With an incredible turnaround on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday, on two occasions, in the semi-final clash against Aryna Sabalenka, world no.1 Iga Swiatek has given herself a shot at a third Grand Slam trophy in her career as she reached her maiden US Open final. The two-time major winner beat Sabalenka 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the US Open semi-final as she set up a summit clash with Ons Jabeur, who earlier in the day beat Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-3 to reach her second career Slam final.
Swiatek, who dominated the first half of the year, outlined with her record-scripting 37-match winning streak which culminated into her second major at French Open, wasn’t the outright favourite at the Flushing Meadows. Post her Wimbledon exit in the third-round, Swiatek has struggled to get back her rhythm, and was 4-4 heading into the tournament, where she never made it past the quarterfinals. But stupendous Swiatek continued her incredible 2022, beating Sabalenka for the fourth time this year, to reach her third Grand Slam final. Switek holds a 2-0 record in Slam finals, having won in Paris in 2020 and 2022.
In all their previous three meetings this year, Swiatek had a straight-set win against the Belarusian, but on Friday, the world no.1 got off to a nervy start as she lost the opening set before levelling the tie with incredible dominance in the second set. But the match was far from over, Sabalenka broke early in the deciding set to go 2-0 up before taking a 4-2 lead, but Swiatek held her nerves to show immense grit as she claimed all the last four games to wrap up the tie.
“I tried to use that time to really try to think about what to change, because I remember earlier when I was younger, all I did in the bathroom between sets when I lost was cry. This time I can actually think about what to change and actually problem-solve,” Swiatek said after her win.
She will now be up against Jabeur, who reached her second consecutive Slam final, having earlier achieved the feat in Wimbledon where she had eventually lost to Elena Rybakina after claiming the opening set.
Their head-to-head tis is locked at two wins a peice and both have a win each in two hardcourts meetings in their rivalry. The only time they faced each other in 2022 was in Rome final where the Pole prevailed 6-2, 6-2.