Iga Spheretek claimed his third career Grand Slam title with his first victory at Saturday’s US Open. She beat Tunisia’s ounce her jabber in straight sets, extending her incredible winning streak.
The 21-year-old world No. 1 from Poland was beaten 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) in 1 hour and 52 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium by a second set comeback from history-seeking Jabbar.
The win was Swiertek’s second Grand Slam title of 2022, following his first Grand Slam victory at the French Open in 2020 at the French Open in June.
Swiatek’s win was her 10th straight win in the final. She is undefeated in the finals since suffering her only comeback in her first WTA finals three years ago in Lugano.
Swiatek collapsed onto the court in relief after winning the massive $2.6 million prize.
“I’m so glad it wasn’t cash,” she quipped when presented with the check for the winner of a tournament she attended without much expectations when the season began.
“Especially at the U.S. Open, where the surface is so fast, I wasn’t sure I was still at the level of actually winning a Grand Slam,” she said.
“That’s certainly something I didn’t expect. It’s also kind of confirming that the sky is the limit.
“I’m proud and a little bit surprised. I’m just happy to do it.”
But the loss was another painful near miss for Jabbar, who was aiming to become the first African woman to win a Grand Slam title.
The 28-year-old from Tunis also lost the Wimbledon final in July.
“I did everything I could, so I have nothing to regret,” said Jabbar.
“I’m not one to give up. I’m sure we can reach the final again. I’ll do my best to win.”
– Jabber’s Counterattack –
Jabbar impressed en route to the final, dropping just one set and stringing together a string of solid performances.
But with her serve and signature forehand functioning smoothly, she was in trouble almost from the start against the clinical Swiatek, who quickly began her stride.
Jabbar, by contrast, looked nervous and fell in love in her first service game.
Swiatek held on easily, leading 3-0 in just eight minutes in the first set.
Jabeur threatened revival before breaking to close the gap to 3-2.
However, the fifth seed was again let down by a shaky service game in question in Saturday’s final, with Swiatek breaking back to take a 4-2 lead.
Jabbar held the set on serve and Swiertek won the first set.
Swiatek threatened to walk away in the second set after breaking Jabeur and leading 3-0.
Still, Jabbar showed determination to beat Swiertek and cut the deficit to 3-2.
But again Jabbar failed to break serve and Swiertek broke again to take a 4-2 lead.
But this time, Jabbar dug deep and got back into the contest, aided by luck when Swiertek’s return clipped the netcord to score a serve break.
The momentum suddenly changed as Jabeur held to tie the score at 4-4.
The next three games went on serve and Jabbar was left on serve to stay in the match. She held match point at 6-6 after battling her 5-6 and her 30-40 down.
Jabeur recovered from a 4-2 down to lead 5-4 in the tiebreaker, but Swiatek was more composed and scored the second match point when Jabeur hit a long return.