Swiatek claims third Grand Slam title
WORLD number one Iga Swiatek is the toast of Flushing Meadows, defeating good friend Ons Jabeur in the US Open final. In a battle between the world’s two current best players – Jabeur achieved the second spot due to her outstanding run – Swiatek was able to close out the final, 6-2 7-6. Neither player was at their brutal best, but they stuck tough, with the Pole eventually needing an hour and 50 minutes to lift the trophy aloft.
The world number one set the tone early, breaking Jabeur to love in the second game and winning 13 of the first 15 points in the match to race to a 3-0 lead. The Tunisian fifth seed managed to get back into the contest with a brutal fifth game to break Swiatek back after holding serve the game before to move to 2-3. That feeling of satisfaction would not last long, as Swiatek stepped up again to hit four winners over the next two games, and broke her opponent twice to close out the first set, 6-2.
Swiatek started the second set like her first, breaking in the second game to take an early 3-0 lead and be well on her way to victory. Jabeur broke back in the same manner to get it back to 2-3, but yet again Swiatek responded immediately with a break off the back of three winners on return, moving it to 4-2. Unlike the first set though, Jabeur responded with her third break of the set, then confidently moved to 4-4 with a strong hold game.
Earning three break points to go up 5-4 in the second set, Jabeur could not quite close the ninth game out, and Swiatek critically held. The Tunisian also held to make it 5-5, then Swiatek put herself within one game of winning the championship. Jabeur forced a tiebreak and the players were both going head-to-head winning points off their opponents serve. At one point the Tunisian was 5-4 up with two serves to come, and all she had to do was put them away and she would force a deciding set. But Swiatek did what she does best, won both points to set up the championship point, then won it off a Jabeur unforced error.
“I needed to stay composed and focus on the goals,” Swiatek said post-match. “It’s New York… it’s so loud, it’s so crazy. “It’s really mind-blowing for me. I’m really proud I could handle it mentally.”
Having lost her second Grand Slam final this year after going down in the Wimbledon decider, Jabeur said it was so close, but yet so far, but she would not give up.
“I really tried, but Iga didn’t make it easy for me,” Jabeur said post-match. “I don’t like her very much now, but it’s okay. “We’ll get that [major] title sometime soon.”