The 2024 Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, is underway in Melbourne, and among the hundreds of players competing for the prestigious titles, there are four who stand out for their Arabic heritage and achievements.
Jabeur, the highest-ranked Arab player in the WTA, is seeded 13th in the singles and 64th in the doubles. She is the first Arab woman to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, which she achieved at the 2020 Australian Open. She is also the first Arab woman to win a WTA title, which she did at the 2021 Birmingham Classic. She is known for her creative and aggressive style of play, as well as her charismatic personality.
Jaziri, the veteran of the group, is ranked 87th in the ATP singles and 113th in the doubles. He is the most successful Tunisian male player in history, having reached a career-high ranking of 42 in 2018. He is also the first Arab man to reach the third round of a Grand Slam, which he did at the 2018 Australian Open and the 2018 Wimbledon. He is admired for his perseverance and passion for the sport.
Safwat, the rising star of the group, is ranked 144th in the ATP singles and 159th in the doubles. He is the first Egyptian man to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam, which he did at the 2018 French Open as a lucky loser. He is also the first Egyptian man to win a Challenger title, which he did at the 2019 Launceston International. He is praised for his hard work and determination to overcome challenges.
Sherif, the newcomer of the group, is ranked 76th in the WTA singles and 97th in the doubles. She is the first Egyptian woman to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam, which she did at the 2020 French Open as a qualifier. She is also the first Egyptian woman to win a WTA match, which she did at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Open. She is applauded for her courage and ambition to pursue her dreams.
These four players are not only making history for themselves, but also for their countries and the Arab world. They are inspiring millions of fans and young players who look up to them as role models and heroes. They are also showcasing the diversity and talent of the Arabic culture and community in Australia and beyond.