US Open - Iga Swiatek battles past Ons Jabeur to clinch third Grand Slam title in style at Flushing Meadows
The almost unstoppable Iga Swiatek sealed her first Grand Slam title away from Roland-Garros and third in an already remarkable career as she overcame the gutsy Ons Jabeur in the US Open final. An expectant crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium were left to admire the brilliance of the Pole, particularly in a dominant opening set, as Jabeur was ultimately outplayed by her opponent.
US Open highlights: Swiatek battles past Jabeur to clinch third Grand Slam title in style
The Pole got off to a stunning start in the opening set as she roared into a three-game lead with an early break and, despite Jabeur briefly pegging her back, restored her advantage at 4-2 up.
A packed crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium was treated to Swiatek's unique brand of clinical and creative tennis as she pulled away from Jabeur swiftly and decisively to take the opening set.
The hugely popular Jabeur was simply unable to get any momentum from the back of the court as she attempted almost everything in vain with Swiatek always having the answers.
The second set followed a similar pattern initially as the dominant Swiatek leapt into a commanding lead again early on with a break of serve. She was so ruthless the crowd implored Jabeur to find a way back into the match, to little immediate effect.
The relentless Swiatek pounced on every serve from her opponent in such an effective fashion it left the Tunisian, who had been hoping to become the first woman from Africa to secure a major singles title, exasperated as she gesticulated to her box in frustration.
It took Jabeur until the fourth game of the second set to belatedly get on the board, and she followed that up with an encouraging break of serve. Indeed, she continued to stage a strong resistance as she piled pressure on her opponent in what proved to be a much more entertaining second set.
Iga Swiatek of Poland hugs Ons Jabeur of Tunisia after her win during their Women’s Singles Final match on Day Thirteen of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Image credit: Getty Images
Swiatek did incredibly well to hold on at times towards the business end of the second set as Jabeur threw everything she could at finding a way through and eventually forced a deserved tie-break to settle it.
The resulting tie-break was as tense and unpredictable as the remainder of the set as both players gave absolutely everything in thrilling rallies, but Swiatek emerged victorious to close out the match in hugely impressive fashion and become the first Polish woman to win the US Open.
It has been a glorious year for the star from Warsaw, with two Grand Slam titles and the top ranking secured as she again proved she is the player everyone else must somehow strive to beat - and not only on clay courts.
“I was not expecting it [to win] at all, especially before the start of the tournament,” Swiatek said 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.”
Jabeur, who has finished the runner-up in the last two Grand Slams after also reaching the final at Wimbledon, said in her speech: "It means a lot. 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.”