Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur may not have claimed the Grand Slam trophy at this year’s US Open, but her team – repping their signature ‘yalla habibi’ shirts – were cheering her on nonetheless.
World number one Iga Swiatek beat out Ons Jabeur at the season’s final in New York, claiming her second major title this year. Swiatek is the first woman to win the French Open and US Open titles in the same year since Serena Williams in 2013.
After featuring on the shirts of Jabeur’s team, interest in the meaning of ‘yalla habibi’ has piqued. Plus, some tennis fans are hoping to get their hands on some of Jabeur’s merch to support the Tunisian star next time she plays.
Ons Jabeur’s team don ‘yalla habibi’ t-shirts for US Open final
On Saturday, September 10, 2022, the US Open Women’s Singles finals took place in New York City. It saw Polish tennis sensation Iga Swiatek go up against Ons Jabeur in another final, the two players having faced off in the Italian Open final earlier this year (Sunday, May 15).
Cheering on Tunisian star Ons Jabeur from the sidelines were her team, who this tournament wore t-shirts with ‘yalla habibi’ printed on them. They also feature the Tunisian flag.
You can catch a glimpse of the ‘yalla habibi’ shirts seen on Jabeur’s team in the clip below:
There are multiple meaning of ‘yalla habibi’ in Arabic
If you spotted the ‘yalla habibi’ t-shirts at the US Open this year, then you might be curious as to the phrase’s meaning.
It can be translated as “come on, dear” or “let’s go, dear”. This is as habibi translates to “my dear” and yalla which has evolved from Ya Allah over time to be used as a motivational expression to do something or to act.
This phrase can also be used as an informal greeting. You can call a friend habibi (when addressing a man) or habibti (when addressing a woman). So, saying ‘yalla habibi’ can also translate to “hello, my friend”.
The official language of Tunisia is Arabic. Ons Jabeur speaks Arabic, French, and English fluently, and is also learning Russian, as her husband speaks the language.
Ons Jabeur calls yalla habibi a “lifestyle”
Back in July 2022, Ons Jabeur’s official Twitter account commented on her catchphrase ‘yalla habibi’. In this tweet, she described the phrase as a “lifestyle” before announcing you could get your hands on one of Jabeur’s yalla habibi t-shirts.
The merchandise, created with Lotto Sport, also features Jabeur’s signature. The t-shirts worn by her team at the US Open featured the Tunisian flag, although this is not seen on the Lotto Sport shirts on sale for the public.
Tennis fans look to get their hands on Ons Jabeur merch after US Open
Throughout this year’s US Open, fans of Ons Jabeur have been non-stop talking about the ‘yalla habibi’ shirts.
The t-shirts are currently only available on Lotto Sport’s Italian website, where they are still on sale.