Iga Swiatek says she is “grateful” to have gone deep at the US Open after coming back to beat Aryna Sabalenka in a dramatic semi-final.
The world No. 1 was outplayed in the first set but came storming back in the second to take the match to a decider.
Despite being a break down at 4-2, Swiatek took advantage of some errors from Sabalenka to win 3-6 6-1 6-4 and reach the final, where she will play Ons Jabeur.
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“I was really happy after my match with Jessie [Jessica Pegula],” said Swiatek after the match.
“Even though there is always something to improve, I was really happy that I was just able to play in such a solid way and keep my focus and actually overcome these obstacles at the beginning of the tournament, and I was expecting to do that today.
“So it’s true that I’m always hard on myself, but the last couple of days I’ve just been grateful to be at this stage in the tournament.”
Swiatek was unable to match Sabalenka’s powerful forehand in the opening set but raised her game to fight back.
She joked that a toilet break after the first set made her feel better.
“It’s more what I did, I needed to go [to the toilet],” said Swiatek “For sure, I felt lighter. Sorry, that’s disgusting!
“I tried to use that time to think what to change because I remember when I was younger all I was able to do was cry. This time, I could actually think about what to change and problem solve.
“I think against Aryna you have to have the energy to push her back and be able to play back those fast balls. In the first set, for sure I lacked a little bit of that, so I needed to get it back together, drink an energy shot and go for it.”
The 21-year-old believes her serving was key in the second half of the match, and she wasn’t put off by being broken in the deciding set.
“I just tried to put the first serve in because she was really aggressive on the second serve,” explained Swiatek.
“She was putting pressure on me and I realised that, even though in the second set I broke her a couple of times, it was going to be tough because she can serve well and she can progress with her serve.
“So I needed to be careful, and even though I lost the first game, I just had hope. But I wasn’t expecting too much from myself because Aryna is a great server so I wasn’t sure if I was going to break her back.
“I just feel like I played at another level so that’s great.”

Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates after defeating Aryna Sabalenka during their Women’s Singles Semifinal match on Day Eleven of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Image credit: Getty Images

Swiatek, who is yet to win a Grand Slam outside of the French Open, will be the first Polish woman to play in the US Open final.
Her opponent on Saturday will be Jabeur, who beat Caroline Garcia in straight sets.
The pair have played each other four times, with the head-to-head all square, although Swiatek won their most recent meeting at the Italian Open.
“It’s always tough [to play Jabeur],” said Swiatek. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be physical. She has good hands, she’s solid on the baseline and when she’s going in.
“I’ve just got to be careful. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I’m just going to enjoy being in the final.”
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