World number two Ons Jabeur kept her chances of WTA Finals success intact as she came from behind to defeat Jessica Pegula.

Having lost to Aryna Sabalenka in her opening match in Fort Worth, US Open and Wimbledon runner-up Jabeur was staring down a group-stage exit from the tournament when she found herself 1-6 2-3 down halfway through the second set on Wednesday.

Yet the 28-year-old hit back to triumph 1-6 6-3 6-3 over her American opponent, the world number three, who has now lost both of her matches in the Nancy Richey group.

Jabeur reeled off four straight games to take the momentum and, after fending off four break points to hold serve in the first game of the deciding set, did not look back, clinching a decisive break to nose 5-3 ahead.

A stray Pegula cross-court forehand wrapped up Jabeur's comeback win, and the Tunisian, who is aiming to become the first African player to reach the semi-finals at the season-ending tournament, can now turn focus to her final group game against Maria Sakkari, who she has faced three times previously, losing twice. 

Jabeur's victory was her third against a top-three opponent, after beating Simona Halep in 2018 and Karolina Pliskova in 2020, while only world number one Iga Swiatek has won more matches this season (47).

BREAK POINTS WON

Jabeur - 4/10

Pegula - 4/9

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Jabeur - 27/29

Pegula - 11/16

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Jabeur - 1/2

Pegula - 0/5

Aryna Sabalenka fought from a set behind to come back and defeat Ons Jabeur 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 in their first match of the WTA Finals on Monday.

Sabalenka, 24, has now won her past three matches against Jabeur, and this time around it was her ability to limit the effectiveness of the Tunisian's serve that turned the tide.

Jabeur's serve dominated the opening set, winning 73 per cent (16-of-22) of her service points while not allowing Sabalenka a single break point opportunity.

The second set was a different story, as some double faults crept into Jabeur's game and her success rate on her service points dipped to 51 per cent (24-of-47), allowing Sabalenka to break three times before forcing a decider with a close tiebreaker.

Sabalenka finally got on top in the third set, narrowly edging the total points count 37 to 31 in the frame while converting both of her break point chances to finish off the victory.

She now sits second in the Group B standings, trailing Maria Sakkari due to the Greek winning her match in straight sets.

BREAK POINTS WON

Sabalenka - 5/8

Jabeur - 6/10

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Sabalenka - 21/26

Jabeur - 37/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Sabalenka - 1/6

Jabeur - 7/5

There will be one racing certainty when the WTA Finals gets under way: a new champion will be crowned.

Iga Swiatek heads the list of contenders to carry off the trophy in Fort Worth, Texas, having enjoyed a spectacular season.

Ascendant Americans Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff will be chasing a home victory, while Tunisia's Ons Jabeur has reached finals at Wimbledon and the US Open so loves the big occasion.

Ahead of the tournament getting under way on Monday, Stats Perform has taken a look at the eight-player field.

Swiatek still the player to beat

With no past winner in the line-up, there is every reason to look to the world number one, Swiatek, as favourite.

The 21-year-old Polish player has eight titles this year, lifting trophies at Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome, the French Open, the US Open and San Diego.

Indeed, she is the only grand slam singles winner in the draw, with Ash Barty having retired and Elena Rybakina absent after no ranking or race points were awarded at Wimbledon, where she was a surprise champion.

Rybakina's absence calls into question the meritocracy of this year's tournament, which is intended to showcase the top performers on tour, yet there can be no doubt the season's premier performer is in the draw.

French Open and US Open winner Swiatek's remarkable run of 10 straight-sets victories in finals (dating back to the 2020 French Open) was finally ended by Barbora Krejcikova, who sprang a shock by winning in Ostrava in early October.

But by getting back to winning ways a week later in San Diego, scrapping for a three-set victory over Donna Vekic in the title match, Swiatek produced a typically impressive response, beating Qinwen Zheng, Gauff and Pegula on her way through the draw to improve to 64-8 in her win-loss record for the year.

Here is a measure of her dominance this season: Swiatek headed the 'Race to the WTA Finals' rankings with 10,335 points, with the players in second (Jabeur) to eighth place (Daria Kasatkina) having tallies ranging between 4,555 and 2,935 points.

