Iga Swiatek on US Open title: The ‘sky is the limit’

Iga Swiatek of Poland holds the trophy after victory in final of US Open Championships against Ons Jabeur of Tunisia at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 10, 2022. Swiatek won in straight sets. It was her second Grand Slam victory in this year and first ever for Polish woman. (Photo by Lev Radin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Iga Swiatek held off a surging Ons Jabeur Saturday, downing the No. 5 seed 6-2, 7-6 (5) to claim her first career US Open championship.

The 21-year-old kept her cool in critical moments, remaining steady despite Jabeur’s improving form in the second set. The match came down to a tight second-set tiebreak, with Swiatek showcasing her mental toughness as she charged to victory in front of a boisterous Flushing Meadows crowd.

“I needed to stay composed and focus on the goals,” Swiatek said during the on-court trophy ceremony. “It’s New York. it’s so loud, it’s so crazy. It’s really mind-blowing for me. I’m really proud I could handle it mentally.”

Swiatek was dominant through the opening set, making 90 percent of first serves while dictating play behind a solid return game. As Jabeur found her way into the match, Swiatek’s performance dipped, but she remained calm, sticking with every point and hanging tough before gritting out a straight-set win.

Jabeur told reporters Swiatek simply knew how to play “better at the right moment, at the important points,” adding, “She knows exactly what to do. I feel like she improved a lot from last year until the beginning of this year again.”

The Polish star’s Us Open trophy joins her French Open title, making Swiatek the first player to win two Grand Slams in a single season since Angelique Kerber in 2016.

Known for her play-making ability on clay, Swiatek’s victory on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows indicates a new variety to her game. Swiatek joins Serena Williams and Justine Henin as just the third woman in the last 15 years to claim multiple majors on different surfaces in the same season.

With her US Open victory, Swiatek is the ninth player of the Open Era to win her third major before turning 22.

The 21-year-old has had a landmark year, highlighted by a historic 37-match win streak, a prolonged stint as the World No. 1, and now, a major win in New York.

“It’s something that I wasn’t expecting for sure. It’s also like a confirmation for me that sky is the limit,” Swiatek told reporters. “I’m proud, also surprised a little bit, just happy that I was able to do that.”

On Monday, Swiatek and Jabeur will be ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.