In a fitting end to the last slam year of the year, the US Open final will be between the two best women in the world this year. World No. 1 Iga Swiatek is hoping for her second slam title of the year while Ons Jabeur is in a second final, hoping for a more positive outcome than last time out at Wimbledon. Already No. 1 by a long way, Swiatek would have more than double the ranking points of her opponent were she to seal her third slam title.
Jabeur was superb in her 6-1 6-3 win over Caroline Garcia, making light work of what should have been a very tough night. She had too much smarts for the Frenchwoman, controlling the match throughout. She hit 21 winners (including 8 aces) and did not face a single break point on Thursday evening. “After Wimbledon, a lot of pressure on me,” Jabeur said. “I’m really, really relieved that I backed up my result. I’m very glad I made it to the finals here.”
It as a much tougher semi final for Swiatek but the Pole will be delighted that she came through late in her 3-6 6-1 6-4 win over Aryna Sabalenka. With such a dominant year in the books, there have been few opportunities to see how the World No.1 would fare under the pressure in a decisive third set. Down 2-4, she reeled off four straight games for the win and a place in her first US Open final. “[Losing the first two games of the third set] kind of helped me to get back on ground and realize I still have a lot of expectations even though the second set was pretty dominant.” she said. “I just went all in, you know. This time it actually gave me a lot, and the balls that I played went in. I’m pretty happy because I feel like we were both kind of sometimes risking, because the pace was really, really high.”
The head to head is 2-2 currently with Swiatek winning their only meeting in 2022 in the Rome final on clay. After crushing a more aggressive opponent in the semis, Jabeur will have to work on another game plan against a player who is going to give her far less on return and far fewer free points on serve. Both players are more than capable of mixing things up to outwit their opponents so it may be down to who deals with the occasion better. Swiatek has won her last nine finals and definitely should be able to hold her nerve to make that ten against an opponent for whom there are still question marks over.
Prediction – Iga Swiatek in three sets