Is Pegula the chief rival to Swiatek?

She might not have been the player that would have sprung to mind even a month ago, but Pegula's victory at the Guadalajara Open this month was an eye-opener.

Beginning by saving match points in a thrilling three-setter against Rybakina, Pegula took down grand slam winners Bianca Andreescu, Sloane Stephens and Victoria Azarenka before swatting aside Maria Sakkari in the final.

Pegula has reached quarter-finals at the Australian, French and US Opens in 2022, and she has a tour-high 39 wins in WTA 1000 events since the beginning of last year.

She is up to third in the WTA rankings, one ahead of Coco Gauff, with the United States now having two women in the top five for the first time since October 2010, when Serena Williams was number two and sister Venus sat fourth.

As Pegula said after the Guadalajara final: "I'm definitely a very ambitious person. A little bit of a perfectionist, as well. I don't think you could win if you weren't ambitious, especially at this level.

"I feel like it's going to give me more motivation going forward knowing I can win these big titles. I think it will give me a lot of confidence ending the year, going into next year."

These are spirited words. She heads into the tournament with a 0-4 record against Swiatek in 2022, however.

Who's in, who's out, what's it all about?

As well as Swiatek and Pegula, the field for the eight-day tournament includes Caroline Garcia, Aryna Sabalenka and Sakkari, who have all featured at the WTA Finals in the past.

Four players make their debuts, including Pegula, who is joined as a newcomer by Jabeur, Gauff and Daria Kasatkina.

Gauff, 18, has become the 14th player aged under 19 to reach the WTA top five since the rankings were introduced in 1975.

She would not be the youngest WTA Finals champion, were she to lift the title, as Monica Seles has a tight grip on that record, having triumphed at the age of 16 years and 11 months at the 1990 edition.

Last year's champion Garbine Muguruza is absent. The Spaniard was expected by many to push on and enjoy a stellar 2022 season, but it did not play out that way, with the former French Open and Wimbledon winner sliding to 57th in the world rankings after a dismal campaign.

It goes to show that whoever prevails in Fort Worth, we should be cautious about treating the outcome as an indication of what to expect in the new year.

Home favourite Ons Jabeur was on the end of a big upset at the Jasmin Open on Friday as the world number two was eliminated by Claire Liu in the quarter-finals.

Jabeur saw off Ann Li and Evgeniya Rodina in straight sets to reach the last eight, but Liu – ranked 73 in the world – came out on top 6-3 4-6 6-4.

Liu is now into her second semi-final of the season and will face Elise Mertens, who defeated Moyuka Uchijima 6-0 3-6 6-4 in the final match of the day.

Second and third seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Alize Cornet will meet in the other semi after beating Diane Parry and Tamara Zidansek respectively in straight sets.

At the Ostrava Open, meanwhile, tournament favourite Iga Swiatek reached her 10th semi-final of the year with a 6-4 6-4 victory over qualifier Caty McNally.

Swiatek needed nearly two hours to seal her 59th victory of the season – just one short of tying Caroline Wozniacki, the most recent female to hit 60 wins in a calendar year (2017).

She will now face Ekaterina Alexandrova, who proved too strong for Tereza Martincova in a 6-1 4-6 6-1 victory.

Another grand slam winner in Barbora Krejcikova earlier beat Alycia Parks 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 on home soil to maintain her positive form, a week after triumphing at the Tallinn Open.

Awaiting her in the semi-finals is Elena Rybakina following the reigning Wimbledon champion's 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 victory against Petra Kvitova.

Anett Kontaveit and Maria Sakkari were both knocked out of the Ostrava Open on Thursday as several top seeds tumbled.

Third seed Kontaveit, who won this competition last year, retired when a set down to Tereza Martincova, while world number seven Maria Sakkari was defeated 5-7 7-5 7-5 by 21-year-old American Alycia Parks in a big upset.

Parks lost the opener but found two crucial breaks of serve when 6-5 up in both the second and third sets to eliminate the fourth seed.

The withdrawal of Belinda Bencica – seeded sixth – with a foot injury put Barbora Krejcikova into the quarter-finals, while Ekaterina Alexandrova will also be in the last eight after overcoming fifth seed Daria Kasatkina 6-1 7-6 (7-1).

