Welcome to what should be a packed-out Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York for an exciting conclusion to the women’s singles at the US Open.
This time 12 months ago we were preparing ourselves for Emma Raducanu’s final against Canadian Leylah Fernandez, but fast-forward to now and the spotlight is firmly traced on world number one Iga Swiatek and her opponent, Tunisian Ons Jabeur.
It felt as if the third-round departure of the now-retired Serena Williams took the air of the women’s draw slightly, such had been the hype around a player many consider to be the greatest of all time playing in her final tournament.
But if you took your eye off the women’s draw after Serena’s loss you will have missed some sublime tennis from this year’s two finalists, with Swiatek in particular showing moments of genius even in a tournament where her form has hit both peaks and troughs.
This was in full evidence in her semi-final, where a sloppy start saw the Polish top seed drop the first set to Aryna Sabalenka before she roared back to win the next two in decisive fashion and take the match 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Swiatek has had something of the Jekyll and Hyde about her over the last two weeks. At moments we have seen the kind of form that saw her win 37-straight matches earlier this season, including taking her second French Open title at Roland Garros.
At others, we have been left wondering where that player had gone. She has been able to keep head above water though and has a favourite’s chance going into her third grand slam final.
However, in Ons Jabeur, Swiatek faces an opponent well equipped to take full advantage of any lapses in focus or form. The Tunisian has dropped just one set on route to the final and was truly dominant in her semi-final, dropping just four games against French 17th seed Caroline Garcia.
A beaten finalist at Wimbledon earlier this season, the 28-year-old is bidding to become the first Arab/African woman to win a grand slam. What a storybook ending that would be for the final grand slam of the season.