MELBOURNE, Australia ( Associated Press) – Everything seemed easy for Iga Swiatek last season. Two Grand Slam trophies, eight titles in total, a 37-match winning streak, a long reign at the top of the rankings.
Those achievements made others expect continued greatness from Swiatek, expectations beyond his control. She also changed the way she approached Pole at key moments, and after losing 6–4, 6–4 to Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the round of 16 at the Australian Open, Swiatek wondered if she had lost her Strategy needs to be reviewed.
“I felt like I needed to take a step back from the way I was thinking about these tournaments, and maybe I wanted it too much. So I’m going to try to calm down a little bit more,” Swiatek said. “I felt the pressure, and I thought ‘I don’t want to lose’ rather than ‘I want to win’.”
So there will be no match between Swiatek and Coco Gauff in Australian Open. Rather, the tennis players who beat them on Sunday will collide.
Rybakina and Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, will clash for a ticket to the semi-finals. He made a total of half a dozen aces to go 24–15 on winning points against Swiatek.
The 25-year-old Latvian Ostapenko beat seventh seed Gauff 7-5, 6-3 at the Margaret Court Arena.
Rybakina (seeded 22nd) used her big serve to upset Swiatek and won 6–4, 6–4 in almost an hour and a half.
“I played well in the key moments,” said Rybakina. “Of course, I get nervous every time I go on the court, I think like all of them. But I always stay calm. At least I try to I try not to show too much emotion. My coaches tell me that I really need to show them sometimes, so I’m learning as well.”
Swiatek is a three-time major champion, including titles at the French Open and US Open last year.
Ryabkina’s placement in the rankings does not reflect her ability or results, as her title last July at the All England Club came in a version of the tournament that did not award ranking points.
The WTA and ATP tours refrained from allotting points at the tournament after organizers banned players from Russia and Belarus from participating following the invasion of Ukraine.
Ryabkina was born in Moscow, but has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, when that country offered financial support for her tennis career.
Swiatek’s defeat in the first week added to the departures of Ons Jabeur, Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud, and this Australian Open will be the first Grand Slam in the Open Era – since 1968 – to feature the top two qualifiers from the women’s and men’s fours. Already out of the quarter finals.
In other matches of the women’s draw on Sunday, American Jessica Pegula (ranked No. 3) defeated French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals for the third year in a row in Australia. of 2021.
Pegula will next face 2012-13 Australian champion Victoria Azarenka. The Belarusian reappears in the top eight at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2016, winning 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 against 87th-ranked Chinese Zhu Lin, in a match that ended nearly 2 : Monday morning at 20 o’clock.
Both Rybakina and Ostapenko will play in the quarterfinals for the first time in Melbourne.
The 18-year-old American Gauff said, “I had moments in the match that I got frustrated because I can normally handle situations, but today I didn’t have to answer for anything.” Last year’s Roland Garros final…
One key: Ostapenko squandered all three break point opportunities, while Gauff made just one of eight.