Iga Swiatek crashed out of US Open 2023© AFP
Top-seed Iga Swiatek crashed out of US Open, suffering a 6-3, 3-6, 1-6 defeat to world no. 21 Jelena Ostapenko in Women’s Singles Round of 16. Swiatek, who was also the defending champion in the competition, started off well against Ostapenko, winning the first set 6-3 but was outdone by her opponent in the following two sets. Swiatek might have been presumed the favorite given her dominance of the WTA Tour over the last couple of years but on-field it’s Ostapenko who has had an edge over the Pole. In fact, before this meeting, Ostapenko had won all three of the pair’s previous showdowns.
Swiatek went into Round 4 encounter against Ostapenko having won just one set in three meetings against the big-hitting Latvian. Basing her game on audacious hitting that can run hot and cold, Ostapenko overpowered the Pole the same way she did in earlier meetings. But, all of her previous wins had come before Swiatek had risen to No.1 last year. However, ranking had little impact on Ostapenko’s mind as she once again continued her dominance over the Polish star.
“I always expect a tough battle against Iga,” Ostapenko said on court after her triumph. “She’s won many Slams and she plays very consistent. I just went on court and I had to play aggressive because that’s what she doesn’t really like. In the third set, I stepped more in the court and I was serving better.”
Ostapenko produced an incredible fightback after losing the first set in a match that lasted for 1hr 48min. She will now face American sixth seed Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.
The defeat also means Polish star Swiatek will also end her 75-week reign as women’s world number one when the rankings are updated after the US Open, with rival Aryna Sabalenka set to take over top spot.
With AFP inputs
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