Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur said she is donating part of her prize money from the ongoing Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Finals to help Palestinians facing the wrath of Israel’s war on Gaza.
The former world number 2 said this after her first win at the tournament in Cancun city of Mexico.
In the post-match interview, she fought back tears as she spoke about the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
“I am very happy with the win, but I haven’t been very happy lately. The situation in the world doesn’t make me happy,” the three-time grand slam finalist said. “So I feel like… I am sorry.”
The crowd at the seaside Mexican town applauded Jabeur as she became emotional speaking about the images coming out of Gaza.
“It’s very tough seeing children and babies dying every day. It’s heartbreaking. I have decided to donate part of my prize money to help the Palestinians. I can’t be happy with this win.
“It is not a political message; it is humanity,” she added. “I want peace in this world. That’s it.”
In the past, the 29-year-old has often spoken up on social issues, especially in the Middle East and North African region.
Following the on-court interview, Al Jazeera reported that Jabeur was visibly upset in her post-match press conference as well and said she had been finding it difficult to get much sleep after watching “horrible” photos and videos from the war in Gaza.
“I try to stay off social media as much as I can but it’s very tough,” she said. “You go through horrible photos and videos every day – it doesn’t let me sleep or recover very well.