Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur entered Arthur Ashe Stadium as the two best players in the world, those who have outplayed the rest of the field this year. Yet, at the end of the game, the reality was much simpler. Jabeur gave it her all, she stormed back into the match on the brink of a crushing defeat, but Swiatek remains the sport’s singular dominating force.
After navigating her various struggles throughout the summer and tournament, the 21-year-old played free with the title on the line, then held off an incredible late push from Jabeur, hanging on to win. the US Open for the first time. in his career with a tense and quality victory, 6-2, 7-6 (5).
With her win, Swiatek became the first woman to win two Grand Slam titles in a year since Angelique Kerber in 2016, after winning the French Open earlier in the season. The Pole is now fourth among active players for total Grand Slam tournaments, with three in total. She has now earned 10,365 ranking points, an accolade that only Serena Williams has earned since 2013.
Since his 37-game, six-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of Alizé Cornet in the third round of Wimbledon, it has taken effort for Swiatek to reestablish his grip on the circuit. She had arrived in New York with a 6-4 record over the summer. But when it mattered in New York, she was ready. Swiatek twice recovered from a set down and led 4-2 against Aryna Sabalenka in the deciding set of her semi-final.
As has always been the case with Swiatek in the final, she initially played with freedom despite the title on the line. It was immediately clear that this was a different level to anything she had produced earlier in the tournament. .
She was lively, prowling from inside the backline and attacking relentlessly with full commitment in a way she hadn’t done since the last game of the French Open final. Swiatek opened with an easy serve catch, slamming a backhand winner down the line to take it, then she charged into Jabeur’s service game, quickly establishing a 3-0 lead.
Swiatek’s blistering start got the better of Jabeur first, who responded with a blazing four-way comeback and salvaged the break. But the pressure Swiatek imposed on the Wimbledon runner-up was relentless and suffocating.
Thanks to Swiatek’s defense, the pitch seemed so narrow for the Tunisian whenever she had the upper hand, but she was also under constant pressure. Swiatek attacked with his destructive weapons from both wings and all parts of the field.
She forced her 28-year-old opponent to play to her limit and do it consistently, and the Tunisian started spraying mistakes as she tried to push herself to her best. But Jabeur never stopped fighting. She led 2-6, 0-3, 15-40, but she held her head high. She quickly found big serves and growing confidence in her forehand. She then began to dig into Swiatek’s service games, putting pressure on her second serve. Gradually, her forehand started to land her punches and push Swiatek back, and she quickly got on her head.
After getting out of trouble, throughout the second set, Jabeur had his chances. She generated three break points at 4-4 as her spirit brought Arthur Ashe Stadium at full blast, including plenty of shouting during the points.
After the momentum changed again and Swiatek stabilized, she forced a match point on Jabeur’s serve at 6-5. Jabeur obliterated it with a first serve and a forehand winner inside out, and as she held on she drew a standing ovation from the crowd. In the end, Swiatek showed more composure in the tie-break and after leading 5-4 on her serve, Jabeur gave up mistakes under pressure to finally let go.
There are many ways to highlight this incredible season that Swiatek is having, which she started at the ninth rank in the world. She is 55-7 all season, 8-1 against the top 10 players, her only loss to her predecessor at No. 1, Ash Barty.
Swiatek has won 10 straight finals, winning all 20 sets and smothering her opponents just like she did here. She had conceded a total of 32 games in the previous nine finals, an average of 3.6 games conceded. Jabeur pushed her harder than anyone, but the champion still had the composure to go all the way.