The tournament favourites were in much better form at the Jasmin Open in Tunisia, as the top two seeds sealed their places in the quarter-finals with straight-sets wins.

Favourite Ons Jabeur cruised to a 6-1 6-3 victory over Evgeniya Rodina, converting four of her seven break points to safely advance to the next round of her home tournament.

And number two seed Veronika Kudermetova eased past Magdalena Frech 6-3 6-4 to set up a quarter-final meeting with Diane Parry.

Belinda Bencic fought back to defeat Eugenie Bouchard in an Ostrava Open first-round contest that took over two and a half hours to settle.

Bouchard took the first set, but Bencic came from behind to advance with a 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 victory on Tuesday.

Eighth seed Jelena Ostapenko, runner-up in the Korea Open, suffered a premature exit as Aliaksandra Sasnovich consigned the former French Open champion to a 6-2 6-2 defeat.

Emma Raducanu also went out in straight sets, with Daria Kasatkina beating the 2021 US Open champion 7-5 6-4.

Catherine McNally blitzed to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Anna Blinkova, while Alycia Parks progressed past Karolina Pliskova to secure the first top-20 win of her career.

Top seed Ons Jabeur swept aside Ann Li with relative ease in a 6-2 6-3 victory at the Jasmin Open to reach the last 16.

Veronika Kudermetova, the second seed, breezed past Varvara Gracheva with a commanding 6-1 6-0 win.

Anastasia Potapova, Petra Martic, Magdalena Frech and Harriet Dart were among the other victors.

New York City might not be Iga Swiatek's kind of place, but she has made an exception during this US Open fortnight.

The US Open balls, controversially lighter for the women than the men, might not be up Swiatek's street, but she made an exception for them too.

And if the match-up with Ons Jabeur in the Flushing Meadows final felt almost too close to call – most were forecasting three sets, flip a coin on the winner – well, perhaps Swiatek took exception.

Rising to the occasion of a grand slam final is what exceptional players do, making exceptions in times of need, taking exception to doubters, carrying off titles. If anyone was beginning to doubt Swiatek after her mid-summer dip, this Arthur Ashe Stadium triumph banished the thought she is anything other than exceptional.

At times her play was brilliant, and when her level dropped, as it did in the second set, she was gritty. In the end, she was not as clutch as she might have liked, unable to take a match point at 6-5 on Jabeur's serve and pushed into a tie-break, but a 6-2 7-6 (7-5) victory goes into the record books.

In the end, that's all that counts. Habitual winners find a way, down one path or another.

The second set was a curious confection, both players losing their fluency but fighting hard for every point, tenacity overriding talent at times as the high stakes involved often brought the level down.

Swiatek appeared distracted by a call from the crowd at one stage, that New York bustle again getting in her head.

On the eve of the tournament, Swiatek said of New York: "I wouldn't choose it as a place to live because I'm more of a person that needs a calm place with the proper environment to rest. New York is kind of always alive. That's not for sure my place."

So, Iga, how does New York feel now?

"It's so loud, it's so crazy," she said at Saturday's trophy presentation. "There were so many temptations in the city, so many people I've met who were so inspiring. It's really mind blowing for me and I'm so proud I could handle it mentally."

The 21-year-old has a third grand slam title and a first away from the French Open, where she was champion at the pandemic-delayed slam in October 2020 and again this year.

Swiatek is a Pole on a roll when it comes to the big occasions, having won 20 consecutive sets in finals, all tournaments considered, and remarkably she is the first woman to win two or more slams in a single season since Angelique Kerber in 2016.

These two women will be numbers one and two in the new WTA rankings, and there could be a real rivalry brewing. Or there might just be a slew of these trophies coming Swiatek's way.

She is the first women to win the French Open and the US Open in the same year since Serena Williams in 2013.

If Williams does not play again, as we now expect, then Swiatek will be a very different type of figurehead for the women's game, an introvert who goes about her business quietly, but purposefully.

She becomes just the ninth woman in the Open Era to earn a third singles slam before turning 22, joining an illustrious list also featuring Maria Sharapova, Justine Henin, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, Steffi Graf and Chris Evert.

