Jabeur becomes first Arab woman to win a WTA title

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Tennis - WTA 250 - Birmingham Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - June 20, 2021 Tunisia's Ons Jabeur in action during her final match against Russia's Daria Kasatkina Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

June 20 (Reuters) - Tunisia's Ons Jabeur made history on Sunday when she became the first Arab woman to win a WTA title, beating Russian Daria Kasatkina in the final of the grasscourt event in Birmingham.

Jabeur, a trailblazer for North African women's tennis, won 7-5 6-4 to finally claim a title after losing two previous finals.

"I'm so proud. I've struggled a lot and it was tough for me to win a WTA title," Jabeur told the crowd on the Ann Jones Centre Court. "I had to go for it. I had to win this title just to breathe out a little bit and also to be the example.

"There are not a lot of Arabic or Tunisian players playing and I hope this inspires them to go on and do more. I want to see more of them playing alongside me."

Jabeur, known for her creative shot-making and a trademark dropshot, had lost to Kasatkina in the final in Moscow in 2018 but got the better of the Russian his time.

"The last time I played Dasha I lost and I was crying. This morning I was thinking am I going to be crying and disappointed tonight or am I going to celebrate?," second-seed Jabeur said.

Jabeur's victory means she has now won 28 matches on Tour this year - more than any other player apart from world number one Ash Barty who also has 28.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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