Bathroom break that put world No.1 into final

After losing the first set of her US Open semi-final, world No.1 Iga Swiatek took a bathroom break and came back a different player.

Despite being far from her best against Aryna Sabalenka, Swiatek returned from the loo revitalized to win the next two sets to clinch the match 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 and prove to the world why she’s the top ranked player.

In her post-match courtside interview, Swiatek revealed it was during the toilet break she devised the game plan to bring down Sabalenka.

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She was asked by former Aussie pro Rennae Stubbs what she told herself while she was off the court.

“It’s more what I did,” came the reply.

“I kind of needed to go. For sure I felt a bit lighter,” she said to roars of laughter from the crowd.

“Sorry, that’s disgusting.

“I tried to use that time to really try to think about what to change and really … I remember when I was younger, all I did in the bathroom between sets was cry.

“This time I can actually think about what to change and actually problem solve … I’m pretty glad I did that because I got a new idea for the second set.”

She didn’t have it all her own way though.After cruising through the second set, Sabalenka broke Swiatek in the first game of the deciding set.

When Swiatek got his own break to get back on-serve, Sabalenka lifted and broke the 21-year-old Pole straight back.

Up 4-2, Sabalenka then collapsed to lose the next four straight games.

She fronted her press conference with blue reflective sunglasses and a black cap pulled low over her face. She said “just a few points” was the difference between her and Swiatek.

“She was playing really good in the key moments … and she did great,” she said.

“She was just going for it - she was hitting every ball and putting me under pressure and playing really aggressively. I gave her a lot of opportunities in the first few games and then she’s leading 2-0. She was playing really aggressively and there was less pressure on her.

“I was just trying to stay in the game which was my mistake I think – I should’ve just gone for it.”

Sabalenka came into the match 1-3 against Swiatek, but said those losses – all of which were played this year – were irrelevant as she was a “different player”.

Sabalenka had a serious case of the serving yips earlier in the year. She conceded 56 double-faults at the Australian Open, in which she was knocked out in the fourth round.

Her serving at the US Open had drastically improved – she sent down 27 aces in her campaign.

Swiatek through to US Open final beating Sabalenka

After beating Sabalenka, Swiatek will now play Ons Jabeur in the final on Sunday morning (AEST).

She expects it will be a “physical” match.

“She has such good hands, she’s solid on the baseline and when she’s going in (to the net) I just have to be careful,” Swiatek said.

“Right now, I’m just gonna try to enjoy being in the final.”

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