Saving the best till last – Swiatek beats Jabeur to win US Open title

Iga Swiatek won the trophy on Saturday against Ons Jabeur – her third major title

Iga Swiatek, US Open 2022 Iga Swiatek, US Open 2022 (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Iga Swiatek showed just why she is the world No 1 with a mightily impressive display to lift her first US Open trophy.

The top seed defeated Tunisian Ons Jabeur, the No 5 seed, 6-2, 7-6 (5) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Saturday.

“I really needed to stay composed and focus on the goals,” Swiatek said in her on-court interview. “This one [tournament] was so challenging!

“It’s New York, it’s so loud, it’s so crazy! It’s mindblowing for me.”

Their head-to-head was previously locked at 2-2 – but Swiatek won their most recent encounter, dropping just four games when they met in June’s Rome final.

However, the Pole’s record in finals is stunning. She has now won her last ten finals in straight sets.

Swiatek dropped to the ground after Jabeur’s return went long – and on returning to her feet, she was greeted by her opponent, who embraced her warmly.

“I’m just super proud of myself because it wasn’t easy match, even though at the beginning I was dominating, I knew it’s going to be tight”, Swiatek said. “And I knew that Ons is going to use any mistake that I’m going to make. I didn’t want to back out.”

“In second set it got really physical action and I’m happy that I got my level of energy up little bit more so I could finish and be really precise in those moments where I needed that.”

It was Swiatek’s second championship point; she dropped the first in a bizarre sequence of events, rushing to the side of the court to swap out racquets, and then allowing Jabeur to send the second set into a tiebreak.

The first set had been a much more straightforward affair, with Swiatek getting 90% of first serves in, 100% of her returns in play, taking three of her four break points opportunities, and hitting 11 winners compared to eight unforced errors.

Ons Jabeur hugs Iga Swiatek after the US Open final (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

With the rowdy crowd in favour of underdog Jabeur, there were several moments during the match where the umpire had to tell the crowd to keep quiet to avoid distracting the players.

Swiatek: ‘I’m glad it’s not in cash!’

And after the tension was over, Swiatek could even crack a joke. Receiving her prize money of $2.6m in cheque form, the microphone caught her saying: “I’m really glad it’s not in cash!”

Swiatek is the first woman to win both Roland-Garros and the US Open in the same year since Serena Williams in 2013.

“At the beginning of the season I realized that maybe I can have some good results on WTA events” Swiatek commented. “I also made it to semifinal of Australian Open. But I wasn’t sure if I was on the level yet to win actually a Grand Slam, especially on US Open where the surface is so fast.”

Jabeur may be a little comforted to know that her run in New York will boost her back up the rankings; she will be world No 2 again come Monday.

Iga Swiatek celebrates with the US Open trophy | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Swiatek’s (No1) run at the US Open before the final
• Italian Jasmine Paolini (6-3, 6-0)
• American Sloane Stephens (6-3, 6-2)
• American Lauren Davis (6-3, 6-4)
• German Jule Niemeier (2-6, 6-4, 6-0)
• American Jessica Pegula, the No 8 seed (6-3, 7-6 (4))
• Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, the No 6 seed (3-6, 6-1, 6-4).

Jabeur’s (No 5) run at the US Open before the semi-final
• American Madison Brengle (7-5, 6-2)
• American wildcard Elizabeth Mandlik (7-5, 6-2)
•American Shelby Rogers, the No 31 seed (4-6, 6-4, 6-3)
• Russian Veronika Kudermetova, the No 18 seed (7-6 (1), 6-4)
• Australian Ajla Tomljanovic (6-4, 7-6 (4))
• Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, the No 17 seed (6-1, 6-3).

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