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Iga Swiatek wins her first U.S. Open, making her a new tennis powerhouse

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Iga Swiatek

(CTN News) – As good as Iga Swiatek has been this year, She came into the Open with no expectations. At Flushing Meadows, where she had never advanced beyond the fourth round, women use lighter tennis balls than men.

Iga Swiatek was getting used to the noise and distractions, the hustle and bustle, of New York City. In July, her 37-match winning streak came to an end, and she had a record of just 4-4 since then.

All of that doesn’t matter anymore. Taking what is expected to be the last major of Serena Williams’ career, the No. 1-ranked Swiatek beat No. 5 Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6 (5) to win her first U.S. Open championship. She also won her third Grand Slam title overall.

With her lopsided victory, Swiatek improved her tour-level record to 55-7, including seven WTA trophies.

In June, the 21-year-old from Poland won the French Open for the second time and became the first woman since Angelique Kerber in 2016 to win two majors in one season.

A 28-year-old Tunisian named Jabeur reached her second Grand Slam final in a row, becoming the first African woman and first Arab woman to do so. In July, she finished runner-up at Wimbledon, so she’s 0-2 at that point.

The fact that Jabeur had to contend with Iga Swiatek, whose all-around excellence is amplified when a trophy is available didn’t help on this sunny, 85-degree Fahrenheit afternoon. Swiatek has won her past 10 finals – all in straight sets – and was on pintsize from the get-go on Saturday.

Jabeur didn’t face a single break point in her semifinal victory Thursday against Caroline Garcia, but she got broken instantly when Swiatek struck a cross-court backhand winner off a short ball.

A 3-0 lead was taken by Iga Swiatek eight minutes into the game.

From the baseline, Iga Swiatek dictated the tempo and trajectory of points with her heavy topspin forehand. In contrast to the spins and variety that Jabeur is used to, she never allowed her opponent to use them.

Jabeur will become No. 1 when he rises. Iga Swiatek showed some of what she is capable of Monday as the No. 2 in the rankings. Swiatek was able to elongate points more often than not. She used her strong court coverage, backed by a soundtrack of squeaky sneakers. She darted everywhere, sometimes even sliding as she arrived at a ball, the way one does on red clay, her favorite surface.

When Jabeur missed a slice forehand early in the second set, she dropped her racket to reflect her despair. A few points later, she flung her racket while off-balance and falling face down. Swiatek’s down-the-line backhand passing shot from Iga Swiatek on the next point made it 2-0 in that set. Swiatek raised a clenched fist and yelled, “Come on!”

Soon after that, Jabeur made things interesting, briefly. But only briefly.

When the score reached 4-all, she ended up on her back after an off-balance backhand won a point in the next game. She stayed there, enjoying the moment, pumping her fists as she lied there.

There were three break chances in that game, and any one of them would have allowed Jabeur to serve for the set. Although she missed a groundstroke on each attempt, she couldn’t cash the check.

Swiatek held her first championship point at 6-5 in the set as Jabeur served. A few minutes before the match began, Swiatek jogged over to the sideline to change rackets.

After Swiatek missed a backhand, Jabeur led 5-4 in the tiebreaker. Swiatek took the final three points and fell down, once again a major champion.

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