Iga Swiatek defeats Ons Jabeur in straight sets to claim first US Open trophy

Iga Swiatek did it again. For the second time this year she is on top of a podium and holding a Grand Slam trophy above her head. This time she defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6 (5) to win the 2022 US Open, capping a year of incredible and unexpected success.

Swiatek, who looked extremely nervous before the game started, looked anything but as the racquets started swinging. She came out strong, showing all the skills we know her for: explosive moves, pinpoint precision and a gentle touch. In comparison, Jabeur, who looked comfortable and happy before the start of the game, came out flat and hesitant at the end.

Only when Swiatek took a 3-0 lead did Jabeur come onto the board. Then, in the fifth game of the first set, Jabeur hit four winners, each perfectly placed on the singles sideline. All Swiatek could do with those was watch them rebound as Jabeur narrowed the gap to 3-2.

Unfortunately, that was the last game Jabeur won in the first set. Swiatek was able to reach balls that most people couldn’t even attempt, while Jabeur couldn’t stop netting the ball in crucial moments. Swiatek won the first set in 30 minutes and made it look as effortless as ever.

The second set was completely different from the first. While Jabeur again didn’t win a game until Swiatek was 3-0 up, she finally found her stride. Finally, her excellent slice came out and she started to net more, which helped her win four of the next five games.

Swiatek seemed to have finally got the momentum of the game back on her side, breaking a 5-5 tie to come within a game for the title, but she failed to close and Jabeur equalized again. The tie-break was close and it looked like Jabeur could run away with it at any moment, but an unforced error from Jabeur ended the tie-break and gave Swiatek her first US Open championship and her third Grand Slam trophy of her career. When it was all over, Swiatek and Jabeur shared a warm hug, and then Swiatek immediately burst into tears of joy. She deserved it.

Swiatek’s amazing journey to victory at the US Open

This win puts an exclamation mark on what has been the best year of Swiatek’s young career – or really the best year of anyone’s career. She started 2022 by just missing the final at the Australian Open (she was beaten by Danielle Collins in the semifinals), but she bounced back and produced one of the most dominant tennis streaks we’ve seen in decades.

Swiatek beat Annet Kontaveit and won the Qatar Open. Then she beat Maria Sakkari to win at Indian Wells. Just a few weeks later, she defeated Naomi Osaka to lift the trophy at the Miami Open. And a few weeks later she won in Stuttgart by beating Aryna Sabalena, then she beat Jabeur to win at the Rome Open.

What next? Roland Garros, where she defeated Coco Gauff and won the French Open. By the time she reached Wimbledon, she had won six straight tournaments and was on a 35-game winning streak. She would extend that to 37 before crashing early at the All England Club.

The end of that streak, which was the longest since Venus Williams won 35 straight games in 2000, cooled Swiatek somewhat. She played three tournaments before reaching the US Open, and while she made it to the quarterfinals in one, she didn’t even get that far in the other two.

Despite the doubts that accompanied her stumble after the French Open, Swiatek went into the US Open focused and confident. In the fourth round she was able to regroup after Jule Niemeier demolished her in the first set. In the quarterfinals, she had the steely nerves to stare down Jessica Pegula, who was playing one of the best tennis matches of her life, and secure the win in a tiebreak rather than letting the match go into a third set. And in the semifinals, she was able to withstand the overwhelming power of Aryna Sabalenka to earn the right to face Jabeur.

Swiatek hasn’t lost a final since she was 17. And after everything she has done this season, we can only imagine what she will do in the future.

Poland's Iga Swiatek celebrates after winning against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur during the singles final match of the 2022 US Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 10, 2022 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York .  (Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Iga Swiatek won the 2022 US Open with a straight-set loss to Ons Jabeur. (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

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