Iga Swiatek beats Ons Jabeur to win US Open



CNN

Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek defeated Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in straight sets in the US Open women’s singles final at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York.

This marks Swiatek’s third career grand slam and his first outside the French Open, which he won in 2020 and 2022.

Swiatek cemented his place at the top of the world rankings with a 6-2 7-6 (7-5) win over world number five Jabeur, but is expected ascend to world no. 2 when the new rankings are presented.

As he has been doing for the past few months, Swiatek wore a ribbon on his hat in support of Ukraine last Saturday.

The 21-year-old is the first woman since Angelique Kerber in 2016 to win two Grand Slam titles in the same calendar year, during which she embarked on a 37-match unbeaten streak.

“Right now, I’m just trying to do my best every day,” Swiatek told CNN Sport’s Carolyn Manno after the win against Jabeur. “It’s hard to step back and look at the whole journey at once because I’m still 21 years old. I feel like with more life experience I’ll realize more of what happened.”

Swiatek’s triumph makes her the first top-seeded woman to win the US Open since Serena Williams lifted the trophy in 2014, and the first woman to win seven titles in a season since Williams, also in 2014 .

She has expertly adapted her game to the hard courts in 2022, winning four WTA 1000 events on the surface and becoming the fourth woman in history to complete the ‘Sunshine Double’ by winning Indian Wells and Miami back to back.

Swiatek reacts to his victory against Jabeur in the US Open final.

Those titles, as well as her second French Open crown, came during her remarkable early season unbeaten streak, which eventually ended in the third round at Wimbledon.

However, Swiatek has struggled to regain that form in the second half of the season and his appearance in the US Open final was by no means a formality before the tournament began.

She also struggled in her semi-final, fighting back from a set down and 4-2 down in the deciding set against sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka in a match that took more than two hours to complete.

“These two weeks were pretty crazy, I didn’t expect to be in that spot,” Swiatek said. “I’ve worked really hard every day to get a better feel on the track and I’m really happy it clicked.

“I feel like I was getting better, so that’s the best thing for me. I’m really happy it ended up like that.”

Swiatek raced to a 3-0 lead against Jabeur and needed just 30 minutes to wrap up the first set, during which he hit a remarkable 90% of his first serves.

The second set was tighter, although Swiatek again made it 3-0. Jabeur rallied with two breaks, sending the match to a tiebreak, but eventually Swiatek proved too strong.

Jabeur has been defeated in consecutive Grand Slam finals.

“She came out really strong and put a lot of pressure on me. That didn’t help,” Jabeur told reporters. “I was trying to get into the game. It was really tough. And I was playing really well at times.”

Jabeur, who became the first African woman to compete in a US Open final, reached the Wimbledon final just two months ago but was surprisingly beaten by Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in three sets .

She has enjoyed a steady rise up the world rankings over the past two years, but a Grand Slam title continues to beckon her.

“Wimbledon was definitely tough. This one is going to be tough,” he said. “I fought to win my first WTA title. It took me time. So I think this will take time. The most important thing is to accept it, learn from the finals I lost.

“I’m not someone who’s going to give up. I’m sure I’ll be in the final again. I’ll do my best to win it.”

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