Wimbledon 2022 finalist Ons Jabeur joked about pretending to be Cristiano Ronaldo after claiming a first round victory in straight sets on her favourite surface.
The world number six comfortably beat Poland’s Magdalena Frech 6-3 6-3 to progress.
The reference to Portuguese football icon Ronaldo came in her post-match interview when asked why she had such a love of grass when not accustomed to playing on it in her native Tunisia.
“I played a lot of football on grass, I love football so much,” Jabeur replied.
“It’s amazing to come back here, the grass is so beautiful. I love connecting with the nature and seeing all the flowers everywhere.
“Maybe I pretend to be Cristiano Ronaldo playing here.”
The 28-year-old also admitted her return to SW19 provided a challenge following her defeat to Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in her first Grand Slam final last year.
“I entered the locker room and saw Elena’s photo with the trophy, so it didn’t help at all,” she said.
“I’m trying to enjoy my time here, trying to enjoy tennis, doing some cool drop shots, and see what happens.
“Maybe it reflects my character. I like to joke around a bit and hate routine, so doing those shots doesn’t really go to the basic forehand or backhand, and I like to entertain the crowd with cool shots.
“It always feels so great to come back and last year I had amazing run hopefully this year will be a little bit better.”
Jabuer will face Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium or China’s Zhuoxuan Bai in the second round.