SKY IS THE LIMIT

Iga Swiatek says anything is possible after New York win

Poland’s Swiatek, 21, became the ninth woman to win a third major title before her 22nd birthday

In Summary

•Following the retirement of Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty in March, Swiatek has seized her opportunity to take over as the tour’s dominant player.

•Earlier this year, she put together a 37-match winning streak that enabled her to claim six titles in a row - including the French Open at Roland Garros.

Poland's Iga Swiatek during her semi final match against Argentina's Nadia Podoroska
Poland's Iga Swiatek during her semi final match against Argentina's Nadia Podoroska
Image: FILE

World number one Iga Swiatek says winning her first title on the US Open hard courts provides confidence that the “sky is the limit” for her career.

Poland’s Swiatek, 21, became the ninth woman to win a third major title before her 22nd birthday after beating Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in New York. It is her second major win in 2022 and first not on the French Open clay.

“It’s something I wasn’t expecting. I’m proud, a little surprised, and just happy I was able to do it,” she said.

Following the retirement of Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty in March, Swiatek has seized her opportunity to take over as the tour’s dominant player.

Earlier this year, she put together a 37-match winning streak that enabled her to claim six titles in a row - including the French Open at Roland Garros.

After going through a dip that resulted in the streak ending in the Wimbledon fourth round, Swiatek slowly reasserted her authority in New York.

In January, Swiatek was ranked ninth in the world and, following her 6-2 7-6 (7-5) win over Jabeur in New York, she said she had doubts at the start of the season about her level.

“I wasn’t sure if I was at the level yet to win a Grand Slam, especially at the US Open where the surface is so fast,” said Swiatek, who also reached the Australian Open semi-finals in January. “It’s also like a confirmation for me that the sky is the limit.”

‘She’s set the bar very high’ - Jabeur

Jabeur will rise to equal her career-high ranking of second in the world after reaching the US Open final, but Swiatek showed the gulf between her and the rest in a largely dominant performance.

Tunisia’s Jabeur says the world number one’s performances are the standard for her and the rest of the WTA players to follow.

“She’s really set the bar very high. It’s great for our sport,” said the 28-year-old. “I will keep doing my thing and hopefully will catch her.”

After a second successive defeat in a major final, Jabeur said it would be “tough” to get over the loss but remained positive overall following another excellent run at a Grand Slam event.

Jabeur is already thinking about a strong showing at the season-ending WTA Finals and setting herself up for another tilt at the Australian Open in January next year.

“I will maybe show myself (at the Finals) and build more confidence to really get ready for the next season because I feel like I have a lot to show next season,” she said.

“Points-wise, I don’t have points [to defend] in Australia, in the French Open, in Wimbledon, which is a good thing. I’m definitely going for the number one spot.”

 

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