Iga Swiatek, the top-ranked player in the world, won the match against Aryna Sabalenka by a score of 3-6, 6-1, and 6-4 to go to her first U.S. semifinal. Open final, where she will compete against Ons Jabeur in order to win the trophy on Saturday.
The Polish player overcame a slow start to come alive in the second set and then overcame an early break in the last game by winning the final four games to defeat the formidable Belarusian.
During an on-court interview, Swiatek said that in order to compete against Aryna, one must have the energy to push her back and the ability to play such rapid balls.
“During the first set, I was lacking a little bit of that, so I wanted to pull it together. I drank some energy shots and just sort of went with it, and I’m fairly pleased that I did that.”
After the first set, a crucial restroom break helped, as did the break overall.
I recall that when I was younger, all I would do in the restroom between sets when I lost was weep. This time, though, I was able to come up with a solution to the issue.
As a result of her victory, Swiatek became the very first Polish woman to ever compete in the United States. In the Open final, she will compete against Jabeur, who earlier in the day made history by being the first North African woman in the Open era to get to the last round.
Both Swiatek and Sabalenka started out tense under the lights on Thursday, but the sixth seed was the one to settle in first. She found a service rhythm and dialled in her forehand against Swiatek, who has struggled at times in the past against big hitters. Sabalenka went on to win the match in straight sets.
Sabalenka secured a break with an ace to make the score 4-2 and won the opening set when she crept up to the net behind a massive forehand and volleyed the ball past the charging Swiatek.
But Swiatek, who was required to come back from a set down in her match against Jule Niemeier in the fourth round, increased her level in the second, serving much better and breaking Sabalenka three times to tie the match.
Sabalenka replied early in the third set, her confidence rising as she raced out to a 2-0 lead after her opponent was thrown backwards and into the court by her blazing backhand as she raced out to a 2-0 lead.
But the tenacious Swiatek wouldn’t give up, and she broke back with a backhand winner to tie the score at 4-4. Then, when Sabalenka’s backhand hit the net, Swiatek was able to go on to her maiden final at Flushing Meadows.
Sabalenka, who said she was proud of her fight despite the fact that she lost all of her grand slam matches this year after being up a set and was unable to compete at Wimbledon because tournament organisers banned players from Russia and Belarus in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, said she was proud of her fight.
She told the press that she “going here to the U.S. Open, didn’t really anticipate any victories.”
But I did it. I actually started playing better, and I can feel it. Now all I need to do is keep going, keep trying, keep struggling, and keep doing the best I can. I believe things will get better.
Swiatek, who has already won the French Open twice, will play the energetic Tunisian Jabeur, who advanced to the semifinals of the tournament after defeating Caroline Garcia in straight sets. Swiatek will be going for her third Grand Slam championship when she competes against Jabeur.
Both Swiatek and Jabeur have won and lost two of their previous four matches against one another.
Swiatek said on Jabeur, “It’s usually difficult, and I’m very sure it’s going to be physical,” referring to the competition.
“She has such strong hands, and she is firm on the baseline and when she is going in, so I need to be cautious when I play against her.”
“Right now, all I’m going to do is relax and appreciate the fact that I made it this far.