With the final Grand Slam of the 2022 season in the bag, some of the players who captured the US Open’s biggest headlines and prizes have continued their media whirlwind in New York and beyond.
World No.1 Iga Swiatek, who captured her third Grand Slam title (and second of 2022) at Flushing Meadows, was a guest on The Today Show. The Polish star used that opportunity to reiterate her support for Ukraine, having helped raise over €400,000 by organising a charity match in Warsaw two months ago.
“I want to remind people that the war is still out there,” Swiatek said. “I’m 21, so I always lived in a place where I didn’t know war was actually possible so close to me. I was really emotional at the beginning, then I realised I want to use my position to have some influence.”
Swiatek also graced Vogue magazine, where she was the subject of a profile. In it, the 21-year-old discussed how she’s still getting used to New York and its noise — but various celebrity sightings and meetings are memories she’ll treasure, from actor Matthew Perry to singer Seal and ski racer Lindsey Vonn.
The first Polish woman to win the US Open, Swiatek’s popularity in her home country is also continuing to grow. During an ESPN interview this week, the cheers from fans outside were so loud that she had to pause to address them in Polish. Swiatek was also a guest on Polish TV show Fakty po Faktach (Facts after Facts), where she told host Anita Werner that she would like to lead by example regarding mental health in tennis.
“I would love to bring to tennis that more players will work on the mental zone,” Swiatek said. “I wish more people had a balance between what we do on the court and what we do off the court. I would like to be an example in this topic and also lead the process well myself. I wouldn’t have done it without the team and people smarter than me who know when to stop.”
Back in New York, US Open runner-up Ons Jabeur and newly retired Serena Williams were hitting up the fashion scene. Jabeur, who was the cover star of Arabic magazine Sayidaty in April, will feature in the September issue of Vogue Arabia as one of the key young movers and shakers of the Arab world.
“It is an honor and a big responsibility to represent that many people; I totally embrace it,” World No.2 Jabeur told Vogue. “It gives me more confidence, energy, and power as I am not fighting alone.”
This week, The Tunisian was also invited to the Vogue World runway show at New York Fashion Week alongside husband Karim Kamoun.
A key participant in Vogue World was none other than Serena Williams, opening the show by walking the runway in a custom Balenciaga dress and cape, accompanied by four “ball girls” wearing traditional tennis dresses. The 23-time Grand Slam champion returned for Vogue World’s grand finale, too, strutting down the cobblestones alongside models Bella and Gigi Hadid as rapper Lil Nas X performed his hit “Industry Baby”.
Serena was also a guest on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where she discussed the moments leading up to her retirement — or “evolution away from tennis,” as she would rather put it.
“At one point the only person who knew was my therapist,” Serena said. “Because verbalizing it meant that it was real.”
Serena also revealed that she originally envisioned her retirement without any fanfare. “I thought I would leave quietly and just not say anything. Then make an announcement on social media or something. That’s how I thought it would be.”
Over the past month, Serena has reiterated that she is bad at saying goodbyes, something underlined when she once again chose to be ambiguous over whether she has really hung up her racquet forever.
“You know what? Tom Brady started an amazing trend,” she said, referring to the quarterback who announced his comeback to American football just six weeks into his retirement this year.
- Swiatek, Jabeur, Serena embark on post-US Open media tour
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