Ons Jabeur and Iga Swiatek both enter their second Grand Slam Final of 2022, and although the world number 1 enters as the favourite it’s hard to ignore what the Tunisian has produced this US Open.
Iga Swiatek v Ons Jabeur
The hard-court lead-up by Ons Jabeur was extremely underwhelming, which meant you could get $34 for the fifth seed pre-tournament, but perhaps the lack of expectation has played into the Tunisian’s hands.
The win over Veronika Kudermetova was clinical, followed by a strong performance against Ajla Tomljanovic, but it was her Semi Final victory over potentially the most in-form player on tour in Caroline Garcia which turned heads. Jabeur completely smashed the Frenchwoman off the court, with her variety of ball completely bamboozling Garcia.
Iga Swiatek is the deserving favourite. She’s the number one player in the world, and has two majors next to her name at the age of 21, but Jabeur has troubled her previously. The Tunisian won both their hard and grass court meetings last year, with Swiatek winning their most recent meeting this year on clay, but we know the Pole is in a league of her own on the red dirt.
As two of the best returners in the women’s game, this will come down to holding serve. Leading into the US Open, against top-20 opposition this year Swiatek had a hold percentage of 75.7% against Jabeur’s 66.4%. But from their last four matches, it’s the Jabeur serve that has held strong with a hold rate of 77.3% – where Garcia didn’t even have a break point the entire Semi Final. As for Swiatek, she’s only holding at 63% in her last four matches and found herself down 4-2 in the third set of the Semi Final against Aryna Sabalenka.
The Tunisian has been far more convincing than the Pole this US Open and if she can leave the mental demons of Wimbledon behind, she is on track to win her first Grand Slam title.