Tunisian Wimbledon runner-up says family never applied for UK visa

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Tunisian Ons Jabeur’s family were unable to see her play in the Wimbledon final as she did not have enough time to apply for visas, she said.

SEBASTIAN BOZON

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UPDATES with comments from Jabeur

There have been no visa issues for family members of Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur as they never applied, the Tunisian tennis star said on Saturday, after Britain announced that she would investigate.

“I said they didn’t have a visa. I didn’t say they applied and they (themselves) were denied the visa,” Jabeur, 27, said after his loss to to the Russian Elena Rybakina, representative of Kazakhstan.

Jabeur, the first African or Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the modern era, was previously quoted by the BBC as saying her brother Hatem would “hopefully be there” to watch her.

“But unfortunately the other members of my family do not have visas,” according to the report, dated Friday, which quotes her.

“It will be difficult for them, but they will cheer me on at home.”

On its official Twitter feed, the British Embassy in Tunis said it was “sorry to hear that your parents and sister cannot be here to support you, and we will look into what happened”.

In his comments later, Jabeur smiled and said the issue had “gone really bad.”

She said her parents never applied for a visa because there was not enough time.

“UK and Tunisia are good,” she laughed. “Good relations.”

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