Iga Swiatek Beats Jabeur To Win Historic US Open Title For Poland - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Beats Jabeur To Win Historic US Open Title For Poland

It is the first time the women’s title has been won by a current world No.1 since Serena Williams in 2014.

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Image via WTA Twitter

Iga Swiatek has become the youngest female player to claim a third Grand Slam title since Maria Sharapova after ousting Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in straight sets at the US Open.

 

The 21-year-old displayed some of her best tennis on the Arthur Ashe Stadium as she battled to a 6-2, 7-6(5), victory. It is the first time Swiatek has won a major title on a hardcourt after triumphing twice on the French Open clay courts. As a result of her 10th consecutive win over a top 10 player on the Tour, she has become the first Polish woman to win the tournament in its 145-year history.

“I was not expecting a lot. I had a really challenging time before this tournament. I just had to stay to focused, it’s New York, it’s so loud and crazy but I just had to stay in it,” said the new champion.
“Congratulations to Ons. I’m sure we’re going to have many more battles in the future and she’s certainly going to win some of those.
“I’m sorry to my team for giving them such a hard time some times but they know how guide me and I just want to thank them for everything.”

Match stats

Coming into the title match, Swiatek had won her past nine Tour finals without dropping no more than four games in each set. She continued her emphatic record at Flushing Meadows with the help of a perfect start to her showdown with Jabeur. In just eight minutes she stormed to a 3-0 lead by winning 12 out of the first 14 points played, breaking the Tunisian for the first time after she hit a forehand wide.

Jabeur, who is the first African woman to contest a US Open final, managed to illustrate glimmers of her best tennis with an array of impressive winners that aided her to break back and close the gap to 3-2. However, the momentum soon stalled with the first visible signs of frustration from the world No.5 emerging after she brushed her racket with the ground out of tempter after missing a shot before dropping serve yet again.

The top seed closed out the opener in exactly 30 minutes on her first opportunity after a backhand shot from her opponent crashed into the net.

Historically, winning the first set has been critical at the New York major. Before this year, only one out of the past 27 women’s finals has been won by a player who dropped the opener, which was Naomi Osaka in 2020.

A Swiatek backhand down the line handed her the early break at the start of what was a roller-coaster second frame. Prompting her to produce a fist pump in the direction of her support camp. Mirroring the first set, she won the first three games before Jabeur retrieved the break. However, this time round Swiatek also had to contend with some rowdy members of the crowd who disrupted her rhythm at times. One example was somebody whistling as she was about to serve.

Contending with a mini resurgence from Jabeur, Swiatek battled her way to victory after overcoming some testing moments towards the closing stages. Locked at 4-4, she saved a trio of break points during a marathon 10-minute serve game to nudge ahead. Three games later she encountered her first Championships point but failed to convert after hitting a forehand long.

In the end, Swiatek would prevail in what was a tiebreaker marred by nerves and a staggering nine mini-breaks of serve. On her second match point, a Jabeur shot landed beyond the baseline to secure her the victory as she collapsed onto the ground in delight.

“I’m pretty sure that it’s a lot, I can hear what’s going on right now. Thank you guys,” Swiatek replied when asked what she thinks her win will mean to those in her native Poland.
“We have to stay united right now and stay together. I’m proud that tennis is getting more and more popular at home.”

It is the second time in a row that Jabeur has lost in a major final after falling to Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon. Nevertheless, she has made history for her nation at the tournament. Something she hopes will have an impact on the next generation of Arab players.

“I want to thank the crowd for cheering me up and I really tried but Iga didn’t make it easy for me. She deserved to win today. I don’t like her very much right now but it’s OK,” she joked afterwards.
“Amazing two weeks backing up my final at Wimbledon. I’m going to be working hard and we’ll get that title real soon.
“I tried to push myself to do more, getting the major is one of the goals and hopefully I can inspire more and more generations. I got inspired by so many champions – Martina inspired us, Arantxa and thank you also to my team, my friends.
“We want more and more kids coming and this is just the beginning of so many things.”

