Dubai, United Arab Emiratesm WTA Premier 5, 2 828 000 USD,  Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, hard, outdoor: 1R, Daria KASATKINA (RUS) - Magdalena FRECH (POL) ?-?.

Dubai, United Arab Emiratesm WTA Premier 5, 2 828 000 USD,  Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, hard, outdoor: 1R, Daria KASATKINA (RUS) - Magdalena FRECH (POL) ?-?.

Jabeur surprises Cibulkova at Roland Garros, got advice from Platenik

Lucky loser Ons Jabeur makes history in Paris, becoming the first Arab woman to reach the third round of Grand Slam by beating No.6 seed Dominika Cibulkova at the Roland Garros.

What are your primary emotions about how far you have gotten in this tournament, especially being a lucky loser, that you're into the third round, having your best slam result?
"I forgot already about lucky loser (smiling). No, I'm really happy. As I said last time, it's the second time for me to be here. I did everything to continue my path. I played really good from the beginning of the year, and I don't see why I should not continue doing my best. I have been working very hard, and it's time to make the work on the court and prove that I can be one of the best."

There were a lot of firsts for you today. First time in the second round of a slam, just your second time against a top 10 player, all these things. How did you handle it all?
"Actually, it was no pressure for me. Every time I play a player, like, better ranked than me, especially top 10, there is no pressure. I like to show myself and show my dropshots, a little bit (smiling). So it was unbelievable match for me. I think I played really good, and I made the necessary in this match."

You said after your first-round victory that you're going to basically build up credit for Ramadan. So you have to build up a few more days.
"No, it's hard to think about Ramadan. I mean, I cannot eat or drink, but just like after, you know, the month, when I have time, I'm just gonna, like, get back the taste that I ate, like, day by day. Obviously I cannot do 30 days in a row, but I just have to do it before the next Ramadan, for sure. If you guys can help me -- but I don't think it's possible (smiling)."

Did you get any special advice from Vladimir Platenik, who was coaching Dominika Cibulkova a couple of years ago?
"I did, actually. He was sitting with my coach, and they were both talking together. They say, We have to talk to you both. I said okay and then I was listening, and we talk with Vlado not only because I played her, but even before he always give us advices and he's very nice guy and coach. He gets along a lot with my coach. So it was great to have him and we kind of a team with the academy and everything. So it was nice to have him by our side."

What is it for you that makes dropshots so satisfying?
"Well, I mean, it's part of my game. As I told last time, sometimes I don't want to do it but just my hand go like this. I cannot control it. But it's amazing today because even when I made the return on when I was winning in 3-3 or 40-15 and I just made like this, and it went really good dropshot. Every time it goes good, I have more confidence to do it again."

A lot of players trying to find their path and whatever have talked about how financially expensive it is to do so. I think you're one of the players that just received a $50,000 grant from Grand Slam Development Fund. How does that change things for you? How does that help you?
"Of course it changed everything. First I don't have to think about the money, I don't have to think about anything. I just have to focus on tennis, on how I play on court. I would like to thank the ITF for this opportunity that they gave me. I'm really honored to have this, and as you see, it's helping me a lot, from the beginning of the year, so I'm playing no pressure with the how to pay the staff and how to pay the everything. For me, it's unbelievably helpful. I hope if anyone can get it next year, it will be really helpful for them."

Talking about on court you were mentioning Salima and just what she's done to help you. Wonder if you could share a little bit about that, what role she's had in kind of your career and kind of what it feels like to pick up the baton.
"Well, I know Salima a long time ago, and actually from last year, we got really close. We start to practice more and more together, and she always give me a lot of advices. She's a top player from before, so she can help me a lot. She knows a lot about tennis. She's a very kind person, so she never, like, tell me -- she always give me a lot of advices. Now to be here and represent like Tunisia and the Arabic world just after her, it's an honor. We were talking with her last time and she's very happy I'm the player taking kind of this adventure now."

As someone who has done well here as a junior, do you get butterflies and special feelings every time you step back here onto the grounds?
"Of course I have a lot of memories here. It's great to be here. French Open is really special, so close to Tunisia, so I feel like home. I remember playing here also Suzanne Lenglen, I played, this is my second time actually playing on that court. So two wins there. So it's good for me."

You're obviously on fire for a large part of the match, and you mentioned that some of the dropshots that you weren't even intending to do so well, which is coming off. How does that feel, you know, when you're in that space against a top-10 player producing your best tennis?
"I mean, it's unbelievable feeling, especially when you dictate the game. I mean, I felt like today I was deciding what to do. If I wanted to get her in the net, I make the dropshot. And then I somehow even make a lob or win the point. And then the serve was really good today, so -- and to win in two sets against top-10 player, it's great to have more confidence and to continue in this way."

What about bringing the flag into the court? We don't see that very often.
"Well, Tunisia is very small country. Yeah, for me, it's normal, because I did it a lot of times before. It's I'm the only Tunisian here playing, and it's a great feeling. I know there is a lot of Tunisians supporting me from here or from Tunisia, so it's an honor to especially to represent the Arab world here in Roland Garros in France."

Is there an extra burden or significance or anything that you carry with you kind of being the representative of the Arab world here, making it into the third round, even playing other tournaments? Is it different or are you just another player in the draw? How do you feel about that?
"Well, when I win, I like, Yeah, I represent the Arab world (smiling). When I lose, I try to be just Ons Jabeur. No, as I told you, we are small country. The Arab world is like when you do something good, you're from Tunisia, and from Morocco, other Arab country, they get interested in you. For me, it's not only about Tunisia anymore, and it's all about the Arab country, African continent. It's amazing, because I feel like my country is getting bigger and bigger."

Could you tell us more about what you have done so far and the importance of tennis in Tunisia? Is it a sport that's very much practiced or not?
"Probably not like football or soccer. Well, I started when I was five years old. I started playing the domestic tournaments in Tunisia, and then my first international tournament was in France. Since then, I studied in sports school so that I could both practice, play, and study. The African Championships, the international tournaments, I came here, I won the juniors here in Paris, and that's when it all started. I started believing in it even more than before. When I went from junior to senior, it was not easy at all to go from one category to the next. After this, I practiced here in Paris, and now I'm in Slovakia, and starting -- I'm really starting to play well and to be among the best players and sports in Tunisia. Well, you know, tennis, well, we're making progress. In the past there was Salima and now we have Malek and we are trying to encourage youngsters to practice and to play tennis. After Roland Garros, when I won, we had more young players who were coming to my club and other clubs."

Do you practice in Slovakia at present?
"Yeah, in Slovakia. When I can go to Slovakia, I'm there."

What about Paris? For how long and with whom?
"In Paris? Well, I have never stayed here more than one or two weeks. But then before that, I was at Mouratoglou."

Are you not there any longer?

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