Iga Swiatek battled back to beat Aryna Sabalenka at the US Open
World number one Iga Swiatek booked a spot in the US Open final with a comeback win against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, later revealing that a bathroom break had helped her feel “lighter” after dropping the first set.
Poland’s Swiatek, 21, is eyeing a third Grand Slam title of her career but a first in New York after progressing to Saturday’s final with a 3-6 6-1 6-4 victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday night.
Swiatek was forced to fight back after losing the opening set to a fired-up Sabalenka, the sixth seed who was targeting a maiden Grand Slam final after semifinal agony on two previous occasions – including in New York last year.
Swiatek took a break off court following a first set in which her serve was broken three times, returning to win the second set but appearing in danger again in the decider at 2-4 behind before storming back to salvage her title hopes.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2022
When asked by interviewer Rennae Stubbs what she had “told herself” during her bathroom trip at Flushing Meadows, Swiatek replied with a laugh: “It’s more what I did…”
“I kind of needed to go. For sure, I felt lighter… sorry, that’s disgusting!
“I try to use that time to really try to think what to change and do a good way because I remember when I was younger all I did in the bathroom between sets when I lost was cry,” added the top seed.
“This time I can actually think about what to change and problem-solve.”
Seeking to add to her pair of French Open crowns, Swiatek will face Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in Saturday’s showpiece.
Jabeur, 28, will be making consecutive Grand Slam final appearances after her run to the same stage of Wimbledon in July, where she was beaten by Russian-born Elena Rybakina in three sets.
Jabeur secured her spot in the final in a New York with a dominant straight-sets win over France’s Caroline Garcia in their semifinal on Thursday.
— wta (@WTA) September 9, 2022
For Sabalenka, 24, it was more disappointment after she had revealed that the ban imposed on Belarusian and Russian players at Wimbledon had fired her desire for success in the US.
Sabalenka herself had come back sensationally from one set and 1-5 down against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in the second round in New York, but this time was on the wrong end of a fightback from Swiatek.
Sabalenka appeared for her post-match press conference with a cap pulled over part of her face and wearing sunglasses, in what was seen as an effort to help mask her disappointment.
“My team is keep telling me that I have to be proud of myself, what I have done in the last months,” said the Minsk-born star.
“But I don’t feel that way. I feel like in these three semi-finals I had so much opportunities and I didn’t use it.
“And I guess I’m trying to think that everything happens for a reason, and I guess it just make me really stronger. I guess in the next semifinal, I will be much stronger as a player,” added Sabalenka.
https://ift.tt/WSupeIF 09, 2022 at 06:13PM
from RT – Daily news