CANCUN, Mexico -- World No.7 Ons Jabeur announced on Wednesday that she would donate a portion of her GNP Seguros WTA Finals Cancun prize money to Palestinian aid.
After earning her first win of the week at the season-ending championships with a straight-sets defeat of Marketa Vondrousova, Jabeur tearfully addressed the crowd.
"I am very happy with the win, but I haven't been happy lately, to be honest with you. The situation in the world doesn't make me happy," Jabeur said before breaking down in tears. After collecting herself, the Tunisian star discussed the war in Gaza.
"It's very tough seeing children, babies dying every day. It's heartbreaking. So I've decided to donate part of my prize money to help the Palestinians. I cannot be happy with just this win, with what is happening. I'm sorry guys, [I know] it's supposed to be about tennis, but it's very frustrating looking at videos every day.
"I'm sorry, it's not a political message. It's just humanity. I want peace in this world and that's it."
In her press conference, Jabeur discussed the challenge of focusing on tennis given what is unfolding in the Middle East.
"I try to stay off social media as much as I can, but it's very tough," Jabeur said. "You go through videos, photos, they're horrible, horrible photos every day. It doesn't help me sleep or recover very well and the worst thing is I feel hopeless. I feel like I cannot do anything. I wish I can have a magic hand and just end all this and just peace for everybody.
"But it is frustrating, and maybe donating some money would help a little bit with what they have been going through. But I know money doesn't mean anything right now to them. So I wish freedom for everybody and really peace for everyone."
Jabeur will face World No.2 Iga Swiatek in the final match of round-robin play on Friday. Jabeur must win to have a chance to qualify for the semifinals.