On paper, Saturday’s final is Swiatek’s loss.
Best known as a clay-court specialist – she has claimed two Grand Slam titles at the French Open – Pole expertly adapted her game to the hard-court in 2022, winning four WTA 1000 events on the roof and becoming only the fourth woman in history to complete the “Sunshine Double” Indian Wells and Miami won back-to-back.
Those titles, as well as her second French Open title, came during her impressive 37-game unbeaten run earlier in the season, which finally ended in the third round at Wimbledon.
However, Swiatek certainly struggled to regain that form during the second half of the season and her participation in the US Open final was by no means a formality prior to the start of the tournament.
She struggled during the semi-finals as well, coming back from low and down 4-2 in the deciding set against sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka in a match that took more than two hours to complete.
Swiatek, the first Polish woman to appear in a US Open singles final, said Saturday’s game will be a “big battle” against Jaber, a player looking to make some history of her own.
The 21-year-old, who was destined to become the dominant force in women’s tennis following Ash Party’s early retirement this season, has proven to be an incredibly strong presence in the finals of the tournament.
Of the 10 finals she’s reached in her career, Swiatek has won nine and hasn’t lost a single since her first comeback in 2019.
Jaber realized this after her quick semi-final victory over Caroline Garcia. “Iga never loses a World Cup final,” she said. “So it will be very difficult.”
go to everything
But Jaber, who will return to world number two in her career after the US Open, undoubtedly has the tools to end Swiatek’s career with one of the most versatile games on the tour.
The Tunisian will become the first African woman to compete in the US Open final and is looking to win her first major title at the second attempt.
She reached the Wimbledon final just two months ago, but was unexpectedly defeated by Kazakh Elena Rybakina in three sets. Despite the defeat, she spoke of the confidence that race gave her. This certainly seemed to be the case in a nerveless semi-final.
Jaber brushed aside the dangerous Garcia, who had been in a 13-game winning streak undefeated, winning 6-1 6-3 in just over an hour to establish her place in Saturday’s final.
The professional showdown between these two players is 2-2, with Swiatek winning their last encounter in the Italian Open final in May, although Jabeur came out on top the last time they faced a tough match. The court will return in 2021.
“It feels more real to be in the finals again,” Jaber said after winning the semi-finals. “At Wimbledon I was just living the dream, and I couldn’t believe it. Even after the match I was going to do my thing and I didn’t realize it was a really great achievement.
“But now I hope I can get used to it. I’m just happy that I backed the results at Wimbledon and people weren’t really surprised that I made it to the final. I feel very positive about this. The most important thing is not to regret, because I will give everything for this.”
“Even if this doesn’t happen, I’m sure another one will come. Just going for it [Wimbledon] The final was really tough for me, especially the second set. But then I feel like in this final, I’m going to be fully involved, I’m going to go all out.”
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”