Ons Jabeur hits a return to Caroline Garcia during their 2022 US Open Tennis tournament women's singles semi-final match in New York on Thursday. AFP
Two-time French Open champion Swiatek advanced to the first US Open final of her career after coming from behind to beat Aryna Sabalenka 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The victory sent the 21-year-old from Poland into a Saturday final with Jabeur, who thrashed France's Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-3 in Thursday's other semi-final.
Sabalenka, the sixth seed from Belarus, looked poised to create an upset after a dominant first set performance in which she broke Swiatek no fewer than three times. But Swiatek was rejuvenated after a quick dash to the bathroom following the opening set. "I kind of needed to go," Swiatek said.
"For sure I felt lighter. I'm sorry - that's disgusting." Swiatek also said the break had helped her analyse the flaws in her first set performance.
Iga Swiatek returns a shot to Aryna Sabalenka. AP
"I tried to use that time to think about what to change because I remember when I was younger all I would do in the bathroom between sets after I lost was cry.
"But this time I could think about what to change and actually problem solve." The break did the trick as Swiatek raced through the second set to level the match and then punished a late collapse from Sabalenka to close out a gutsy victory. Sabalenka, who was up a break and leading 4-2 in the final set, was left distraught by the defeat. She later appeared at a press conference with mirrored sunglasses on and a baseball cap pulled over her face. Jabeur dominates It was the third time Sabalenka has fallen short in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam.
"My team keeps telling me that I have to be proud of myself, what I have done in the last months," she said. "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." In Thursday's other semi-final, Jabeur outclassed France's Garcia to become the first African woman ever to reach the final of the US Open. It was another notable milestone for Jabeur, who was also the first African woman to reach the Wimbledon final in July.
Ons Jabeur hugs Caroline Garcia after their match on day eleven of the 2022 US Open tournament.
The Tunisian dominated Garcia from start to finish of a one-sided semi-final that took just over an hour to complete. "It feels amazing," Jabeur said. "After Wimbledon I had a lot of pressure on me and I'm really relieved that I can back up my results.
"The hard court season started a little bit bad, but I'm very happy that I made it to the finals here." Jabeur's victory extended her career-long domination of Garcia. The 28-year-old Tunisian had beaten Garcia four times as a junior in Grand Slam events, and twice as a professional in Slams before Thursday.
Rebel Wilson and actress Kathryn Danielle reach for a ball during the Women's Singles Semifinal match between Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka. AFP
"I know she was playing amazing tennis and that puts a lot of pressure on you," Jabeur said. "It wasn't easy for me but mentally I was so ready." Garcia, seeded 17, had reached the last four on the back of a 13-match winning streak which included a victory at the Cincinnati Masters lead-in event. But Jabeur ruthlessly dismantled Garcia's dream of becoming the first French woman to win the US Open crown with a clinical victory. The Frenchwoman later admitted she had struggled to cope with the pressure of the occasion.
Iga Swiatek reacts after defeating Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals in New York. AP
"Obviously nerves were there," Garcia said. "Today I did know it was semi-finals, so you know what it's bringing you if you win and what you want to achieve. It's a dream since I'm a little girl. "I tried the best I could. I kept fighting, kept going for it, because I know it's my way to do things."
World number one Novak Djokovic clinched his 75th win at Wimbledon on Friday as Ons Jabeur overcame vomiting on match point to become the first Tunisian woman to reach the second week at the All England Club. Defending champion
Ons Jabeur missed two opportunities to become the first Arab player to capture a Grand Slam singles title this year, but the Tunisian said on Saturday that 2023 can be special for her as she chases her dream.
Jabeur was leading 6-3, 2-1 when Belinda Bencic signalled she couldn't continue in the final after hurting her left ankle in a fall in the first set. "I told her, ‘Forget about it, forget about today.’
Top seed Sofia Kenin of the United States moved into the third round of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open on Friday afternoon after Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens had to retire due to a left ankle injury which occurred during the match.
In a video clip circulated on the “X” platform, the dog appeared on the field in a match between Dorados de Sinola and its host Albergue de Oaxaca in the 11th round of the local league.
Rizwan, a wicketkeeper-batsman, retired on 103 and skipper Babar Azam hit 80 in a run-feast at Hyderabad. The match was played behind closed doors due to a Hindu festival and security issues in the southern Indian city.
The event was sponsored by UAE companies operating in Brazil, with the UAE Embassy holding a cultural exhibition alongside the race to introduce Brazilians to the culture of the UAE.
Babar took to his social media account and wrote, “Overwhelmed with the love and support here in Hyderabad.” Shaheen Shah Afridi also lauded the Indians for their warm reception for the Pakistani cricketers.