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Swiatek Tops Jabeur in US Open Final for Third Grand Slam Crown

Poland’s Iga Swiatek (R) and Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur pose with their trophies following their 2022 US Open Tennis tournament women’s singles final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK—Squealing sneakers reverberated around Arthur Ashe Stadium.

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek seldom spoke during this US Open final, but her feet were screaming with deep desire.

A sharp Swiatek beat Ons Jabeur to the ball and repelled her late rally scoring a 6-2, 7-6(5) triumph to make history as the first Polish woman to win the US Open.

The 21-year-old Swiatek collected her third Grand Slam title, including her second of this season following her Roland Garros final conquest of American Coco Gauff, solidifying her status as the clear world No. 1.

At age 21, Swiatek is already a three-time Grand Slam champion and a player who possesses potential to do so much more.

“I’m just not expecting a lot especially before this tournament. It was such a challenging time,” Swiatek told ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez afterward. “Coming back from winning a Grand Slam it’s always tricky.

“For sure this tournament was really challenging because it’s New York, it’s so loud, it’s so crazy. So many temptations in the city. So many people I met who are inspiring it’s really mind-blowing for me.”

Talk about convincing closure.

An inspired Swiatek is invincible in finals. The world No. 1 scored her 10th consecutive straight-sets final victory, as she raised her 2022 record to 55-7.

Credit the fifth-seeded Jabeur for fighting back from a near blow-out at 0-3 down in the second set to make a match of this final.

Ultimately, Jabeur couldn’t overcome her slow start or Swiatek’s finishing forehand as the 28-year-old Tunisian suffered her second Grand Slam final loss in two months after bowing to Elena Rybakina in the Wimbledon final in July.

The charismatic Jabeur left fans smiling today and issued a parting vow as well.

“I want to thank the crowd for cheering me up and I really tried but Iga didn’t make it easy for me,” Jabeur told fans afterward. “She deserved to win today. I don’t like her very much right now, but it’s okay.

“Amazing two weeks backing up my final in Wimbledon. I know I’m going to keep working hard and will get that title sometime soon. It really means a lot. I try to push myself to do more. Getting a major is the goal. Hopefully I can inspire more and and more.”

This US Open celebrated the farewell of 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who fell to Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday night.

Today, Swiatek became the top seed since Serena in 2014 to raise the US Open title trophy—and collected a champion’s check fo $2.6 million. Swiatek swept her seventh title of the season becoming the first woman since former No. 1 Williams in 2014 to win seven or more championships in a single season.

The depth and pace of Swiatek’s drives disarmed Jabeur at the outset as the top seed soared through nine of the first 11 games. The woman nicknamed “Minister of Happiness” from fellow Tunisians for her perpetually positive disposition saw her creative touch stifled by Swiatek’s drives dancing near the baseline.

Tactically, Jabeur has had some success in her past wins over Swiatek playing low slice to the Pole’s western grip forehand. Today, Jabeur tried to stand and slug with Swiatek from the baseline and Swiatek slammed her in the opening set.

The first African woman in the Open Era to contest the US Open final, Jabeur smacked eight aces, won 19 of 23 first-serve points and did not face a break point sweeping Cincinnati champion Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-3 to reach her second straight Grand Slam final. In contrast, Swiatek stormed back from 2-4 down in the final set, reeling off four games in a row to subdue 2021 semifinalist Aryna Sabalenka 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

A jittery Jabeur double-faulted into the tape to face triple break point in her opening service game. Swiatek streaked forward forcing an errant backhand pass to break for 2-0. 

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Stretching her lead to 3-0, Swiatek was clubbing strikes into the corners with conviction. Jabeur shook free the nerves and fired through a four-winner game to break back for 2-3.

A ruthless Swiatek calmed that uprising streaking through the next three games to snatch a one-set lead after 30 minutes. 

Fast final starts are Swiatek’s forte—the Roland Garros champion was riding a streak of nine consecutive straight-sets finals wins—and she burst out of the blocks quickly in the second set breaking for 2-0.

Jabeur jabbed a backhand down the line that helped her hold to force the tiebreaker.

A tense tiebreaker saw Jabeur exploit successive Swiatek errors to go up 5-4. The Tunisian was two points from a final set. Swiatek stepped up stung a bold forehand winner down the line to level the break and leave Jabeur recoiling from that winner in disbelief. Jabeur netted a forehand to give Swiatek a second championship point.

When Jabeur’s final shot missed the mark, Swiatek tossed her racquet aside, fell flat on her back and soaked in the resounding cheers from Arthur Ashe Stadium fans.

Devoted Rafa Nadal fan Swiatek emulated her tennis hero by giving the US Open trophy a love bite. Look for Swiatek to leave her fingerprints and teeth marks all over more Grand Slam shiny silverware.