As Jabeur came charging back at Swiatek in the second set, recovering from 3-0 and 4-2 adrift to take it to the tie-break, thoughts turned to what a victory for the Tunisian would have meant.

A tournament that began as the Serena Williams show, a celebration of a player who alongside sister Venus opened the door for so many black players, might have ended with the triumph of an African Arab woman, one whose driving force is to see more players from her continent, and of her ethnicity, make strides in professional tennis.

Jabeur's time will probably come, but this defeat will sting, just as losing to Elena Rybakina in the title match did at Wimbledon two months ago.

"I want to thank the crowd for cheering me on. I really tried, but Iga didn't make it easy for me," Jabeur said. "She deserved to win today. I don't like her very much right now but it's okay."

She vowed to "get that title sometime soon", but with Swiatek around that might be difficult.

Swiatek is the second woman since the slams opened themselves up to professionals in 1968 to win her first six sets in grand slam singles finals. For the record, Lindsay Davenport was the first.

This final came at the end of a tournament that Swiatek entered with low expectations. Defeat to Alize Cornet at Wimbledon halted her 37-match winning run, the longest on the women's tour this century, and it was followed by a string of results that saw Swiatek go no further than the quarter-finals in her next three events.

"Maybe I'm the kind of person who is never going to trust myself," Swiatek said, heading into the final.

She is a different model of champion, perhaps not the kind they are used to or particularly get behind in New York. There is no razzmatazz, no edge: just intense focus.

Swiatek is always doubting, but always looking for ways to improve, and now, when it comes to finals, always getting the job done.

US Open runner-up Ons Jabeur hopes her historic run to the final at Flushing Meadows can help inspire future generations of players from African and Arab nations.

Tunisian Jabeur went down 6-2 7-6 (7-5) to world number one Iga Swiatek in Saturday's thrilling final at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 28-year-old was the first African female player to reach the singles final at the US Open in the Open Era, having earlier this year become the first such player to reach the showpiece match of a grand slam in the Open Era.

Jabeur lost 3-6 6-2 6-2 to Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon, though despite not winning a set against Swiatek, gave a better account of herself this time around.

It has been some rise for Jabeur, who had previously never reached a semi-final in 20 previous major appearances. She will be the world number two when the new WTA rankings are confirmed on Monday.

An African player has not won a grand slam singles title since 1981, when Johan Kriek triumphed at the Australian Open. He retained his title a year later, yet was competing for the United States.

Indeed, a player from the continent, male or female, has not enjoyed success at any major since Cara Black won in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 2010, but Jabeur is hoping that will soon change.

"I want to thank the crowd for cheering me on, I really tried, she deserved to win today – I don't like her very much right now, but it's okay," Jabeur smiled as she hailed Swiatek's performance in her on-court interview.

"An amazing two weeks to be honest, making up for my final at Wimbledon. I'm going to keep working hard and we'll get that title sometime soon."

Asked how proud she was of her history making season, Jabeur replied: "It really means a lot and I try to push myself to do more. Getting the major is one of the goals.

"Hopefully I can inspire more and more generations, that's the goal and I get inspired by so many champions. Thank you also to my team, always pushing me.

"We want more and more kids coming here hopefully, I just really hope I can inspire more. This is just the beginning."

Jabeur is the first player to reach the final at both Wimbledon and the US Open in the same season since the great Serena Williams did so in 2019, and only the seventh player overall since the turn of the century.

After struggling to find rhythm in the first set, the fifth seed hit back in the second, coming from 4-2 down to restore parity and subsequently save the first of Swiatek's championship points en route to forcing a tie-break.

Jabeur found herself serving for the set at 5-4 up, yet a wonderful Swiatek forehand and a sloppy shot into the net handed her opponent a second bite at the cherry.

The Pole took it thanks to an overhit Jabeur forehand, meaning the Tunisian has now lost seven of her 10 Tour-level finals, and all three of the showpiece matches she has played in on hard courts.

Iga Swiatek turned in a stellar display befitting of her talent as she sealed the US Open title with a 6-2 7-6 (7-5) defeat of Ons Jabeur.

