After falling to Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina in the fourth round, top seed Iga Swiatek was eliminated from the Australian Open.
Rybakina, who was seeded 22nd, had difficulty repeating the performances that helped her win at the All England Club in July.
But in a 6-4 6-4 victory at Melbourne Park over Swiatek, the Kazakh demonstrated once more how she shines on a big stage.
Less than 30 minutes later, Jelena Ostapenko defeated Coco Gauff 7-5, 6-3.
Gauff, an 18-year-old American and the seventh seed, was one of the favorites to win the match but was defeated by the Latvian 17th seed.
In the quarterfinals, Rybakina, 23, will take on former French Open winner Ostapenko rather than Swiatek and Gauff as many had anticipated.
“Every time I play on the court, I get anxious, but I try to remain composed. I’m glad to be in another round after such a significant victory “said Rybakina.
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Following the retirement of Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, Poland’s Swiatek ascended to the top of the global rankings last year. She later won the French Open and the US Open while dominating the WTA Tour.
Success for Rybakina has been more erratic. She won just 14 of her 24 matches between winning the most prestigious tennis championship and the opening of this year’s Australian Open, and she has spoken out about the lack of respect she believes she has received.
Her world ranking is lower than expected after collecting no points for her Wimbledon victory, and she has battled with difficult draws.
She has, however, created yet another strong impression at Melbourne Park, making it to the final eight for the first time with a commanding victory against Swiatek.
Early in the first set, the two players traded breaks. At 3-3, Swiatek’s double fault gave Rybakina another opportunity, which she took with a huge cross-court backhand winner.
Swiatek improved at the start of the second set and raced into a 3-0 lead, but the one-set edge was secured by a strong hold to love.
Swiatek was unable to handle Rybakina’s powerful serve, but she swiftly rallied to tie the match at 3-3.
She only gave up six points on her first serve for the course of the game, and she secured a stunning hold to love after breaking for a 5-4 lead.
“It was a very challenging match. I truly admire Iga “Rybakina stated.
“I believe I provided good service today. I played exceptionally well in the crucial situations, which made all the difference.”