Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur advance to U.S. Open final

Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Top-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland rallied to reach her first U.S. Open final, beating sixth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Thursday night in New York.

Swiatek’s championship-match opponent will be fifth-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, who routed 17th-seeded Caroline Garcia of France 6-1, 6-3 in the first semifinal.

The first Polish woman to make the U.S. Open final, Swiatek will look to add a third career Grand Slam championship to her resume. The 21-year-old won the French Open in 2020 and 2022.

After dropping the first set, Swiatek turned the match around following a trip to restroom.

When she returned to the court, “For sure I felt lighter,” she said, adding, “Sorry. That’s disgusting.

“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. … So I’m pretty glad that I did that because I just had a new idea for the second set.”

Sabalenka appeared to be in control of the third set against Swiatek, going up 2-0 and 4-2. However, Swiatek won the final four games of the match, losing just four points in that span.

Swiatek said of facing Jabeur, “It’s always tough. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be physical. She has such good hands. She’s solid on the baseline and when she’s going in. I’ve just got to be careful.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but right now I’m going to enjoy being in the final.”

Jabeur set milestones for African women in July when she reached the final at Wimbledon, where she fell to Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina. Now she’ll get a second shot at her first Grand Slam title.

“After Wimbledon there was a lot of pressure on me,” Jabeur said Thursday in her on-court interview, “and I’m really relieved that I could back up my results.”

Jabeur was the first African or Arab woman to reach the U.S. Open semifinals in the Open era. When she made the Wimbledon final, her first Grand Slam final, it was a first for African and Arab women as well.

Jabeur held a 21-12 edge in winners and an 8-2 advantage in aces over Garcia, the French 17th seed who entered on a 13-match winning streak. Jabeur went 4-for-4 on break point opportunities and also benefited from Garcia’s 23 unforced errors.

Jabeur, 28, won the opening set in 23 minutes. Though the second set was a bit more even, the match concluded in just 66 minutes.

“She (Garcia) comes in the court and puts a lot of pressure on my second serves,” Jabeur said. “I’m really glad she didn’t break me in the end — would have been really tough to go to 5-4.”

–Field Level Media

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