Swiatek has perhaps been short of her very best in New York but, despite a second-set wobble, found her level on Saturday to win a third major – the youngest player to do so since Maria Sharapova in 2008. 

Jabeur, the first woman to reach the final of Wimbledon and the US Open in the same season since Serena Williams in 2019, gave her all, forcing the world number one into a real battle in the middle of a tense second set.

It came down to a tie-break, but having won her last nine successive WTA finals in straight sets, Swiatek found the composure to pull through and cement her place at the summit of the game.

Nerves had Jabeur on the back foot from the off, with the Tunisian – the first African female to reach the singles final at Flushing Meadows in the Open Era – dropping serve to love to trail 2-0, with Swiatek swiftly going three to the good.

Jabeur stopped the rot for 3-1 before a display of power off both forehand and backhand gave the world number five two break points, the second of which she took, yet she could not keep the momentum going on her serve, conceding again and, this time, Swiatek did not let up, taking the set when her opponent sent a simple volley long.

Like in the first set, it was 2-0 when Swiatek broke, this time clipping a backhand down the line after latching onto a weak volley, Jabeur unable to assert any control.

A supreme backhand saw Swiatek take the next game, too, though she squandered a break chance when she appeared to be distracted by a shout from the crowd.

The pendulum swung firmly in Jabeur's favour when she made it 4-4, only for the 28-year-old to then pass up three break points.

Having dug deep to get through Jabeur's fightback, Swiatek had championship point at 40-30 up in the 12th game. As the crowd held their breath, the youngster changed racquets.

Perhaps it was forced, perhaps a ploy. Either way, the change backfired, Jabeur rolling off three successive points to force a tie-break. 

Jabeur kicked a ball into the crowd in anger after an overhit forehand gifted Swiatek a 4-2 lead, but a trio of points mounted the pressure back to the other side of the court.

Yet it was pressure that Swiatek was able to handle, seeing out two Jabeur serves to turn the tables back in her favour and, on this occasion, she prevailed - Jabeur hitting long to end her brave fight.

Data Slam: Swiatek's year of dominance 

Jabeur and Swiatek entered Saturday's showpiece with the most wins in 2022 and the latter has now matched former world number one Ash Barty's record of 57 victories in a single season (Set in 2019), a haul the 21-year-old will surely overtake.

The first top-seeded female player to reach the final at the US Open since Williams in 2014, Swiatek has matched the 23-time grand slam champion in another metric, too, becoming the first player to win seven titles in a single season since the American great did so eight years ago.

Swiatek is only the ninth player in the Open Era to win her third grand slam title before turning 22, after Sharapova, Justine Henin, both Williams sisters, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, Steffi Graf and Chris Evert.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 1/0

Jabeur – 2/4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 19/30

Jabeur – 14/33

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 5/12

Jabeur – 3/9

Iga Swiatek is relishing what she expects to be "a great battle" with Ons Jabeur in the US Open final.

The world number one came from behind to defeat Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 6-1 6-4 in Thursday's semi-final to set up a shot at a third grand slam title.

Swiatek will now face Tunisia's Jabeur, who is yet to win a major and suffered defeat in this year's Wimbledon final.

Asked about the task of taking on the world number five in Saturday's showpiece, Swiatek said: "There are a lot of challenges because she's a really solid player and she's second in the race right now.

"You know, Wimbledon final. She didn't get [ranking] points for that, but it shows how much progress she has made.

"She has a different game style than most of the players. She has a great touch. All these things mixed up... she's just a tough opponent.

"That's why probably our matches are always kind of physical and really tight.

"She's just a tough opponent and fully deserves to be in the final. I think it's going to be a great battle."

The Pole conceded she was still lacking trust in her ability on hard courts, with clay her favoured surface, as evidenced by two French Open titles.

But she is delighted to have overcome that in order to push on to a maiden final at Flushing Meadows.

"I just feel like the work that I did pays off," she said. "I feel like even though I lost in Toronto and Cincinnati pretty early, it gives you a chance to prepare and you have to be ready during that time to actually use that.

