World No. 1 Poland’s Iga Swiatek 21, defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) in the US Open final to secure her 3rd Grand Slam, and the second of the year. Swiatek played a flawless match and survived the heated 2nd set tiebreak to deny Ons Jabeur another Grand Slam.
Iga Swiatek exploited Ons Jabeur’s weak serving from the beginning of the match. Jabeur landed just 48% of her first serves in the first set, and it made things a lot easy for her opponent. Iga was relentless on returns and broke Jabeur in the 3 out of 4 games during the set. On the other hand, Iga landed more than 90% of her first serves in, to which Jabeur had no response.
Iga closed out a fairly comfortable set to get one set closer to victory. In her previous 9 finals, including the 2020 French Open, she had not dropped a set. This looked to be going in the same direction.
Iga Swiatek faced the first deuce in the opening game of the second set. She dropped the ball on the line from both sides and took out a huge first pump. In the next game, she broke Jabeur for 3rd straight time. She could not convert 2 break point opportunities to go up 4-0 in the set and that led to a decline in her energy.
Ons Jabeur rallied all her energy and broke Iga Swiatek to get back on serve in the 5th game. At 4-4 in the set, Iga faced 3 break points but saved them to prevent One Jabeur get ahead in the match for the first time. She got her first championship point on Jabeur’s serve when the latter felt the heat of the scoreboard and fell behind after a bad forehand.
Swiatek changed her racket but sent her backhand long as the set headed to a tiebreaker. She asserted control in the tiebreak and converted her 2nd championship point when Jabeur sent her forehand long to close out the set and the match. Iga Swiatek has become the first WTA player since Angelique Kerber in 2016 to win 2 slams in a season. She is also the first player since Serena Williams in 2014 to win 7 titles in a season.
Ons Jabeur suffered back-to-back slam final defeats after also losing the Wimbledon final to Elena Rybakina after being one set up. She has nevertheless created history after becoming the first African and Arab woman to play in the US Open final. Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur embraced each other before the former engaged in celebrations in front of her team.
Reactions from Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur after the match
“I needed to stay composed and focus on the goals,” Swiatek said during the trophy ceremony. “It’s New York — it’s so loud, it’s so crazy. “It’s really mind-blowing for me. I’m really proud I could handle it mentally.”
“At the beginning of the season I realized that maybe I can have some good results on WTA events,” Swiatek told reporters. “I also made it to the semifinal of Australian Open. But I wasn’t sure if I was on the level yet to win actually a Grand Slam, especially on US Open where the surface is so fast.
“It’s something that I wasn’t expecting for sure. It’s also like a confirmation for me that sky is the limit. I’m proud, also surprised a little bit, just happy that I was able to do that.”
Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur will be the World No. 1 and 2 players respectively. Both of them are on top in the race to WTA Finals and have qualified.
“I think in general [Swiatek just plays] better at the right moment, at the important points,” Jabeur said in the press. “She knows exactly what to do. I feel like she improved a lot from last year until the beginning of this year again.”
“Iga didn’t make it easy for me. She deserved to win,” said Jabeur. “Winning or losing is part of tennis. I struggled to win my first WTA title. It took me time. So I believe this [winning a major] will take me time.
“The most important thing is accepting it, learning from the finals that I lost. Definitely, I’m not someone that going to give up. I am sure I’m going to be in the final again. I will try my best to win it.”
Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur have been the two most dominant players on WTA Tour for the last two years. Iga on one hand had a 37-match winning streak which included a run of 6 consecutive titles including the Roland Garros. Jabeur on the other hand won the Madrid Open while losing the Italian open to Iga. She also played 2 consecutive Grand Slam finals. The top two players might face each other again when they play the much-awaited WTA Finals.