The US Open finals weekend is upon us and here is the All Court Tennis Club verdict on what we can expect from a thrilling finale at Flushing Meadows.
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Caroline Garcia (France) v Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
Two of the form players on the WTA Tour in recent months have plotted a path to the final four in New York and this is a tough match to call.
Jabeur was heartbroken after her run to the Wimbledon final in July ended with a defeat against Elena Rybakina, but she is back at the business end of a Grand Slam event once again in New York.
“I grew up playing in a tennis club with only four courts, and it’s pretty small,” said Jabeur.
“Coming from Tunisia, it’s not easy to believe that you can be here one day, but thankfully I made it happen. I struggled a lot with injuries, especially after the juniors.
“Having a game like mine, it’s kind of tough, because I had to really adapt to changing the rhythm and everything.
“It’s just part of the process. I feel like you should always have difficulties to be stronger and to be here one day and face the best tennis players in the world.”
Garcia confirmed her status as a US Open contender with a victory at the WTA Canadian Masters last month and she has been in fine form in New York, beating Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals.
Head to head – Jabeur leads 2-0
Both of their previous meetings came on hard courts, with Jabeur winning both. This includes a 2019 straight sets US Open victory.
All Court Tennis Club verdict: Jabeur finds a way to win.
Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) v Iga Swiatek (Poland)
World No.1 Iga Swiatek has not looked at her imperious best during this US Open, with her dislike for the Wilson balls being used at the tournament well know.
“I think those balls are horrible,” said the French Open champion. “At the end, you can’t even serve 170 kilometres per hour because you know it’s going to fly like crazy. Yeah, I think they are pretty bad.
“We make more mistakes, for sure. So I don’t think that’s really nice to watch.”
Despite her concerns, Swiatek has found a way to get to the final rounds in Flushing Meadows, with her 6-3 7-6(4) win against Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals evidence that she is finding her best form when it matters most.
Now she faces a real test, with Sabalenka’s 6-1 7-6(4) defeat of Karolina Pliskova in the last eight highlighting her powerful all-court game on the fast surface in New York.
Head to head – Swiatek leads 3-1
These two players have met three times in 2022 and Swiatek has come out on top on each occasion.
All Court Tennis Club verdict: Swiatek to march into the final.
The contenders are set. pic.twitter.com/AiZNFtih4H
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2022
Karen Khachanov (Russia) v Casper Ruud (Norway)
No one could have predicted we would see Khachanov against Ruud as a semi-final emerging from the bottom half of the men’s draw.
With Ruud eyeing up the world No.1 ranking if he gets to the final of the US Open, this is a glorious opportunity for the Norwegian to claim a slice of tennis history and he is now a live contender to lift his first major title on Sunday.
Runner-up in the French Open final against Rafael Nadal in June, Ruud has been within touching distance of a victory in a Grand Slam event and he will appreciate this is his golden moment to win his first major title.
As for, Khachanov held his nerve to end the challenge of Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals and his power-packed forehand will be the key to his hopes of victory.
Head to head – Ruud leads 1-0
Their only previous meeting came in the Rome Masters in 2020, with Ruud claiming a 6-3 3-6 6-1 win.
All Court Tennis Club verdict: Ruud to win in four sets
Frances Tiafoe (USA) v Carlos Alcaraz (Spain)
The biggest question mark heading into this semi-final will be how Alcaraz is feeling physically after his epic five hours and 15 minute win against Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2022
“It’s unbelievable the match,” said Alcaraz after his 6-3 6-7 (7) 6-7 (0) 7-5 6-3 victory at 2.50am local time in New York. “Jannik Sinner is a great player. I will never be tired to say that all the wins I have in this amazing court is thanks to the support I receive.
“I just believed in myself, believed in my game. I knew to close a match is really difficult, I have to stay in the match, try to stay calm.”
We have often asked where tennis will be when Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have left the big stage, but the Alcaraz vs Sinner match confirmed it will be in a good place.
Alcaraz is on course to become the new world No.1 if he beats home favourite Tiafoe and if he is not too jaded, he is favourite to do just that.
Head to head – Tiafoe leads 1-0
These two have only met on one previous occasion, with Tiafoe stunning Alcaraz on his favourite clay surface in Barcelona last year.
All Court Tennis Club verdict: Alcaraz into the final and he will become world No.1.
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