Ons Jabeur is joining Evolve, the sports management agency founded by Naomi Osaka.
“New year, new beginnings,” Jabeur tweeted along with a photo of the release announcing her signing. The Tunisian star, who reached her first two major finals last year at Wimbledon and the US Open, has also signed with Adel Aref for representation.
“It’s nice to sign with someone who knows my culture,” Jabeur told WTA Insider about signing with Aref, who is also from Tunisia.
“I feel like it’s something that could be great because I don’t have the same profile as Naomi, but also maybe a little bit,” Jabeur continued. “She’s the only one coming from Japan, and I’m the only one coming from the Middle East. I want to explore that and give them a chance to work with Adel.”
Osaka took to social media herself to welcome Jabeur to Evolve. She first met Jabeur in 2015, and she remembers thinking, “She’s the nicest person I’ve ever met.”
☺️ @Ons_Jabeur pic.twitter.com/pKEh4XFG2W— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) January 5, 2023
☺️ @Ons_Jabeur pic.twitter.com/pKEh4XFG2W
“She always came up to me, cracked jokes and made me feel more comfortable,” Osaka continued. “Even now when we play the same tournaments she still does the same.
“That type of kindness is something I’ll never forget and I think moments like that are what define your character. Over the years, watching her rise through the tour and become the star that she is has been incredibly joyful to watch and I can’t wait to see her create more history and ascend even higher.”
Osaka launched Evolve in 2022, with the hope of drawing in athletes who are at the top – or have the potential to be at the top – of their sport. She left IMG in May after her contract expired and became the first female athlete to launch her own agency, Sportico reported at the time.