When the WTA rankings are updated on Monday, Swiatek will have a massive 9560 points. The is more than double that of Jabeur who will sit behind her in second place.

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Team Europe Goes for a Fifth Straight Laver Cup

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The lineup for Day 3 (twitter.com/lavercup)

Heading into Day 3, the 2022 Laver Cup is feeling extremely familiar.  Team Europe has an 8-4 advantage, and only needs two wins on Sunday to secure their fifth consecutive Laver Cup.  Team World needs to win three matches to pull off the upset and obtain their first. 

 

Sunday’s play gets underway in London at 12:00pm local time.  And each match on Sunday is worth three points.


Matteo Berrettini and Andy Murray (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock (Team World) – 12:00pm

Berrettini was victorious in both singles and doubles on Saturday, defeating Auger-Aliassime in singles, and teaming with Djokovic to overcome Sock and de Minaur in doubles.  So Matteo gained victories over both of his Sunday opponents on Saturday.  Murray lost to de Minaur in singles on Friday.  Andy and Jack are the most accomplished doubles players in this match, as Sock is pretty much Team World’s doubles specialist.  If he and Felix cannot pull of the victory on Sunday, it could be a pretty short day.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World)

Like Berrettini, Djokovic won in singles and doubles on Saturday, comfortably dispatching of Tiafoe in singles.  While it was his first match in over two months, Novak showed no rust whatsoever.  Auger-Aliassime’s loss to Berrettini on Saturday will not help his confidence against the 21-time Major champion.

Novak and Felix have only played once before, and that occurred four months ago in Rome on clay.  It was a pretty tight affair, but Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 7-6(1).  And there’s not much evidence to support a different outcome on Sunday.  Novak is surely eager to re-assert his authority after missing so much of this season due to his vaccination status.


Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – If Necessary

Tsitsipas easily beat Diego Schwartzman on Friday, dropping just three games.  He is 3-2 against Tiafoe, and 3-1 on hard courts.  However, Frances claimed their most recent encounter, last fall in Vienna, which was also on an indoor hard court.


Casper Ruud (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – If Necessary

Ruud defeated Sock on Friday, while Fritz defeated Norrie on Saturday.  If this match takes place, it will be their first career meeting.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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Roger Federer Claims Happiness Over Tennis Retirement In Emotional Last Match

It was an emotional evening in London as Roger Federer said goodbye to tennis.

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Roger Federer (@LaverCup - Twitter)

Roger Federer has said that his retirement from tennis was full of joy not sadness after an emotional occasion at the Laver Cup.

 

The career of one of the greatest tennis players of all time is over after 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer played his last match of his career at the O2 Arena in London.

Federer teamed up with Rafael Nadal to take on Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock with the American pairing claiming victory 4-6 7-6(2) 11-9 to level the tie for Team World at 2-2.

However celebration was limited as the whole venue celebrated, cried and soaked up the emotion that Roger Federer’s career was over.

There were tears from Federer, his family as well as rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as the end of an era was upon Tennis.

Even a performance from Ellie Goulding saw the Arena’s emotion get stronger as the Swiss maestro said goodbye to a sport he has played since he was a kid.

However despite the tears Federer claimed after the match that it was a day of celebration not sadness as he closed a big chapter of his life, “It’s been a wonderful day. I’m happy, not sad. It feels great to be here. I’m happy I made it through,” Federer told the BBC website.

“It’s been the perfect journey. I’d do it all again. Everyone’s here, the boys and girls. My wife has been so supportive. She could have stopped me a long, long time ago but she didn’t.

“Being with the guys and having family and friends, I didn’t feel the stress so much even if I felt something would go during the match. I am so glad I made it through and the match was great. I couldn’t be happier.”

After 1,750 matches in his career, Federer now faces the prospect of leaving the sport he has know for over 20 years as a professional tennis player.

