On Thursday, world number one Iga Swiatek was propelled into a US Open final match against Tunisian fifth-seed Ons Jabeur by an emergency bathroom break.
Swiatek, a two-time French Open champion, reached her first US Open final after coming from behind to defeat Aryna Sabalenka 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Swiatek, on the other hand, was revived after a quick dash to the restroom following the opening set.
Swiatek explained, “I kind of needed to go.” “I definitely felt lighter, but that’s disgusting.”
Swiatek also stated that the break had assisted her in analysing the flaws in her first set performance.
“I tried to use that time to think about what I wanted to change because I remember when I was younger, all I did in the bathroom between sets after losing was cry.”
“However, this time I could think about what to change and actually solve the problem.”
Swiatek raced through the second set to tie the match and then punished Sabalenka’s late collapse to claim a valiant victory.
Sabalenka, who was up a break and leading 4-2 in the final set, was visibly upset and later appeared at a press conference wearing mirrored sunglasses and a baseball cap pulled over her face.
Sabalenka was eliminated in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the third time.
“My team keeps telling me that I should be proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished in the last few months,” she explained.
“But that’s not how I feel. “I feel like I had so many opportunities in these three semi-finals that I didn’t take advantage of.”
In Thursday’s other semi-final, Jabeur defeated France’s Garcia to become the first African woman to reach the US Open final.
It was another significant achievement for Jabeur, who in July became the first African woman to reach the Wimbledon final.
The Tunisian dominated Garcia from beginning to end of a one-sided semi-final that lasted just over an hour.
“It feels amazing,” Jabeur said. “I had a lot of pressure on me after Wimbledon, and I’m really relieved that I can back up my results.”
“The hard court season started off a little rough, but I’m thrilled to have made it to the finals here.”
Jabeur’s win extended her career-long dominance over Garcia.
Before Thursday, the 28-year-old Tunisian had beaten Garcia four times as a junior and twice as a professional in Grand Slam events.
“I know she was playing incredible tennis, which puts a lot of pressure on you,” Jabeur explained. “It wasn’t easy for me, but I was mentally prepared.”
Garcia, seeded 17, advanced to the final four after a 13-match winning streak that included a win at the Cincinnati Masters lead-in event.
With a clinical victory, Jabeur shattered Garcia’s dream of becoming the first French woman to win the US Open.
The Frenchwoman later admitted that she had struggled to cope with the occasion’s pressure.
“There were obviously nerves,” Garcia said. “I knew it was semi-finals today, so you know what it’s bringing you if you win and what you want to achieve; it’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.”
“I tried my hardest.” I kept fighting, keeping going for it, because I know it’s my way.”
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