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11 Sep, 2022 10:28

Top seed Swiatek surges to US Open win (VIDEO)

Poland's Iga Swiatek claimed her second major win of 2022 in New York
Top seed Swiatek surges to US Open win (VIDEO)

Iga Swiatek, 21, showed why she is the most dominant force in women's tennis today by dispatching the gritty challenge of Ons Jabeur to claim her third career Grand Slam win at the US Open in New York late on Saturday night.

The Polish star needed just under two hours to claim what was the first hard-court major title of her career after two prior wins on clay at the French Open (2022 & 2020) with a 6-2 7-6 (5) win against the Tunisian, who was playing in her second Grand Slam final in a row after losing out to Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon several weeks ago. 

Swiatek's win can be seen as something of a changing of the guard at the summit of the sport given that the win cements her as the first player to win seven titles in a single season since Serena Williams achieved the same feat in 2014.

Williams ended her record-breaking career earlier in the same tournament.

Swiatek played every bit like the world's top player. She stormed into an early lead as Jabeur - who was bidding to become the first African and Arab woman to win a major title - struggled to gain footing, and won just two points inside the first three games.

Jabeur, though, showed some defiance by snatching some clean winners but Swiatek's impressive accuracy kept her pinned back and rarely afforded her any opportunity to claim momentum to benefit from the array of neat drop shots and precise counters which had defined her run to the final.

After a dominant first set, Swiatek surged into a 3-0 lead in the second and the result seemed a mere formality, but Jabeur - who will rise to second in the rankings after the event - gamely fought back to 4-4 but the fightback proved to be little more than a delay to the inevitable.

Despite missing a match point at 5-6, Swiatek saw the victory home in the second set tie break.

“I wasn't sure if I was at the level yet to win a Grand Slam, especially at the US Open where the surface is so fast," she said afterwards.

It's also like a confirmation for me that [the] sky is the limit.

Now. I’ve got to settle with what’s happening right now. I’m going to see how I’m going to react. Because also winning US Open is different than winning a slam in Europe or in Australia because I don’t know how the popularity thing is going to change, if it’s going to change. For now I’m kind of going to observe and learn.”

Jabeur, meanwhile, paid tribute to her opponent and suggested that a new standard has been set in women's tennis.

She's really set the bar very high. It's great for our sport,” said the Tunisian. “I will keep doing my thing and hopefully will catch her.