Iga Swiatek. (Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)
Iga Swiatek thinks “the sky is the limit” after capping her rise to the top of women’s tennis with a third Grand Slam title at the US Open on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Polish world number one won her second Grand Slam title of 2022 at Flushing Meadows, beating Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).
It was the latest leg of a dazzling season that provided ample evidence that Swiatek is the favorite to dominate the sport as it heads into the post-Serena Williams era.
A second Grand Slam title on Saturday and victory at Roland Garros in June are among seven tournaments she has won this year, including a 37-match winning streak as she climbed to the top of the standings.
Swiatek, whose favorite surface is clay, says the fact that she was able to triumph in New York could prove to be a psychological turning point for her game.
“At the start of the season, I realized maybe I could do well on WTA events,” she said. “I also reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
“But I didn’t know if I was still at the level to win a Grand Slam, especially at the US Open where the surface is so fast.
“It’s something I didn’t expect for sure. It’s also like a confirmation for me that the sky is the limit.
“I’m proud, also a bit surprised, just happy that I got to do this.”
On Saturday, Swiatek shrugged off the particularly raucous New York crowd – chair umpire Louise Azemar Engzell made repeated pleas for calm among spectators who were routinely ignored – to close out his 10th consecutive victory in the finals since 2019.
Swiatek believes her ability to block out distractions and shape her game plan around games as they evolve is a sign that she has become a tougher player mentally.
“I’m mostly proud of the fact that mentally I’m not breaking up in these important moments,” Swiatek said.
“I have, like, after games, even if I lose, I kind of have no regrets because I know I’m going 100 per cent.
“I’m proud to have a lot more solutions and options on the court than before in terms of tennis, but yes, also mentally.
“I’m really proud of that because I just know what it’s like not having ideas on the court, not being able to change anything to improve the game. Right now it’s been a long time since I had any idea. “
Swiatek plans to celebrate his win by attending a Broadway musical on Sunday.
“I’m not going to say the name of the musical because I want to have some peace tomorrow,” she said of reflecting on a US Open campaign that included a chance encounter with pop star Seal. .
“After meeting Seal, I thought to myself, ‘Even if I lose now, I’ve already won this tournament, because I took a picture with him.’
“It’s something that will probably only happen in New York. Yeah, because it’s New York.”