Saturday, September 10, 2022

Iga Swiatek, world number 1, wins the U.S. Open

I think that "what goes around comes around" is nonsense, but after today, Ons Jabeur may believe in it with some conviction. Because, for a set and a half in the U.S. Open final, she looked kind of like Caroline Garcia looked when she had to face Jabeur in the semifinals. Jabeur and Garcia are both outstanding players, yet each of them--for various reasons--could barely compete against their opponents when it really counted.

World number 1 Iga Swiatek, now a U.S. Open champion, didn't look that comfortable throughout the event. She made it clear that she dislikes the lightweight "women's" tennis balls that are used, and she was constantly changing her rackets because of issues with string tension. But it was Swiatek who solved the problems, one by one, then tolerated her discomfort, held her nerve, and won seven straight matches.

In today's first set, Swiatek took control quickly. She got in 90% of her first serves, and was successful with 100% of her returns. There really wasn't much that Jabeur could do. In the second set, the Polish star's level did drop a bit. Jabeur broke her, but Swiatek broke right back. The set wound up in a tiebreak, which Swiatek won, ending the match, 6-2, 7-6. 

Swiatek, who--earlier this year--won 37 consecutive matches, has won her last ten finals in straight sets. Her U.S. Open victory is her seventh title of 2022, and her second major of the year. She is the first Polish woman to win the U.S. Open.

Jabeur was also the runner-up at Wimbledon, and while these consecutive losses are undoubtedly very frustrating for her, it's a huge accomplishment to get to the final of two majors in one year.

Swiatek has already won the French Open (twice) and the Sunshine Double, and she's only 21 years old. After the match, the new champion was invited to the ESPN desk for an interview/chat, and I could hardly hear what she said because the very large crowd wouldn't stop yelling and screaming for her.

Also today, 4th seeds Storm Sanders and John Peers won the mixed doubles title, defeating Kirsten Flipkens and Eduard Roger-Vasselin in the final. And top seeds Diede De Groot and Aniek Van Koot won the women's wheelchair doubles title; they defeated 2nd seeds Yui Kamiji and Kgothatso Montjane.

The doubles final will be held tomorrow. 3rd seeds Barbora Krejicikova and Katerina Siniakova will face off against Caty McNally and Taylor Townsend. If the Czech team wins, they will own what I guess we'll have to call the Super Golden Career Slam.

Also, the women's wheelchair singles final will be contested by top seed De Groot and 2nd seed Kamiji.

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