On paper, Saturday’s final is Swiatek’s to lose.
Recognized as a clay-court specialist – her two Grand Slam titles came at Roland-Garros – the Pole deftly adapted her game to the hard courts in 2022, winning four WTA 1000 events on the surface and becoming only the fourth woman to the story. to complete the “Sunshine Double” by winning Indian Wells and Miami back to back.
Those titles, along with his second French Open crown, came during his remarkable 37-match unbeaten streak earlier in the season, which eventually ended in the third round at Wimbledon.
However, Swiatek certainly struggled to regain that form in the second half of the season and his appearance in the US Open final was by no means a formality before the tournament started.
She also struggled through her semi-final, fighting back after a set down and 4-2 in the deciding set against sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka in a match that lasted over two hours.
Swiatek, the first Polish woman to appear in a US Open singles final, said Saturday’s match would be “a big battle” against Jabeur, a player looking to make history.
The 21-year-old, who was expected to become the dominant force in women’s tennis following Ash Barty’s early retirement this season, has proven incredibly effective in tournament finals.
Of the 10 finals she has reached in her career, Swiatek has won nine and hasn’t lost any since her first final in 2019.
Jabeur admitted this after his quick semi-final win over Caroline Garcia. “Iga never loses finals,” she said. “So it’s going to be very hard.”
“Go for Everything”
But Jabeur, who will return to his career-best ranking of world No. 2 after the US Open, undoubtedly has the tools to end Swiatek’s run with one of the most varied games on the Tour.
The Tunisian will become the first African woman to appear in a US Open final and is looking to win her first grand slam at the second attempt.
She reached the Wimbledon final just two months ago but was surprisingly beaten by Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in three sets. Despite the loss, she spoke of the confidence the race gave her. It certainly seemed the case in a semi-final without nerves.
Jabeur brushed aside the dangerous Garcia, who was on a 13-game unbeaten streak, winning 6-1 6-3 in just over an hour to cement her place in Saturday’s final.
The career head-to-head between these two players is 2-2, with Swiatek winning their last meeting in the Italian Open final on clay in May, although Jabeur emerged victorious last time out. they faced each other on difficult ground. court in 2021.
“It’s more real to be in the final again,” Jabeur said after his semi-final win. “At Wimbledon, I was kind of living the dream, and I couldn’t believe it. Even after the match, I was just going to do my thing and didn’t realize it was already an incredible achievement.
“But now I hope I get used to it. I’m just happy to have supported the results at Wimbledon and people aren’t really surprised that I’m in the final. I’m very positive about this one .the most important thing is not to regret, because I’m going to give my all on this one.
“Even if this one won’t happen, I’m very sure another one will come. Just go for it [Wimbledon] The final was really difficult for me, especially the second set. But then I feel like this final, I’m going all out, I’m going for everything.”