US Open: Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur set title collision course at Flushing Meadows


US Open: Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur set title collision course at Flushing Meadows
US Open: Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur set title collision course at Flushing Meadows

Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur will play the 2022 US Open final. On Thursday, both players emerged victorious in their respective semi-finals in completely different ways. In the second match of the day, top-seeded Swiatek came from down a set against the sixth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka to win 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours and 11 minutes.

Sabalenka dominated the opening set from the start, breaking Swiatek in the third game itself. However, while she lost her serve in the following game, Sabalenka went on to break Swiatek two more times to take the first set – the first time she’d done so in their five meetings.

The match then changed its course as Swiatek came back strongly into the match, breaking Sabalenka in the first game of the second set. Sabalenka could win just one game in the set as her opponent raced away with the set. In the deciding set, Sabalenka once again emerged on top.

There was one exchange of break before Sabalenka once again took the lead, going up 4-2 at one point. As it turned out, she failed to win a single game beyond that as Swiatek pegged her back and broke her decisively while she was trying to prolong the match in the 10th game.

Both players had 10 break-point chances each but where Swiatek converted seven of these, Sabalenka managed to convert only five. Sabalenka was also let down by the 44 unforced errors she hit, 13 more than Swiatek’s 31.

In terms of winners, Swiatek finished with two more than her opponent’s 22.

US Open: Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur, a rivalry in a new locale

Earlier, in the first semi-final, Jabeur dismantled Caroline Garcia’s game thoroughly, beating her 6-1, 6-3 in just 66 minutes.

The first set lasted only 23 minutes and the Frenchwoman had no answers to give her Tunisian opponent. The 17th seed held serve only once in the set and failed to save all three break points she faced. On the other hand, Jabeur didn’t face any break point in the set.

Garcia collected herself better in the second set but while her level improved, Jabeur’s never dropped and as such, it felt like it was only a matter of time before Jabeur would break through in the set. As such, there was only one break of serve – of Garcia’s – across the set and it carried Jabeur through into the final.

For both Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur, this is the first time they’ve reached the final of the US Open. For Swiatek, this is the third Major final of her career, after two French Open finals and so she’ll be carrying a 2-0 win-to-loss record into the final.

Meanwhile, this is the second final Jabeur’s reached at the Slams’ stage. Earlier, she’d reached the 2022 Wimbledon final (lost to Elena Rybakina). Photo Credit: Darren Carroll/USTA

Ons Jabeur Aryna Sabalenka Caroline Garcia

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