NEW YORK: World number one Iga Swiatek defeated Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6 (5) in Saturday’s US Open final to lift her first trophy and third grand slam in Flushing Meadows -Crown.
Poland’s Swiatek fell on her back and covered her face with her hands after prevailing in the tight tie-break of the second set after sealing the win when the fifth seed’s shot sailed wide.
“I really had to stay composed and focus on the goals,” Swiatek said during the trophy ceremony on the pitch.
“It’s New York, it’s so loud, it’s so crazy. I’m so proud that I was able to handle it mentally.”
It was two-time French Open winner Swiatek’s first major title on a hard court and the 21-year-old is the first Pole to win the US Open.
Despite the defeat, Jabeur will regain their number two rankings when the tournament concludes on Sunday.
Jabeur made history at Wimbledon by becoming the first Arab woman to reach a grand final. She added another line to the history books in New York, becoming the first African woman to reach the US Open championship match.
“Hopefully I can continue to inspire more generations,” she said. “This is just the beginning of so many things.”
Swiatek came out on Saturday, pushing Jabeur to the back edge of the court with her precision serve and deep groundstrokes to take a 3-0 lead.
Jabeur found the reach with her forehand to go back-to-back games 3-2, but the momentum was short-lived as Swiatek broke back and won the 30-minute opener when the Tunisian’s backhand went into the net.
A confident frontrunner, Swiatek kept the pressure up early in the second game as frustration mounted in Jabeur, who dropped her racquet in horror when her normally dependable drop shot landed close to the net in the second game of the set.
Swiatek blasted a backhand winner down the line to secure a 3-0 set lead in seconds and it seemed like the match was going to be a short affair.
But fueled by a vociferous and supportive crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Jabeur rallied to force a tie-break.
However, she made some costly, unforced errors that opened the door for Swiatek, who embraced warmly with the Tunisian after improving to a 3-2 record against her.