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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday September 8, 2022

 
Swiatek

The Pole sets a US Open final with Tunisia's Ons Jabeur after rallying past Aryna Sabalenka.

Photo Source: Getty

Flushing Meadows, NY—Down a set, and then 4-2 in the third set, Iga Swiatek dug in and found her way out of a difficult battle with Aryna Sabalenka.

Tennis Express

The world No.1 rallied, winning the final four games to notch a hard-fought 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory to become the first Polish woman to reach the US Open final.

Swiatek has now won nine consecutive matches against Top 10 players and she improves to 40-6 at the Grand Slams since she began her title run at Roland Garros in September of 2022.

Faced with the disruptive game of Sabalenka, Swiatek had to problem solve her way out of a difficult situation, when her back was against the wall.

She won just 29 percent of her second serve points over the course of the match, and struggled to protect her serve, but managed to pull everything together as she made her push to the finish line.

Swiatek was broken five times in the match, but three of those breaks came in the opening set. After falling behind 4-2 in the third, she won 8 of her final 11 service points and 16 of the final 22 points to send Sabalenka home with a third consecutive loss in a Grand Slam semifinal.

It was a difficult pill to swallow for Sabalenka, who dominated the match at times, but lost control of it just as she neared what would have been her biggest career win.


Swiatek, who improves to 4-0 over Sabalenka in 2022, says she focused on making first serves down the stretch. It was the only way to avoid getting scorched by Sabalenka’s aggressive second serve returns.

Swiatek will face Ons Jabeur in Saturday’s final at Flushing Meadows. The Pole is bidding for her third major title and her first away from Roland Garros.

A fortnight that started in a cloud of doubt due to form and her comfort level and her well-documented disdain for the US Open balls, has turned into a show of resilience and fortitude for Swiatek.

She hasn’t been perfect in any of her matches, but she has still managed to reach the final at a tournament where she had never been beyond the round of 16.

Swiatek improve to a tour-leading 56-7 on the season.

“I was really happy that I was able to play in such a solid way and actually overcome these obstacles that I faced since the beginning of the tournament,” Swiatek said. “Last couple of days I am just grateful to be in this stage of the tournament.”

Swiatek and Jabeur have split four previous meetings, and split their two hard court meetings as well.

“Iga never loses finals, so it's going to be very tough,” Jabeur said after her semifinal victory over Caroline Garcia. “I know she struggled a little bit with the balls here, but I don't see her struggling much, to be honest with you. She's playing awesome. It's going to be tough match. Definitely going for my revenge.

“I love playing on this surface, and I feel like I know exactly what to do against her.”

 

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