Iga Swiatek captured her maiden US Open title after defeating Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6(5) in the final on Saturday. The…
Iga Swiatek captured her maiden US Open title after defeating Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6(5) in the final on Saturday.
The world number one became the first Polish Grand Slam winner at Flushing Meadows as she outlasted Jabeur, who was the first African finalist in the Big Apple.
Having also triumphed at Roland Garros earlier this year, Swiatek became the first female player to win the French and US Open titles in the same season since Serena Williams in 2013.
Now a 10-time WTA winner – and seven this season – the 21-year-old has reeled off 20 sets without reply in finals; becoming the first player since 2000 to achieve the feat.
That includes her first six in major showpieces, joining Lindsay Davenport as one of only two players to do that in the Open Era.
Having won each of her previous nine matches against top-10 opponents, Swiatek made a purposeful start at Arthur Ashe Stadium; dropping just three points on the way to establishing a 3-0 lead.
Aiming to go one better after her run to the Wimbledon final two months earlier, Jabeur stopped the rot before a series of stunning winners saw her break back to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
But her opponent quickly regained control of proceedings; winning the next three games to move halfway towards a magnificent seventh title of 2022 – and third in the States to add to her successes in Indian Wells and Miami.
The second set followed a similar pattern; Swiatek breaking on the way to a 3-0 advantage that was cut to 3-2. The top seed broke again, but Jabeur responded immediately to level at 4-4.
The seventh female player since 2000 to reach the Wimbledon and US Open finals in the same year, the Tunisian was aiming to become the first African singles champion at a Slam since Johan Kriek’s 1981 Australian Open success.
But the fifth seed squandered three break points in the next game as Swiatek held. Nevertheless, she did rescue Championship point at 6-5 to force the tie-break.
A real seesaw battle ensued with Jabeur reeling off three successive points from 4-2 down to lead 5-4.
However, the world number one was not to be denied; becoming the first female winner of multiple Slams in the same season since Angelique Kerber six years previously.