US Open 2022: Iga Swiatek defeats Ons Jabeur in straight sets to claim first US Open trophy

·4 min read

Iga Swiatek has done it again. For the second time this year, she’s standing at the top of a podium, holding a Grand Slam trophy above her head. This time, she defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6(5) to win the 2022 US Open, capping off a year of incredible and unexpected success.

Swiatek, who looked extremely nervous before the match began, looked anything but once the rackets started swinging. She came out strong, showing off all the skills we know her for: explosive movement, pinpoint precision and a soft touch. By comparison, Jabeur, who looked comfortable and happy before the match started, came out looking flat and tentative.

It wasn't until Swiatek was up 3-0 that Jabeur got on the board. Then, in the fifth game of the first set, Jabeur hit four winners, each one perfectly placed along the singles sideline. All Swiatek could do with those is watch them bounce as Jabeur narrowed the gap at 3-2.

Unfortunately, that was the last game Jabeur won in the first set. Swiatek was able to reach balls that most people couldn't even try for, while Jabeur couldn't stop hitting the ball into the net at the most vital moments. Swiatek claimed the first set in 30 minutes flat, and made it look as effortless as ever.

The second set was entirely different from the first. While Jabeur again didn't win a game until Swiatek was up 3-0, she finally found her gear. Her excellent slice finally began to appear and she began going to the net more, helping her win four of the next five games.

Swiatek appeared to have finally wrestled the momentum of the match back to her side, breaking a 5-5 tie to get within one game of the title, but she couldn't close and Jabeur tied it up once again. The tiebreak was close, and it looked like Jabeur could run away with it at any moment, but an unforced error from Jabeur ended the tiebreak and gave Swiatek her first US Open championship and her third career Grand Slam trophy. When it was all over, Swiatek and Jabeur shared a heartfelt embrace, and then Swiatek immediately burst into happy tears. She'd earned it.

Swiatek's amazing journey to the US Open win

This victory puts an exclamation point on the best year of Swiatek's young career — or the best year of anyone’s career, really. She started 2022 by falling just short of the finals at the Australian Open (she was knocked out in the semis by Danielle Collins), but she rebounded to produce one of the most dominant stretches of tennis we’ve seen in decades.

Swiatek beat Annet Kontaveit to win the Qatar Open. Then she beat Maria Sakkari to win at Indian Wells. Just a few weeks later, she defeated Naomi Osaka to take the trophy at the Miami Open. And a few weeks after that, she won at Stuttgart by beating Aryna Sabalena, then she brought down Jabeur to win at the Rome Open.

What was next? Roland Garros, where she defeated Coco Gauff to win the French Open. By the time she hit Wimbledon, she’d won six straight tournaments and had a 35-match winning streak. She’d extend that to 37 before falling early at the All England Club.

The ending of that streak, which was the longest since Venus Williams won 35 straight in 2000, cooled Swiatek down a bit. She played three tournaments before she hit the US Open, and while she made it to the quarterfinals in one, she didn’t even get that far in the other two.

Despite the doubts that came with her stumble after the French Open, Swiatek came into the US Open focused and confident. In the fourth round, she was able to regroup after Jule Niemeier demolished her in the first set. In the quarterfinals, she had the steely nerves to stare down Jessica Pegula, who was playing some of the best tennis of her life, and secure the win in a tiebreak instead of letting the match go to a third set. And in the semifinal, she was able to withstand the overwhelming power of Aryna Sabalenka to earn the right to face Jabeur.

Swiatek hasn’t lost a final since she was 17. And after everything she did this season, we can only imagine what she'll do in the future.

Poland's Iga Swiatek celebrates after winning against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur during their 2022 US Open Tennis tournament women's singles final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, on September 10, 2022. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)
Iga Swiatek won the 2022 US Open with a straight sets defeat of Ons Jabeur. (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)