World No. 1 Iga Swiatek defeated Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur to win her second Grand Slam title of the year with a straight sets victory in the U.S. Open final on Saturday.
Polish star Swiatek overcame a spirited second set from fifth seed Jabeur to win 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) in 1 hour, 52 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The victory followed Swiatek’s win at the French Open in June, making the 21-year-old the first woman since 2016 to win two Grand Slams in a single season.
Swiatek’s 10th career title also extended her remarkable record in tournament finals.
She has now won her last 10 finals, without dropping a set.
Swiatek collapsed on the court in relief after a win that saw her earn $2.6 million in prize money.
“I’m really glad it’s not in cash,” she quipped as she was presented with her winner’s cheque for a tournament she entered with low expectations.
“For sure this tournament was really challenging because it’s New York — it’s so loud, it’s so crazy,” said Swiatek who was also French Open champion in 2020.
“So many temptations in the city, so many people I’ve met who are so inspiring — it’s really mind-blowing for me and I’m so proud I could handle it mentally.”
But the loss was another agonizing near-miss for Jabeur, who had been bidding to become the first woman from Africa to win a Grand Slam.
The 28-year-old from Tunis also lost in the final of Wimbledon in July.
“I really tried but Iga didn’t make it easy for me,” Jabeur said. “She deserved to win today. I don’t like her very much today but it’s OK.”
The 28-year-old said she is already drawing up a battle plan for 2023.
At the Australian Open, she will have no points to defend having missed the 2022 tournament before she suffered a shock first round exit at the French Open.
Despite being the Wimbledon runner-up, ranking points were stripped from the event by the WTA after the All England Club banned Russian and Belarusian players.
“Points-wise, I don’t have defending points in Australia, in French Open, in Wimbledon, which is good. It’s a good thing. I’m definitely going for the No. 1 spot,” she said.
“I still have the Masters (WTA Finals in Fort Worth). I will maybe show myself there and build more confidence to really get ready for the next season because I feel like I have a lot to show.”
Jabeur, a late bloomer on the tour having still been outside the top 30 at the end of 2020, believes history shows that time remains on her side when it comes to her Grand Slam future.
“But I’m not someone that’s going to give up. I am sure I’m going to be in the final again and I will try my best to win it,” she said.