Bandar Al Saud – Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States – issued a pretty harsh response to the two tennis legends. While Princess Reema called out Evert and Navratilova over using “outdated stereotypes” and telling them to “get your facts straight,” she provided a detailed explanation for every claim made by the two former tennis superstars.
“Princess Reema’s answer was unbelievable. I think classy, elegant, and every player was impressed with the way she addressed Martina’s and Chris’ letter,” Jabeur told AFP.
“We’re obviously looking forward to go there, I’m personally looking forward to go there.”
Jabeur to critics: Get more and better informed about Saudi Arabia
Since the end of the 2023 season, there have been strong rumors indicating that it is just a matter of time before the WTA and Saudi Arabia ink a deal that would see the prestigious season-ending tournament take place in the Kingdom for the next couple of years. That led to those who are opposing that move being even more vocal in their criticism.
Addressing that, 29-year-old Jabeur simply urged those critics to “get more informed” about what’s really happening in Saudi Arabia.
“I feel like people should be more informed about what’s happening in Saudi; more informed about how the country is getting better and better and I feel like it’s important not to just listen to one side; in anything to be honest with you, not just in this matter, but to anything,” said the sixth-ranked Jabeur.
Jabeur, who made back-to-back WTA Finals appearances in 2022 and 2023, also said in her interview that she “felt safe and amazing” when she went to Saudi Arabia for an offseason exhibition in December. In the interview, Jabeur also added she would like “to share this experience with other players.”
Meanwhile, Jabeur is set to compete at the Abu Dhabi Open, where she is the No. 2 seed.