"I'm pretty happy that on this tournament I was fresh mentally to actually use the chances. I'm pretty happy that even though maybe I wasn't feeling 100 per cent perfectly from the beginning of the tournament, I was still able to get better and better and to play a really solid game."

From her past 50 matches, Swiatek has a record of 46-4, and coming into this tournament she had 8605 ranking points – with second-placed Anett Kontaveit down at 4360.

She is also the first number one seed to reach the US Open final since Serena Williams did it back in 2014, snapping the equal-longest drought on that front at any grand slam in the Open Era.

Ons Jabeur feels she is more prepared emotionally to handle the task of a grand slam final the second time around, after being upset in the Wimbledon final earlier this year.

Jabeur defeated Caroline Garcia in Thursday's semi-final, needing only 67 minutes to storm through 6-1 6-3 to reach her second consecutive grand slam decider.

Her loss to Elena Rybakina in July's Wimbledon final was her first time making it to the final match of a grand slam, but after winning the first set in that match, Jabeur fell apart, losing the next two sets 6-2 6-2.

Speaking to the media after earning another chance at a major title, the 28-year-old said she is more focused this time around after being almost starstruck at Wimbledon.

"It feels more real [this time], to be honest with you," she said. "At Wimbledon I was kind of just living the dream, and I couldn't believe it. 

"Even just after the match [today], I was just going to do my thing, not realising it was an amazing achievement already… I hope I'm getting used to it.

"I'm just happy about the fact that I backed up the results in Wimbledon and people are not really surprised I'm in the finals… now maybe I'll know what to do in the final."

Touching on what lessons she learned from that experience, she said she feels she will not be overwhelmed if she is faced with the prospect of being one set away from a grand slam.

"From Wimbledon, just, you know, a lot of emotions," she said. "Just going to that final was really tough for me, especially the second set. I think I handled things very well coming to the court and playing the first set.

"But then I feel like this final, I'm going full in, I'm going for everything. Definitely also learning from Rome's final [lost to Iga Swiatek], Madrid [defeated Jessica Pegula] and other ones.

"I feel very positive about this one. You know, the most important thing is not to regret, because I'm going to give it all on this one. Even if this one is not going to happen, I'm very sure that another one will come."

When asked if her preparation has changed at all from Wimbledon to now, she said minor tweaks to her mindset are the key.

"Will I do things differently? Probably yes," she said. "Some things maybe in the match, for sure, but I think I'm definitely going to think about [Wimbledon] and think about how I played, and the emotions and my focus more than tactically.

"At certain times I think I played not the right way in the final, so it didn't help me much. But always, it's always nice to stick with the same plan. 

"You know, when you get stressed sometimes, you just don't know how to think. I think that I'm going to use [that experience] very well… I think it's going to be great."

Iga Swiatek will have a chance to win her third career grand slam after defeating Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 6-1 6-4 in a gutsy come-from-behind win in Thursday's semi-final.

Poland's Swiatek, who has also won the French Open in 2020 and 2022, will play Ons Jabeur in the decider after the Tunisian won her semi-final against the in-form Caroline Garcia in straight sets earlier on.

It continues a remarkable season for the 21-year-old Swiatek, having also reached the semi-final at the Australian Open, before rattling off a 37-match winning streak that saw her claim six titles in a row and put a massive gap on the field as the world number one.

Belarus' Sabalenka was impressive in the opening set, attacking Swiatek's second serves to generate plenty of break points. She won 10-of-12 opportunities against Swiatek's second serve in the first frame, creating six break point chances and taking three.

Things flipped in the second set, and it was all about Swiatek making the adjustments, increasing her first serve accuracy from 64 per cent in the opener to 94 per cent in the second. 

She won 14-of-17 points in those situations in the second frame, and converted all three of her break point opportunities as Sabalenka got sloppy, committing 15 unforced errors with only six winners.

Sabalenka threatened to run away with things late – twice managing to go up a break in the third set – but Swiatek showed composure beyond her years as she continued to fight back.

From 4-2 down in the decider, Swiatek rattled off the next four games in a row, going up 40-0 against Sabalenka's serve in the final game and finishing things off with her second match point.

