Two of the biggest names at the Australian Open are out after Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek each lost in straight sets in the round of 16.
The usually dominant Swiatek was upended by Wimbledon champion and No. 22 seed Elena Rybakina 6-4, 6-4. Prior to that match, Rybakina had never beaten a current world No. 1.
“I kind of knew what to expect on these big courts, and I just tried to do my best and tried to focus on my serve,” Rybakina said. “A few games were not really successful on my serve, but in the end I think I did a good job.
“It’s a big win and I’m just happy to get to another round.”
Letting her racquet do the talking 🤫🇰🇿 Elena Rybakina • @wwos • @espn • @eurosport • @wowowtennis • #AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/o42uktZv5v— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 22, 2023
Letting her racquet do the talking 🤫🇰🇿 Elena Rybakina • @wwos • @espn • @eurosport • @wowowtennis • #AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/o42uktZv5v
She went up 2-0 in the first set before Swiatek pulled back level, but the world No. 1 never seemed to take control of the match.
“I knew that I had to be aggressive from the first ball because she’s a great mover, and she defends really well,” Rybakina said. “So I was trying to just attack her from the first ball, and it really worked well.”
At the same time, 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko was brewing an upset of her own, taking out Gauff 7-5, 6-3. She clocked 30 winners, and the win marked her first over a top 10 player at a Grand Slam in three years.
It’s also her first quarterfinal appearance at a Grand Slam since 2018 and continues a career-best run at the Australian Open.
“My life changed a lot [after winning Roland Garros], so I needed a few years to really get used to what happened because I was really young,” Ostapenko said. “I was 19 and then turned 20.
“I always knew and believed in my game. If I play well, I can beat almost anyone. I was trying to work more on my consistency, especially in the preseason. Yeah, just to step on the court and play my game.
“I think I’m doing it quite well this week.”