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World No 1 Iga Swiatek becomes first Polish woman to win US Open

News Agencies | Updated on: 11 September 2022, 9:26 IST
World No 1 Iga Swiatek.

Iga Swiatek on Sunday became the first Polish woman to win the US Open by defeating Ons Jabeur in straight sets at a full-capacity Arthur Ashe Stadium.

This was the Pole's second major title of 2022, having won the Roland Garros earlier in June this year. The two-time French Open winner continued her dominant run this year and brought the Tunisian player's second straight chance of winning the US Open to a halt.

Coming into the match, Swiatek was the favourite given her rich vein of form and she did not leave any stone unturned to ensure her winning juggernaut continues. The champion player defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6(5) to clinch her first US Open.

The 21-year-old Pole is the youngest woman to win two Grand Slam singles titles in the same season since Angelique Kerber won the Australian Open and US Open in 2016.

Swiatek overpowered Jabeur for the Italian Open title in Rome in May dropping just four games in their last encounter before Saturday's final, and her similar intimidating start in Ashe appeared to set the tone for the rest of the match with Swiatek winning 12 of the first 14 points for a 3-0 lead.

Jabeur showed form over the next two games with five clean winners in the next 12 points but it proved to be only a smudge on Swiatek's radar. The top seed landed 90% of her first serves in the set and broke service twice more to finish the opener in exactly half an hour.

The ninth game, the first of the second set, was the first of the match to go to deuce. Back-to-back winners, two of Swiatek's 18 for the match, got her through the threat. Swiatek took up a 3-0 lead and even had three break points for 4-0 before Jabeur held service and broke to go back to 3-2.

Though Swiatek broke serve for the sixth time to lead 4-2 at that point, Jabeur wasn't prepared to give in. She won back-to-back games, had three break points for another, giving her a chance to serve for the set at 5-4, and then denied Swiatek a championship point in the 12th game.

Something had to give in the subsequent tiebreak with both players not dropping a set before reaching the finals. In the end, it was Jabeur's forehand that cost her the match; after taking a late lead at 5-4 from 4-2 down, Jabeur misfired twice on that wing in the final three points, handing Swiatek the championship.

Jabeur appreciated the Polish tennis star for her win and said that she could have served better in the match but she gave her all through the final and had nothing to regret.

Talking in the post-match interview she said, "I have nothing to regret because I did everything possible. I wish I served a little bit better today. It would have helped me a lot. Iga, how she plays in finals ... It's very tough to beat her. I will keep positive and work on the things that were missing today."

Swiatek had already eradicated any doubts about her candidacy for the WTA's season-ending Player of the Year award. The US Open championship marks her seventh in 2022, a season in which she also achieved a 37-match winning streak, the longest this century. It's her tenth title in her young career; after losing her maiden final in 2018, she's won 10 straight titles, all in straight sets.


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First published: 11 September 2022, 9:26 IST