Data Slam: Swiatek continues historic season

From her past 50 matches, Swiatek has a record of 46-4, and coming into this tournament she had 8605 ranking points – with second-placed Anett Kontaveit down at 4360.

She is also the first number one seed to reach the US Open final since Serena Williams did it back in 2014, snapping the equal-longest drought at any grand slam in the Open Era.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 2/3

Sabalenka – 4/7

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 24/31

Sabalenka – 22/44

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 7/10

Sabalenka – 5/10

Ons Jabeur was wildly impressive in her 6-1 6-3 victory over the red-hot Caroline Garcia in the US Open semi-final on Thursday, getting the job done in just 67 minutes.

Jabeur, the world number five, was dominant in the opening set, winning 75 per cent of her service points and 61 per cent of her return points, allowing no break point opportunities while taking all three of her own chances to break.

She wrapped up the first set in 24 minutes, and after an even start to the second frame, Jabeur capitalised on her first and only break point chance to grab the decisive lead.

Tunisia's best ever tennis export served things out in style, finishing the match without Garcia ever seeing a break point chance.

It ends a remarkable run for Garcia, who entered the contest on a 13-match winning streak, with 31 wins from her past 35. After dominating Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals, Garcia became the betting favourite to win the tournament.

For Jabeur, it continues a career-best season after reaching her first ever grand slam final at Wimbledon, and her ranking will be bumped up to number two in the world when it next updates.

She will play the winner between Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka in the decider.

Data Slam: Jabeur makes more history for African tennis

Jabeur is the first African, Arab or Tunisian woman to ever reach the US Open final, after also accomplishing that feat at Wimbledon.

Through six matches at this tournament, she has only lost one set – in the third round against American Shelby Rogers.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Jabeur – 21/15

Garcia – 12/23

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Jabeur – 8/2

Garcia – 2/0

BREAK POINTS WON

Jabeur – 4/4

Garcia – 0/0

Both Ons Jabeur and Caroline Garcia have made further history with their advancement to the US Open women's semi-finals on Tuesday.

The Tunisian overcame Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic in a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium, before the Frenchwoman swept aside home favourite Coco Gauff 6-3 6-4.

In doing so, both have reached their first last-four appearance at the final grand slam of the year, and set themselves new benchmarks in the process.

Jabeur is the first Arab or African woman in the Open Era to make the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows.

On the back of reaching the final at Wimbledon earlier this year, she could finish the tournament as the world number two.

Garcia, meanwhile, has reached her first major semi-final without dropping a set along the way.

She has lost just 27 games en route and victory over Gauff extended her winning streak to 13.

In addition, she becomes just the third Frenchwoman to reach the US Open semi-finals in the Open Era, after Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce.

Ons Jabeur believes she can win a major title following her Wimbledon run to the final, having clinched a spot in the US Open semi-final with a straight-sets victory over Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday.

The world number five secured her spot in the last four in one hour and 41 minutes, winning 6-4 7-6 (7-4), having trailed 5-3 in the second set.

The win was Jabeur's 43rd this season, trailing only world number one Iga Swiatek, and comes after she lost to Elena Rybakina in July's Wimbledon decider, fueling her belief that she can secure a breakthrough grand slam title.

"I believe in myself after Wimbledon," Jabeur said during her an on-court interview. "I know that I have it in me to win a [major] final. And here I am in the semi-finals."

Jabeur had reached the quarterfinals at the 2020 Australian Open and 2021 Wimbledon Championships, with her recent runner-up finish proving a breakthrough.

"I think the fact that I broke that barrier of being in the quarterfinals all the time, that did help with my confidence," she said.

"Knowing that I could make finals in grand slams really helped my game, just trying to build that experience to go into second weeks in grand slams.

"It was very tough coming here, you know, just the hard court season like wasn't that great for me. So I was trying to build more and more confidence on hard courts.

"Wimbledon helped a lot, for sure."

The 28-year-old Tunisian has made history several times, the latest being becoming the first African or Arab woman in the Open Era to reach the US Open semifinals.

On a personal level, she has now also reached the second week in all four major tournaments.

"I’m just trying to do my job here, hopefully I inspire more and more generations from Africa," Jabeur said. "It really means a lot to me."

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