World number one Iga Swiatek won her third Grand Slam title and first at the US Open with a 6-2 7-6(5) victory over fifth seed Ons Jabeur in Saturday’s final.
Playing her second successive major final, the world No.5 Jabeur was hoping to handle the big occasion better, but there was not much she could do to challenge the season’s most powerful WTA player, although in the second half of the second set she did complicate the situation for the top seed.
The encounter started with absolute dominance of Swiatek, as Jabeur won just two points in the first three games. The Tunisian then finally started making her mark in the match by winning two consecutive games. It looked like she would level to 3-3 and we would finally get a proper competition. However, Swiatek raced through the next four games to confidently take the first set, as nervous Jabeur remained helpless.
The 21-year-old Swiatek entered the US Open championship match having won her previous nine finals in straight sets and her dominance in the opening set convinced us we were heading towards the same outcome. That’s indeed what happened. Swiatek won her seventh game in a row for a 3-0 lead in the second set.
Once again Jabeur reduced her deficit from 0-3 to 2-3, and once again she failed to level to 3-3, as Swiatek broke her serve for a 4-2 lead. Jabeur heated the atmosphere as she hinted a possibility to turn things around when she leveled to 4-4 and held break points to go up for the first time. Eventually, it was Swiatek who prevailed in an eight-minute game to hold serve.
Jabeur saved a match point in her service game, at 5-6, as the second set progressed into a tiebreak. Jabeur was very close to forcing the deciding set, but it was Swiatek who converted her second match point when Jabeur sent a forehand long.
En route to the final at Flushing Meadows, the top-seeded Swiatek defeated Jasmine Paolini in the first round, 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the second, Lauren Davis in the third, Jule Niemeier in the fourth (against whom the Pole won her 19th 6-0 set of the season), Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinals, and Aryna Sabalenka in the semis (after recovering from 4-2 down in the final set and winning 16 of the last 20 points).
This is Swiatek’s seventh title in 2022, following Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome and Roland Garros.
The winning gear of the new US Open champion is from the Asics Fall collection: Asics Match Tank, Asics Match Skirt, and Gel Resolution 8 tennis shoes.
She’s such a champion. Not that easy tournament, but she’s just showed us again that she’s a number 1. So much joy she brigns to Poland <3
Iga is the automatic favorite in any tournament she enters! She beat the second and third best players Aryna and Ons in her semi and final rounds this week.
It certainly wasn`t pretty
“Hope sustains you, but you can`t airbrush reality.” Mark Petchey, elegant of phrase as always despite his monotonous delivery, nailed it big time, as a hard-fought Set 2 and tiebreak went the way of the World No 1. The reality was Iga`s delivery of Teflon Tennis last night, to which nothing seemed to stick, least of all her opponent`s bad attitude. Conversely, sustaining hope appeared to escape Jabeur; her face remained dark most of the time and her gait between points appeared far from positive. Though those pesky drop shots didn`t turn up much until the later stages, speaking to Ons`s diminishing confidence in her main game, I was pleased to see one of them returned by Iga with enough force to land her opponent on the deck (not for the first time, as I recall). The Tunisian was again Pole-axed later while winning a point later, while Iga`s only visit to lower levels was the usual grateful flop to the floor at the finish, with a happy swear-word nobody would hear through the noise of her victory. A two-set defeat is nothing if not comprehensive but must be, for Ons Jabeur in her present form, desperately difficult to comprehend.