Top seed Iga Swiatek faces Anas Jaber for the US Open Women’s Championship

New York — Iga Swiatek will face Anas Jaber In the US Open Women’s Final after the No. 1 ranked player returns to win the sixth place Arina Sabalenka In the second semi-final on Thursday evening.

Swiatek grabbed the last four games, and 16 of the last 20 points, to defeat Sabalenka 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Swiatek’s first step to turn things around came when she headed to the locker room after the first set – to use the bathroom and think about what to adjust on the court.

“I needed to put it together,” said Swiatek, the 21-year-old from Poland who already owns two red-court titles at the French Open, one this year, but never made it past the fourth round in a tough New York match. the courts.

Sabalenka, meanwhile, has fallen to 0-3 in the semi-finals of her career and 12-11 in three deciders this year. I broke for a 4-2 lead in the third – and after 17 minutes it was over.

“She was striving for it, she was hitting every ball and putting me under pressure and playing hard,” Sabalenka, who wore big, reflective blue sunglasses and a black slip-on hat, said at her press conference.

Swiatek has emerged as the dominant figure in women’s tennis this year, with 37 consecutive matches and six titles. If you can defeat Jaber, then Swiatek will become the first woman since then Angelique Kerber To win two major championships in one season.

Meanwhile, Jaber is heading to the Grand Slam final for the second time in a row after taking advantage of a shaky performance Caroline Garcia They won their semi-final match at Flushing Meadows 6-1, 6-3.

Fifth seed Gaber, the 28-year-old from Tunisia, was the runner-up at Wimbledon in July and will now be the first African woman to enter the US Open final in the professional era, which is dating. Until 1968.

“I feel more real, to be honest with you, just to be in the final again. At Wimbledon, I was living the dream, and I couldn’t believe it,” Jaber said after finishing match No. 17 for Garcia No. 17. A winning streak, which included a win over the 18-year-old American Coco Guff in the quarter-finals. “Just now, I hope I get used to it…Now I might know what to do.”

After Wimbledon, [there was] Too much pressure on me,” Jaber said after a win that took barely more than an hour, “and I’m really relieved that I can support my results. “

With four-time main champion Arantexa Sanchez Vicario in the guest box – they traded thumbs up at the end of the game – Jabeur improved to 6-0 in the semi-finals of the season and secured her 92nd all-leading win in all since the start of the match. 2021. Number 91 came when I was defeated Ajla Tomljanovicwho excluded Serena Williams In the third round.

To Jaber’s surprise and happiness, she heard that her quarter-final victory over Tomljanovic on Tuesday was drawing viewers home, even though it was shown on TV on the same night as the Champions League match between Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

“In Tunisia, it’s all about football,” she said. “But people didn’t watch the match, they were watching my match, which is very impressive to me.”

This is part of the way she has changed views about tennis in her country – and on the continent.

Since professional players were first accepted into the major tennis tournaments, no African or Arab woman had ever made it to the Grand Slam final until Jaber accomplished it two months ago at Wimbledon, where she ended up losing to Elena Rybakina.

In 2020, at the Australian Open, she became the first Arab woman to reach the quarter-finals of a major tournament. Last year produced all sorts of achievements: the first Arab player to reach the top ten in the men’s or women’s rankings. The first Arab woman to win the WTA title.

said Jaber, who got to her knees and let out a shriek when the semi-final against Garcia ended, then followed by lying on her back in the middle of the court.

“I’m sure her shoulders are a huge stress,” said Garcia, 28, from France. “But she seems to be managing it really well.”

On this 75-degree evening under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Jaber heeded her coach’s instructions to focus on chasing Garcia’s backhand kick and she finished with 21 winners – after one helped by a shell bounce off the top of the net. , Jaber raised his hand to apologise, then sent a kiss to heaven – and only 15 unintentional mistakes.

She delivered eight aces. I went 4 vs 4 on break chances and didn’t encounter any.

When Jaber began a second-half break to lead 3-1 after just 40 minutes, the match had not yet been won, but it may have been.

After a minute’s silence commemorating the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Garcia won the coin toss and chose to serve, which makes sense when you consider that she’s leading the tour in aces in 2022 (although she only hit two on Thursday).

But Garcia broke immediately, thanks to four fouls of different kinds: a cornered forehand, a wide forehand, a long backhand, and, most disturbing and perhaps the most nerve-wracking, what should have been an easy shot I barely managed to make contact with and throw at the bottom of the network.

It was an inauspicious and somewhat tense start for Garcia, who didn’t lose a set at Flushing Meadows en route to her maiden slam semi-final appearance.

This was an extension of the lopsided streak between two players who started playing with each other over a decade ago. Including teenage confrontations, Jabeur is now 7-0 against Garcia.

“Mentally, I was very prepared,” said Jaber, who travels with a sports psychologist.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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