World No. 1 Iga Swiatek fights back from a set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka and book her spot against Ons Jabeur in the US Open final
- Iga Swiatek lost the first set 6-3 against Aryna Sabalenka in US Open semifinal
- The world No. 1 battled back to win the second 6-1, before coming through 6-4
- Swiatek was emotional after match point as she booked a spot in US Open final
- The Pole will face Ons Jabeur on Saturday for the women’s singles trophy
World No 1 Iga Swiatek rallied from a set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 and reach her first US Open final, where she will meet Ons Jabeur on Saturday for the trophy.
After a sluggish start, the Pole came alive in the second set and overcame an early break in the decider by winning the final four games to see off the powerful Belarusian.
‘Against Aryna you have to have the energy to push her back and be able to play those fast balls,’ Swiatek said in an on-court interview.
Iga Swiatek immediately dropped her racket after winning match point on Arthur Ashe
Swiatek beat Aryna Sabalenka (pictured), who was frustrated at throwing the match away
‘In the first set I lacked a little bit of that so I needed to get it together. Drink some energy shots and just kind of go with it. I’m pretty glad that I did that.’
With the win Swiatek became the first Polish woman to ever reach the U.S. Open final where she will face Jabeur, who became the first African woman of the Open era to do the same earlier in the day.
Both Swiatek and Sabalenka came out tense under the lights on Thursday but the sixth seed settled in first, finding a service rhythm and dialing in her forehand against Swiatek, who has struggled at times in the past against big hitters.
Sabalenka consolidated a break with an ace for 4-2 and captured the first set when she snuck to the net behind a huge forehand and sent a volley past the charging Swiatek.
The Polish world No. 1 lost the first set but eventually came through in three to win the match
Sabalenka had multiple opportunities but squandered the chance to make it to the final
But Swiatek, who was forced to battle back from a set down in her fourth-round match against Jule Niemeier, raised her level in the second, serving much better and breaking Sabalenka three times to level the contest.
Sabalenka responded early in the third, her confidence growing when her blistering backhand knocked her opponent backwards and onto the court as she raced out to a 2-0 lead.
But the feisty Swiatek refused to give in, breaking back with a backhand winner to level at 4-4 and advanced to her first final in Flushing Meadows when Sabalenka’s backhand landed in the net.
The two-time French Open champion Swiatek will gun for her third Grand Slam title when she faces dynamic Tunisian Jabeur, who cruised to her semi-final with a straight sets win over Caroline Garcia.
Swiatek made the final of Wimbledon too, so has now been in back-to-back Grand Slam finals
Swiatek and Jabeur are 2-2 in their four career meetings.
‘It’s always tough and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be physical,’ Swiatek said of Jabeur.
‘She has such good hands, she is solid on the baseline and when she’s going in so I have to be careful.
‘I don’t know what’s going to happen. Right now, I’m just going to enjoy being in the final.’