Dominant Iga Świątek wins US Open

La finale des Internationaux des États-Unis, comme la saison 2022, a été l’affaire d’Iga Świątek, qui s’est débarrassée aisément d’Ons Jabeur en deux manches de 6-2 et 7-6 (5).

Publié à 18h09
Mis à jour à 19h11

Nicholas Richard

Nicholas Richard
La Presse

La saison a commencé avec un immense point d’interrogation. Qui allait prendre la place de la dominante Ashleigh Barty au sommet de l’ordre mondial après la surprenante annonce de sa retraite au mois de mars ? La saison se termine finalement avec un point d’exclamation grâce à la septième victoire de l’année de la nouvelle reine incontestée du tennis féminin.

Świątek est arrivée à New York avec l’étiquette de favorite. Malgré une fiche de 50 victoires et seulement 7 défaites, la double championne de Roland-Garros a répété tout au long de la semaine qu’elle était étonnée de se retrouver dans une telle position. « Je ne m’attendais pas à grand-chose. […] I don’t really know how I did,” she added after the game.

The Pole therefore had a definite advantage. Earlier this season, she had made an impression by winning six tournaments in a row and 37 consecutive matches from February to June.

For its part, Ons Jabeur had just recovered from a hard defeat suffered in the final of the Wimbledon tournament a few weeks earlier. The fifth racket in the world has claimed two titles since the start of the season and she has established herself as one of the most versatile players on the circuit.

Everything was therefore in place for a duel that would ignite the biggest tennis stadium in the world.

Experience took over

Świątek may have only been able to get booze in the United States for three months, but she already has the experience of big dates. She won her first major title at 19, when she won the fall edition of the French Open in 2020, played the Australian Open semi-final in January and claimed her second title at the Porte d’Auteuil in early summer.

While Jabeur, seven years her senior, has been less in the spotlight. The Arthur-Ashe stadium and its 23,000 spectators are impressive, and that seemed to intimidate the Tunisian at the start of the match. His legs were heavy, his concentration was lacking, his decision making was chaotic and his serving performance was abysmal. Świątek, who was on the contrary offensive, explosive, precise and effective, took advantage of it. She took a 3-0 lead in eight short minutes.

As the rhythm is a primordial factor, the story already seemed closed after these few exchanges. Jabeur, extinct, was unrecognizable. She arrived late on her balls, she had difficulty accelerating her shots and she offered attack balls on a silver platter to her opponent, especially on serve. She passed just 48% of her first serves in the first set and only won 20% of the points when her ball was in play. On the other side of the net, Świątek made 90% of her first runs. services. A notable difference which prevented the slightest rise from Jabeur.

“I really tried as best I could, but Iga didn’t make it easy for me. She deserved to win today. I don’t like him very much at the moment, but I’ll get over it,” Jabeur said with his usual humor after the match.

A revival, but in vain


The Tunisian Ons Jabeur, Saturday

While we thought that everything was over due to the disaster of the first round, the Jabeur who rose to the world elite came back, but a little too late. She trailed by two games before tying the game at 4-4. Suddenly, it’s as if the pressure had just changed sides.

Świątek needed to get it over with and Jabeur had nothing to lose. This dichotomy sparked and this match eventually became something akin to a Grand Slam tournament final. The next game was the best and tightest of the game. It ended in eight minutes to the advantage of the Pole, but everything was still possible. Świątek often resumed his throwing on serve and Jabeur had become more attacking.

The match stretched to the tiebreak, but Jabeur gave in. “I will continue to work hard and I will have this Grand Slam title one day,” said the Wimbledon finalist and the first African to reach a major tournament final.

As for her, Świątek had fire in her eyes and nothing was going to separate her from the precious trophy. His level rose during the decisive game.

As in her last nine finals, she won the match in two sets and won a sum of $2.6 million. “There are so many distractions here, I’m proud that I held on mentally,” she said.

Świątek retains his crown and continues to recall why the throne belongs to him.

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