Australian Open: Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff eliminated

MELBOURNE, Australia –

There will be no match between Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff at the Australian Open. Instead, it will be the players who beat them on Sunday – reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko – who will face off for the semi-finals.

First seeded Rybakina Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena, while Ostapenko overcame seventh seed Gauff 7-5, 6-3 at Margaret Court Arena.

Both 22nd seed Rybakina, 23, representing Kazakhstan, and 17th seed Ostapenko, 25, from Latvia, secured their first place in the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park.

“I played well in the key moments,” said Rybakina, who used his big serve to tamper with Swiatek and have the upper hand in their base exchanges. “Of course I’m nervous every time I go on the pitch, I think like everyone else. But I’m always calm. At least I’m trying not to show too much emotion. My coach says that sometimes I’m just too emotional. the need to show, so I’m also learning.”

Swiatek is a three-time major champion, including titles at the French Open and US Open last season. She beat Gauff, the 18-year-old American tennis player, in the final of Roland Garros last June.

So far on Sunday, both have proved quite dominating in the event, winning every set they contested, with Swiatek losing just 15 games in total and Gauff losing just 19 over three.

One key to Ostapenko versus Gauff: Ostapenko has converted a 3 to 3 chance, while Gauff is only a 1 to 8 in such situations.

Rybakina’s 25th ranking does not reflect her ability nor her results as her championship at the All England Club in July did not come with any ranking points. The WTA and ATP tournaments have withheld all points at Wimbledon in 2022 after the All England Club banned players from Russia and Belarus from participating because of the Ukraine invasion.

Rybakina was born in Moscow but has been playing for Kazakhstan since 2018, when that country sponsored her tennis career.

Despite her status as a major champion, Rybakina hasn’t gone unnoticed: Her first match at Melbourne Park came on Small Court 13 last Monday; Her match against two-time Slam champion Garbine Muguruza at the US Open is at least five on Court 4.

But her game deserves much more attention, as she showed when taking down Swiatek.

Rybakina hit six aces and won by a 24-15 margin over the 21-year-old from Poland, who reached the semi-finals a year ago in Australia. That followed Rybakina’s win over 2022 runner-up Danielle Collins in the third round.

Swiatek is not at his best and Rybakina has a lot to do with that. In the opening game, Swiatek led 40 points but was broken. In the next match, Swiatek kept two break points with the score 15-40 but also failed. So in the first place, while the score was 2-2, it was very likely that the score was 4-0 in favor of Swiatek.

Rybakina finished the serve in that love, overtaking it with a 113 mph (183 kph) ace, and her dangerous backhand helped quite a bit too: She created six winners. from that wing in the first set, compared to Swiatek ‘s 0 .

In the second set, Swiatek seemed to be back on track, looking a lot like the man who had a 37-match winning streak last year. But that surge didn’t last long, and Rybakina lost six of the last seven matches of the match.

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