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US Open 2022: Iga Swiatek stages comeback win over Aryna Sabalenka; to take on Ons Jabuer in the final

Iga Swiatek

Bengaluru, September 9: World No.1 Iga Swiatek fought back from a break down in the third set two times before edging No.6 seed Aryna Sabalenka 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the US Open 2022 final, where she will take on Ons Jabuer.

Earlier, Jabeur impressed in her 6-1, 6-3 victory over the red-hot Caroline Garcia in the other last-four tie, getting the job done in just 67 minutes to become the first African, Arab or Tunisian woman to ever reach the US Open final, after also accomplishing that feat at Wimbledon.

Swiatek and Jabeur are the match-win leaders at WTA and Grand Slam events this season. Swiatek and Jabeur's head-to-head is deadlocked at two wins apiece, and 1-1 on hard court. Swiatek won their only 2022 meeting in the Rome final on clay, 6-2, 6-2. Game on!

Against Sabalenka, Swiatek had to muster up all of her grit to maintain the commanding lead she currently holds in her rivalry.

Sabalenka had won their first meeting at last year's WTA Finals, but Swiatek has now won all four of their contests this season.

Swiatek excels

Swiatek excels

In a gripping semifinal showdown on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Swiatek had to pull off multiple comebacks before making the US Open final for the first time in her career. For the records, Swiatek is the first women's tennis player from Poland to enter the final of US Open.

Swiatek, who had never made a US Open quarterfinal before this season, is now into her third Grand Slam final, her second of the year, and first off of the red clay of Roland Garros.

Sabalenka impresses

Sabalenka impresses

Belarus' Sabalenka was impressive in the opening set, attacking Swiatek's second serves to generate plenty of break points. Things flipped in the second set, and it was all about Swiatek making the adjustments, increasing her first serve accuracy from 64 per cent in the opener to 94 per cent in the second.

Sabalenka threatened to run away with things late - twice managing to go up a break in the third set - but Swiatek showed composure beyond her years as she continued to fight back.

Jubilant Jabeur

Jubilant Jabeur

Earlier, world No.5 Jabeur was dominant in the opening set, winning 75 per cent of her service points and 61 per cent of her return points, allowing no break point opportunities while taking all three of her own chances to break.

She wrapped up the first set in 24 minutes, and after an even start to the second frame, Jabeur capitalised on her first and only break point chance to grab the decisive lead. Tunisia's best ever tennis export served things out in style, finishing the match without Garcia ever seeing a break point chance.

All over for Garcia

All over for Garcia

It ended a remarkable run for Garcia, who entered the contest on a 13-match winning streak, with 31 wins from her past 35.

After dominating Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals, Garcia had become the betting favourite to win the tournament. But Jabeur had other ideas. For Jabeur, it continues a career-best season after reaching her first-ever Grand Slam final at Wimbledon and the 28-year-old will move up to No.2 in the latest WTA rankings.

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Story first published: Friday, September 9, 2022, 11:04 [IST]
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