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Swiatek wins US Open for second major title of 2022

Iga Swiatek (right) becomes the first woman to win the French Open and US Open titles in the same year since Serena Williams in 2013
Location: Flushing Meadows, New York dates: 29 August-11 September
Coverage: Daily radio commentary on BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app, with selected live text commentary and match reports on the website and app

The world number one, Iga Swiatek, finished a dominant season by beating Tunisian fifth seed Ons Jabeur at the US Open to take her second major title of 2022.

Poland’s 21-year-old Swiatek won 6-2 7-6 (7-5) to secure the final Grand Slam trophy of the season on New York’s hard courts.

After a one-sided first set, 28-year-old Jabeur settled in midway through the second, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Swiatek from taking a third major title.

Swiatek’s previous two victories have both come on clay at the French Open.

Jabeur also lost in the Wimbledon final in July and the wait for one of the sport’s four most prestigious titles continues.

The Flushing Meadows final was a meeting between the two leading players on the WTA Tour this year, but Swiatek showed why there is such a big gap between her and the rest with a largely dominant performance.

Swiatek remains the world number one, and would have done so had she lost, with Jabeur moving from second place to a shared career high position after reaching the final.

Swiatek shows quality and resilience to underline dominance

Following the retirement of Australian number one Ashleigh Barty in March, Swiatek has seized her opportunity to take the helm as the tour’s dominant player.

Earlier this year, she had a run of 37 games in a row, claiming six titles in a row, including the French Open at Roland Garros.

After going through an understandable dip that led to the streak ending in the fourth round of Wimbledon, Swiatek has slowly reasserted her authority in New York.

Her best performance was saved for the final.

“I wasn’t expecting much. It was such a challenging time for this tournament,” said Swiatek, who admitted she hated the lighter balls the women used at the US Open.

Having won her nine previous finals without dropping a set – including her first major win at the 2020 French Open – Swiatek set the stage for another win with a confident start.

But she also had to show resilience in the second set.

After Swiatek failed to convert either of the two breakpoints into a 4-0 lead, Swiatek suddenly rose to 4-4 and saved three breakpoints to prevent Jabeur from taking a 5-4 lead.

The pressure on the scoreboard started to put pressure on Jabeur in the 12th game, with the Tunisian trailing 30-0 and handing over a first championship point with a loose forehand.

Swiatek switched her racket before sending a long backhand to miss the opportunity, but she regained her composure in the tiebreaker and took the win on her second championship point when Jabeur hit a long forehand.

The pair shared a warm hug in the middle of the field for Swiatek, who is the first woman since Serena Williams in 2014 to win seven titles in a season, celebrated for her team.

Jabeur ‘works hard’ to land first major

Jabeur, on the other hand, looked emotional as she sat with her head in her hands as she dealt with a second straight defeat in a Grand Slam final.

Going into the match, Jabeur said she felt she had learned a lesson from July’s defeat at Wimbledon against Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan.

There she made a quick start before fading. Here she paid the price for a slow start.

Jabeur landed just 48% of her first serve in the first set and Swiatek – who has won more recurring games this year than anyone else – plunged with a ruthless return to take the opener after just 30 minutes.

While Jabeur’s service improved in the second set, the number of unforced errors increased and she was unable to take full advantage of Swiatek’s slight dip.

“Iga didn’t make it easy for me. She deserved to win,” said Jabeur, the first African woman to reach the US Open final in the Open era.

“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 cost me time.

“The most important thing is to accept it and learn from the final I lost.

“I’m definitely not one to give up. I’m sure I’ll be in the final again. I’ll do my best to win it.”

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Iga Swiatek arrived at Flushing Meadows feeling a little insecure about herself.

These lanes are a little on the fast side for her, and the balls a little too light. The 21-year-old also tried to shake himself up after a 37-game winning streak came to an end at Wimbledon.

But against Ons Jabeur she underlined her superiority in the women’s game. No one has won seven women’s titles in the same year since Serena Williams eight years ago.

However, Jabeur is getting closer and closer – and it’s easy to forget how much progress she’s made this year.

The Tunisian, the number 10 in the world at the beginning of the year, returns to second place in the ranking. Meanwhile, she won the prestigious WTA event in Madrid and now reached back-to-back Grand Slam finals.