Hello and welcome to Flushing Meadows for today’s US Open women’s final. We’ve got a cracker of a match in store between the two best players in the world today: Iga Swiatek, the world No 1 and top-seeded Pole who’s already won six titles this year, and Ons Jabeur, the Wimbledon runner-up and Madrid champion who has reached five finals in all in 2022.
Our Tumaini Carayol has more on the stylistic matchup on hand:
They play different styles, but a common quality is that they have built varied, sustainable games that afford them a number of different options, making them far more adaptable and reliable than their opponents. This was clear on Thursday as Swiatek and Jabeur faced Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Garcia in their respective semi-finals, both challengers resting their success on all-out attack. When nerves struck, at the very beginning for Garcia and while Sabalenka led 4-2 in the third set, neither could adapt.
Swiatek is one of the best athletes in the world and possesses some of the most destructive weaponry off the ground and she is increasingly finding that balance again. Jabeur, meanwhile, is blessed with a complete game and a vast array of shots. She can smother opponents with her serve and forehand, she can slice them to death, pepper them with drop shots and she has also massively improved her physicality.
In the past, Jabeur had so many options that it was overwhelming. She often struggled to make the right choices on court. But she is now slowly learning how to use them, to adjust in the matches and to know when to be disciplined and to play more with instinct. “When I talk to my coach before the matches, I just feel like now I can do whatever I can do and what I want to do on the court, which is surprising for me and I surprise myself so many times,” said the 28-year-old.
The players should be on court within the next half hour. Plenty more to come between now and then.