Swiatek makes a comeback against Sabalenka and is in the final of the US Open

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek had to make several comebacks on Thursday night before reaching the US Open final for the first time in her career.

Swiatek fought back twice after being a set down as well as collapsing in the decider before beating No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 6-1 6-4 in 2 hours 11-0. Semifinal Showdown at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Swiatek, who had never reached a US Open quarterfinals before this season, is now in her third career Grand Slam final, her second this year and first place on the Roland Garros red clay. In her career, Swiatek is 2-0 in the Grand Slam final. She won in Paris in 2020 and earlier this year.

It’s Iga vs Ons: After Jabeur, Swiatek now meets number 5 Ons Jabeur in the women’s singles final on Saturday passed No. 17 seed Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-3 in the first semi-final of the evening. Swiatek and Jabeur are No. 1 and No. 2 in match wins this season.

The neck-and-neck race between Swiatek and Jabeur has stalled at two wins apiece and they are tied 1-1 on hard courts. Their only meeting this season saw Swiatek settle 6-2 on clay in the Rome final, 6:2 through.

Stay ahead: On Thursday night, Swiatek fought hard to maintain their current lead in their rivalry with Sabalenka. Sabalenka won their first clash at last year’s WTA Finals, but Swiatek has now won all four games this season.

Their previous encounters this year had all been routine straight set wins for Swiatek, but this time it was all about it. Sabalenka led 2-0 and 4-2 in the third set, but Swiatek won the last four games of the game.

For Sabalenka it is the third narrow defeat in a Grand Slam semifinal. Sabalenka fell at Wimbledon 2021 and the US Open 2021 in the same round – and she lost each of those games 6-4 in the third.

Game moments: Sabalenka took a crucial lead in the opener by converting her fourth break point of the 2-2 game with an error-inducing forehand. A hard volley gave Sabalenka a second break and a one-set lead.

However, Swiatek brought out her power plays in the second set, breaking Sabalenka with a serve in the opening game. Swiatek backed up her big shots with improved defense and rolled through that set to level the match.

After an early break exchange in the third set, a volley winner gave Sabalenka a crucial break to make it 3-2, and the consolidation left her two games away from her first major ending. But Swiatek bided their time and broke back at 4-4, ending that game with a backhand crosscourt winner.

At 5-4, a resurgent Swiatek ended a rally with a winning overhead to go 0-40 and a triple match point. A forehand winner by Sabalenka saved the first, but on the second Sabalenka’s backhand hit the net.

Swiatek ended the match with two more winners and 12 fewer unforced errors than Sabalenka. The top seed saved their top tennis for the latter stages of the game.

There’s more to come…

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