Swiatek’s triumph Saturday makes her the first top-seeded woman to win the US Open since Serena Williams lifted the trophy in 2014 and the first woman to win seven titles in a season since Williams, also in 2014.
The Pole has expertly adapted her game to the hard courts in 2022, winning four WTA 1000 events on the surface and becoming only the fourth woman in history to complete the “Sunshine Double” by winning Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back.
Those titles, as well as her second French Open crown, came during her remarkable 37-match unbeaten run earlier in the season, which finally came to an end in the third round at Wimbledon.
However, Swiatek has certainly struggled to recapture that form during the second half of the season and her involvement in the US Open final was by no means a formality before the tournament started.
She struggled through her semifinal, too, fighting back from a set down and 4-2 down in the deciding set against sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka in a match that took more than two hours to complete.
Swiatek, the first Polish woman to appear in a US Open singles final, had said Saturday’s match would be “a great battle” against Jabeur, a player who was looking to make some history of her own.
Jabeur thought so too. “Iga never loses finals,” she said. “So it’s going to be very tough.”
‘Going for everything’
Jabeur, meanwhile, became the first African woman to compete in a US Open final.
She reached the Wimbledon final just two months ago, but was surprisingly beaten by Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in three sets. Despite the defeat, she spoke of the confidence that run had given her. That certainly looked the case in a nerveless semifinal.
Jabeur brushed aside the dangerous Caroline Garcia, who was on a 13-game unbeaten streak, winning 6-1 6-3 in little over an hour to cement her place in Saturday’s final.
The career head-to-head between these two players stood at 2-2, with Swiatek winning their last meeting in the final of the clay court Italian Open in May, though Jabeur came out on top the last time they faced off on a hard court back in 2021.
“It feels more real just to be in the finals again,” Jabeur said after her semifinal win. “At Wimbledon I was kind of just living the dream, and I couldn’t believe it. Even after the match, I was just going to do my things and not realizing it was an amazing achievement already.
“But now I hope I’m getting used to it. I’m just happy the fact that I backed up the results in Wimbledon and people are not really surprised I’m in the finals. I feel very positive about this one. The most important thing is not to regret, because I’m going to give it all on this one.
“Even if this one is not going to happen, I’m very sure that another one will come. Just going to that [Wimbledon] final was really tough for me, especially the second set. But then I feel like this final, I’m going full in, I’m going for everything.”