Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek defeated Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in straight sets in the US Open women’s singles final at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York.
This marks Swiatek’s third career grand slam, and her first outside of the French Open, which she won in 2020 and 2022.
Swiatek cemented her place atop the world rankings with the 6-2 7-6 (7-5) win over Jabeur, who is ranked fifth in the world, but is expected to ascend to world No. 2 when the new rankings are unveiled.
As she has been doing the last several months, Swiatek wore a ribbon on her hat in support of Ukraine during the final Saturday.
The 21-year-old is the first woman since Angelique Kerber in 2016 to win two grand slam titles in the same calendar year, during which she embarked on a 37-match unbeaten run.
“For now, I’m just trying to do my best every day,” Swiatek told CNN Sport’s Carolyn Manno following the win against Jabeur. “It’s hard to step back and look at the whole journey at once because I’m still 21. I feel like with more life experience I’ll realize more what happened.”
Swiatek’s triumph makes her the first top-seeded woman to win the US Open since Serena Williams lifted the trophy in 2014, and the first woman to win seven titles in a season since Williams, also in 2014.
She has expertly adapted her game to the hard courts in 2022, winning four WTA 1000 events on the surface and becoming only the fourth woman in history to complete the “Sunshine Double” by winning Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back.
Those titles, as well as her second French Open crown, came during her remarkable unbeaten streak earlier in the season, which finally came to an end in the third round at Wimbledon.
However, Swiatek has certainly struggled to recapture that form during the second half of the season and her involvement in the US Open final was by no means a formality before the tournament started.
She struggled through her semifinal, too, fighting back from a set down and 4-2 down in the deciding set against sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka in a match that took more than two hours to complete.
“These two weeks were pretty crazy, I wasn’t expecting to be in that place,” said Swiatek. “I worked pretty hard every day to just get a better feeling on the court and I’m pretty happy that it clicked.
“I feel like I was improving, so that’s the best thing for me. I’m pretty happy that it ended like that.”
Swiatek raced into a 3-0 lead against Jabeur and needed just 30 minutes to wrap up the first set, during which she landed a remarkable 90% of her first serves.
The second set was a closer affair, even though Swiatek stormed into a 3-0 lead once again. Jabeur hit back with two breaks, sending the match to a tie break, but Swiatek ultimately proved too strong.
“She came off really strong and put a lot of pressure on me. That didn’t help,” Jabeur told reporters. “I was trying to get in the match. It was very tough. And she was playing really good at certain times.”
Jabeur, who became the first African woman to compete in a US Open final, reached the Wimbledon final just two months ago, but was surprisingly beaten by Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in three sets.
She has enjoyed a steady rise through the world rankings over the past two years, but a grand slam title continues to allude her.
“Definitely Wimbledon was tough. This one is going to be tough,” she said. “I struggled to win my first WTA title. It took me time. So I believe this will take me time. The most important thing is accepting it, learning from the finals that I lost.
“I’m not someone that’s going to give up. I am sure I’m going to be in the final again. I will try my best to win it.”