But Federer gave the biggest hint yet that he wants to continue to be apart of the sport for the future.

Speaking to the press Federer claimed that he wants to travel around the world to say thanks to those who didn’t have a chance on Friday evening, “Hopefully we’ll see each other again on a different type of tennis court, somewhere around the world,” Federer was quoted as saying by the BBC website.

“I think the message from me was just making sure I relay my passion for the sport to the fans. I have no plans whatsoever, where, how, when. All I know, I would love to go and play places I have never played before or go say thank you for years to come to all the people that have been so supportive of me.

“The hard part about the Laver Cup was that tickets were already sold out. The people who maybe would have also loved to be here couldn’t make it. Maybe there is another way down the stretch we can party all together.”

An incredible career was celebrated, rejoiced and soaked in by the whole of Tennis and now Federer gets to reflect on a once in a lifetime career.

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic to Play Singles and Doubles on Saturday

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The lineup for Day 2 (twitter.com/lavercup)

In the wake of Roger Federer’s incredibly emotional retirement on Day 1, the focus of this event shifts to the rest of the competitors on Day 2.  And for the first time in the five-year history of the Laver Cup, Team World goes into Day 2 without a deficit.  With both Federer and Rafael Nadal replaced by alternates for Day 2 and Day 3, is this Team World’s opportunity to capture their first Laver Cup? 

 

Each day, this preview will look at all four scheduled matches, while taking an extended look at the most notable match of the day.  Saturday’s day session gets underway in London at 1:00pm local time, and the night session at 7:00pm.  And each match on Saturday is worth two points.


Matteo Berrettini (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World) – 1:00pm

These two good friends have played four times, with Berrettini winning on three of those occasions.  Matteo’s wins came three years ago in the final of Stuttgart on grass, in the quarterfinals of last year’s Wimbledon, and a year ago in this event.  Auger-Aliassime’s only win occurred last summer in Cincinnati.  Matteo is coming off a quarterfinal run in New York, as well as three victories last week in Davis Cup.  Felix was upset in the second round of the US Open by Jack Draper, and went 2-1 in Davis Cup.


Cameron Norrie (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – Second in the Day Session

Norrie was also an alternate in last year’s Laver Cup, but did not play.  Fritz was a part of Team World in 2019, when he went 1-1 in singles, defeating Dominic Thiem during Sunday’s play in a must-win match to keep his team alive.  Cam is now 45-22 on the year, while Fritz is 36-17.  Both men achieved their best-ever Major performances two months ago at Wimbledon.  They played each other just last week in Davis Cup, with Norrie prevailing after three tight sets.  Overall they have split 10 previous meetings.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – 7:00pm

Is Tiafoe ready to upset another member of “The Big Three” on Saturday?  He earned the biggest win of his career by taking out Rafael Nadal at the US Open, and defeated Nadal and Federer in doubles on Day 1 alongside Jack Sock.  Meanwhile, this will be the first match for Djokovic in over two months, since he won the Wimbledon final over Nick Kyrgios.  The unvaccinated Novak was unable to travel to North America for the hard court summer season.

Djokovic has only played seven tournaments this year, amassing a record of 23-5.  Tiafoe is 26-19, and is coming off his exciting semifinal run in New York.  Their only previous matchup was at the 2021 Australian Open, when Novak defeated Frances in four sets.  Frances is certainly the much more match-tough player on this day.  But despite his recent inactivity, Djokovic should still be considered the favorite.


Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Alex de Minaur and Jack Sock (Team World) – Second in the Night Session

Novak will have only a few minutes of rest ahead of this doubles match, so the length of his match with Tiafoe could impact the result here.  This will be Novak’s first time playing doubles since last year’s Davis Cup finals.  Berrettini played three doubles matches this past January at the ATP Cup, going 1-2.  De Minaur overcame Andy Murray in singles on Friday in what was a grueling contest, while Sock was defeated in singles and victorious in doubles.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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