Iga Swiatek has stormed Paris twice and last night took on New York to add the US Open to her Grand Slam titles on clay.
In doing so, she denied Ons Jabeur the history of becoming the first North African to win a Major, fending off a raise from the Tunisian to win 6-2 7-6 in an hour and 51 minutes.
Swiatek asserted some order at the top of the women’s game after playing a near-perfect first set, though she proved more fallible in the second.
By winning her tenth consecutive final without dropping a set, she becomes the first woman to win Grand Slam titles in the same year since Angelique Kerber in 2016, adding Flushing Meadows to Roland Garros.
Iga Swiatek collapsed on the hard court below after winning her first-ever US Open on Saturday
Poland’s most famous tennis player continued her historic 2022 season with the US Open title
In a somewhat confusing top ten, she is clearly the better performer, even though she was pushed hard by the powerful Tunisian. Twice she came close to a watershed moment for women’s sport in her geographic region and both times, like at Wimbledon, she fell short.
His last stand was a tiebreaker that contained a catalog of nervous errors. Jabeur took a first point lead before pressing too hard on the groundstrokes to go down 2-4. Swiatek responded with his own groundstroke errors but then regained control at 4-4 and took the win when his opponent launched a long forehand at 6-5.
There was probably a little less expectation going into the game than that day a year ago when two teenagers so captured the imagination in New York City.
Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez were the two protagonists, world number 150 and 77 respectively, compared to numbers one and two last night.
The Pole triumphed twice at Roland Garros and is now a three-time Slam champion
Ons Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab and Tunisian woman to reach the US Open final
Predictably, none of the 2021 finalists have had a particularly easy year since, and Fernandez had to settle for the mixed doubles quarterbacks this time around.
Meanwhile, Raducanu prepares to play in this week’s lowly level 250 event in Portoroz, Slovenia as she attempts to fill in some of the remaining missing links. Her first-round opponent will be Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska, a reminder that it’s not just the British player who has changed her life over the past twelve months.
A contributing factor to the unexpected roster last time out was ball speed, which Swiatek – who continues to wear a Ukrainian ribbon as others have let him down – complained about at the start of the tournament.
Despite the obvious disappointment of the defeat, Jabeur held out his runners-up plaque to the crowd
The two players hugged each other after the hard-fought game in a great show of sportsmanship
Since then, she’s seemed able to control them better, and when she hits cleanly, there’s probably no one else who can hit him with that much penetration.
Whether Jabeur can absorb the pace coming his way would be a major factor against a player who always seems to lift him for the league game.
The Tunisian started well last weekend at Wimbledon, but for the first three matches she looked somewhat flat against someone who already holds two Slam titles.
Swiatek’s short backswing makes her direction difficult to choose and she battled her way up 3-0 before Jabeur stepped onto the board. His first serve catch was followed by a break achieved through a spectacular array of winners.
It was a major win as the Pole on a roll is hard to stop. However, Swiatek simply didn’t miss any returns and she immediately restored the lead.
The 21-year-old became the first woman to win multiple Grand Slams in one season since 2016
Swiatek overcame criticism of his tennis style on the Flushing Meadows surface in the final
Jabeur looked slightly alarmed as she lost serve again to waive the opener. Having had comfortable success on her serve in the semi-final against Caroline Garcia, she hadn’t had a single unreturned delivery in the first, with all nineteen of her serves returning to her in some form.
Additionally, Swiatek landed in nine out of ten first serves, compiling additional stats that would make it nearly impossible to win against her.
Jabeur responded by trying to play more inside the court and getting closer to the net, but was broken in the second game of the second set when her volley was slapped for a winner.
Jabeur thanked the US Open crowd for their support during the final in his on-court speech
Swiatek faced a late attack from Jabeur who struggled with the Pole in the first set
The Tunisian, a relentlessly positive soul on and off the pitch, was left waving her arms helplessly as well as she could have done.
Finally, on the 32nd attempt, Jabeur sent an unreturned serve and kept hope alive by saving three break points to make it 3-1. This rapid became his best spell of the match, winning eleven points from 13, with signs of exasperation starting to show on the other side of the net.
Swiatek broke again but his opponent was far from finished. She fed on an increasingly feverish crowd to get back level 4-4, then had a breaking point as the Pole looked increasingly pissed off, finally getting a real challenge in the final.
Polish fans were out in force at Flushing Meadows, showing their support and patriotism
The Tunisian struggled to contain her emotions after her heartbreaking defeat
Scroll down to relive all the final women’s singles action between Swiatek and Jabeur.