Iga Swiatek has revealed she did not expect to win the US Open before the tournament started, as she beat Ons Jabeur in the final.
Swiatek raced to the first set in just 30 minutes and came out on top in a tense tie-break to win 6-2 7-6(5) to claim her third Grand Slam title.
In the build-up to the US Open, she had some difficult performances and early exits but hit form at the right time at Flushing Meadows.
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“I was not expecting it [to win] at all, especially before the start of the tournament,” said Swiatek after the match.
“It was such a challenging time, coming back after winning a Grand Slam, it's always tricky, even though Roland-Garros was the second one [Grand Slam win].
“So I really needed to stay composed and focus on the goals, and for sure this tournament was really challenging because it’s New York, it's so loud, it's so crazy.
“There are so many sensations in the city. So many people I've met who are so inspiring. It's really mind-blowing for me and I'm so proud that I could handle it mentally.”
On her opponent, Jabeur, who fought hard in a close second set, Swiatek added: “Ons has had an amazing season and tournament.
"It’s already a pretty nice rivalry and I’m sure we will have many matches, and I’m sure you will win some of them, so don’t worry.”
Jabeur has finished runner-up in the last two Grand Slams of 2022, after also reaching the final at Wimbledon.
She made more history by becoming the first Arabian woman to reach the US Open final, but fell just short once again.
“It means a lot,” said Jabeur. “I try to push myself to do more, getting the major is one of the goals and hopefully I can inspire more and more generations. That's the goal.
“I got inspired by so many champions. Martina [Navratilova] here, thank you for being here, Arantxa [Sanchez Vicario], and thank you to my team.
“We want more and more kids coming so I really hope I can inspire more and more people, so it’s the beginning of so many things.”
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