Advertisement

U.S. Open tennis: Jabeur wants 'revenge' versus Swiatek in women's final

1/5
Ons Jabeur (pictured) will face Iga Swiatek in the 2022 U.S. Open women's singles final at 4 p.m. EDT Saturday on ESPN. Photo by Larry Marano/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/e14399fb2430acbe8a1096e11da3c307/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Ons Jabeur (pictured) will face Iga Swiatek in the 2022 U.S. Open women's singles final at 4 p.m. EDT Saturday on ESPN. Photo by Larry Marano/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Ons Jabeur wants "revenge" against Iga Swiatek and already knows the game plan she plans to use in their matchup Saturday in the U.S. Open women's singles final, she told reporters at the Grand Slam in Flushing, N.Y.

Jabeur spoke about her motivation for the match Thursday, after she beat No. 17 Caroline Garcia of France in a women's semifinal. She needed just 66 minutes to clinch her spot in the finale.

Advertisement

The fifth-seeded Tunisian will meet the top-seeded Pole at 4 p.m. EDT Saturday at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Jabeur-Swiatek match will air on ESPN.

"I feel very positive about this one," Jabeur told reporters Thursday. "The most important thing is not to regret.

RELATED NFL openers, U.S. Open and WNBA finals fill weekend sports schedule

"I'm going to give it my all. Even if this one is not going to happen, I'm very sure another one will come."

Advertisement

Jabeur is the first African and Arab woman to advance to a U.S. Open finale. With a win over Swiatek, she also can become the first such woman to claim a Grand Slam title.

She is 2-2 in four career meetings with Swiatek, who beat Jabeur in their most recent match -- a straight-sets triumph May 15 in the Italian Open final.

RELATED USA's Frances Tiafoe, Spain's Alcaraz reach first U.S. Open semifinals

"Iga never loses finals, so it's going to be very tough," Jabeur said.

"I'm definitely going for my revenge. I love playing on this [hard court] surface and I feel like I know exactly what I need to do against her."

Swiatek, 21, won in each of her two previous career Grand Slam final appearances, which came in 2020 and 2022 at the French Open. Jabeur, 28, lost in three sets to Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina in her lone Grand Slam finals appearance July 9 at Wimbledon 2022.

RELATED Serena Williams' final U.S. Open match averaged 4.8M viewers, breaking ESPN records

Swiatek is 9-0 in WTA finals, but said she expects a tough match from Jabeur.

"She is a really solid player and second in the race right now," Swiatek said. "It shows how much progress she has made.

"She has a different game style than most of the players. She has a great touch and is a tough opponent. That's why our matches are always kind of psychical and really tight.

Advertisement

"She fully deserves to be in the final. I think it's going to be a great battle."

Swiatek dropped only two of 14 sets so far this year in Flushing. She beat Italian Jasmine Paolini, Americans Sloane Stephens and Lauren Davis and German Jule Niemeier to reach the quarterfinals.

She bounced No. 8 Jessica Pegula of the United States in straight sets to reach the semifinals.

She then lost the first set to No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, but roared back in the final two sets to clinch her spot in the finale.

Jabeur lost just one of her 13 sets though five matches at the U.S. Open. She beat Americans Madison Brengle, Elizabeth Mandlik and Shelby Rogers (No. 31) in her first three respective matches. She beat No. 18 Veronika Kudermetova of Russia in straight sets in the Round of 16.

She won another straight-sets match over Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the quarterfinals. Jabeur beat Garcia on Thursday to advance to the final.

Fellow players often sight Swiatek's lack of weaknesses when asked about how they can gain an edge on the top-ranked player. She is known as an aggressive player, with smooth transitions from offense to defense.

Advertisement

Swiatek surprises foes with drop shots and stays sharp in matches due to her strong stamina and ability to strategize ways to accumulate points. She utilizes impressive speed on her forehand and backhand swings and often produces top spin, which makes it difficult for opponents to predict bounces.

Jabeur said she has improved her ability to "manage stress and emotions," which allow her to stay focused on the game plans her team designs for attacking opponents.

Highlights from the 2022 U.S. Open

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain (L) and Casper Ruud of Norway stand with their trophies after the Men's Finals of the 2022 U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billy Jean King National Tennis Center in Forest Hills, N.Y. on September 11, 2022. Alcaraz won the match 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Like Swiatek, she uses power and precision, but also is known for her ability to take chances with unorthodox shots. She will bring that dynamic skill set Saturday to Arthur Ashe Stadium. Her willingness and ability to hit any type of shot could play a major factor and make Swiatek uncomfortable.

But Jabeur admits her array of shot-types can make hit tough to decide which one to use at the right time. She said she uses the game plans she installs with coaches to stay on track.

She said Thursday that those factors have put her in a better position to win at the U.S. Open than the one she was in at Wimbledon.

"I've learned a lot of things about my game, my style and what I can do on the court," Jabeur said. "I talk to my coach before matches and now I feel like I can do whatever."

Advertisement

No. 5 Casper Ruud of Norway will face No. 27 Karen Khachanov of Russia in a men's semifinal at 3 p.m. Friday in Flushing. No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain will face No. 22 Frances Tiafoe of the United States next in the second men's semifinal.

The winners from those matches will meet at 4 p.m. Sunday in the men's final. The winners from the men's and women's finals will air $2.6 million apiece.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement