DUBAI, UAE - Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur is a pretty big deal, and she's set to only get bigger.
The 22-year-old is the top-ranked player from the Arab world, and now after battling through qualifying, she's successfully into the main draw of the biggest tournament in the Arab world.
She credits her rise partly to her revamped off-season preparations at the EMPIRE Tennis Academy in Slovakia, where she formed a fast friendship with on-the-rise Russian Daria Kasatkina.
But Jabeur is a diehard Real Madrid fan, while Kasatkina supports sworn rivals FC Barcelona - so how does their friendship survive?
Apparently, by a lot of gloating and a direct line to Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
"When we win, I'm so glad and I tease her a little bit," Jabeur explains on the Daily Dispatch. "When they win, I don't talk to her for like a week.
"I'm so mature about it, just one week or two weeks."
Check out the WTA Insider Podcast to hear more from Jabeur - who allegedly has Ronaldo on speed dial - and her experience as the Arab world's top player. The Tunisian starts against No.14 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Sunday.
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