|place: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 29 August – 11 September|
|Coverage: Daily radio commentary on the BBC Sounds and BBC Sport website and app, with selected live text commentary and match reports on the website and app|
World number one Inga Swietec capped a dominant season to win her second major title of 2022 by defeating Tunisian fifth seed Ons Jabur at the US Open.
Poland’s Swietek, 21, won 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) on New York hard courts to secure the final Grand Slam trophy of the season.
After a lopsided first set, 28-year-old Jabeur settled in the middle of the second set, but that was not enough to prevent Swietec from winning a third major title.
Sweetek’s previous two victories both landed on the French Open.
Jabeur also lost in the Wimbledon final in July and her wait for one of the sport’s four most coveted titles continues.
The Flushing Meadows Final was a meeting between two major players on the WTA Tour this year, but Sweetek demonstrated why there’s such a huge difference between him and the rest with a massively impressive performance.
Sweetek remains world number one, and would have done so even if she had lost, with Jabir reaching a joint career-high ranking of second place after reaching the final.
Sweetek shows quality and flexibility to underpin dominance
Following the retirement of Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty in March, Sweetek has seized her opportunity to take over as the tour’s key player.
Earlier this year, she continued her 37-match winning streak that enabled her to win six consecutive titles – including the French Open at Roland Garros.
After going through an understandable dip after the streak ended in the fourth round of Wimbledon, Sweetek has slowly re-established his authority in New York.
His best performance was saved for the final.
“I wasn’t expecting too much. It was such a challenging time before this tournament,” said Swietek, who admitted her dislike for the lighter balls used by women at the US Open.
Sweetek had won her last nine finals without dropping a set – including her first major win at the 2020 French Open – and set the stage for another victory with a confident start.
But he needed to show flexibility several times in the second set as well.
After being unable to convert either of the two break points for a 4–0 lead, Sweetek suddenly found himself level at 4–4 and saved three break points to prevent Jabeur from leading 5–4. Can you
Scoreboard pressure began to show on Jabur in the 12th game, with the Tunisian trailing 30–0 and handing out the first championship point with a loose forehand.
Sweetek changed his racquet before sending a backhand long to miss the opportunity, but he bounced back in the tie-break to win his second championship point when Jaboor hit a forehand long.
The pair shared a warm embrace in the middle of the court in front of Swietek, who is the first woman since Serena Williams in 2014 to win seven titles in a season, celebrated in front of her team.
Jabeur is ‘working hard’ to land first major
In contrast, Jabeur looked emotional as she suffered her second consecutive loss in a Grand Slam final.
Going into the match, Jabur said he felt he had learned a lesson from his loss to Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybkina at Wimbledon in July.
There, she made a brisk start before fading away. Here, he paid the price for a slow start.
Jabeur landed only 48% of his first serve in the first set and Swietec – who has won more returning games this year than anyone else – bounced back with a relentless return to grab the opener after just 30 minutes.
While Jabur’s serving improved in the second set, the number of unforced errors increased and she was unable to fully capitalize on Swatek’s minor fall.
“Iga didn’t make it easy for me. She deserved to win,” said Jabeur, the first African woman in the Open era to reach a US Open final.
“Winning or losing is part of tennis. I fought to win my first WTA title. It took me time. That’s why I believe it.” [winning a major] I will take time
“The most important thing is to accept it, to learn from the final that I lost.
“Certainly I’m not the one who’s going to give up. I’m sure I’m going to reach the finals again. I’ll do my best to win it.”
BBC Tennis correspondent Russell Fuller
Iga Swiatek reached Flushing Meadows feeling somewhat uncertain about herself.
These courts are a little too fast for him, and the balls are a little too light. The 21-year-old was also trying to wake herself up after her 37-match winning streak at Wimbledon ended.
But against Ons Jabur, she underlined her superiority in the women’s game. No one has won seven titles in a single year in the women’s category since Serena Williams eight years ago.
Jaboor, however, is drawing to a close — and it’s easy to forget how much progress he’s made this year.
The world number 10 player will return to number two in the Tunisian rankings at the start of the year. Along the way she has won the prestigious WTA event in Madrid and has now reached back-to-back Grand Slam finals.