Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open victor, makes her debut in the US Open quarter-finals
Location: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: August 28 to September 10
Media: Continuous live text and radio commentary available on the Sport News Center site, app, and also via BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra
Jelena Ostapenko toppled defending US Open champion Iga Swiatek with an electric display of power hitting in the last 16 of the tournament.
During the night session in the Big Apple, Poland’s top-ranked Swiatek fell to Latvia’s 20th seed Ostapenko with scores of 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Ostapenko, turning up the heat with her go-for-broke playing style, unleashed 31 winners, forcing Swiatek into a catalog of errors.
Ostapenko, whose only Grand Slam triumph was the 2017 French Open, will square off against American sensation and sixth-seeded Coco Gauff in the next round.
The loss spells the end of Swiatek’s 75-week reign at the top of the women’s world rankings. Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus is now set to ascend to the number one spot post-US Open.
“Frankly, it’s bewildering how my game shifted so dramatically,” commented a puzzled 22-year-old Swiatek. “Normally, if I struggle, it’s early on, and then I find my groove. This was like an alternate universe where the reverse happened.”
As for the head-to-head stats, Swiatek had been defeated in all her previous encounters with Ostapenko. However, their last face-off dated back to February 2022, after which Swiatek enjoyed a 37-match winning streak that elevated her to the summit of the WTA rankings.
Going into this clash, how Swiatek would counter Ostapenko’s sledgehammer strokes was the burning question.
“I’m always prepped for an all-out war against Iga; she’s a phenomenal player and highly consistent,” Ostapenko observed. “But I came out swinging. I knew my aggressive play would throw her off her game.”
In a surprising twist, Swiatek, who led after the first set, faltered for the first time since October 2022, breaking her 56-match streak.
Initially showing signs of resilience, Swiatek fought back from an early break but spiraled down after losing her serve early in the second set. Under the relentless pressure of Ostapenko’s returns, she crumbled in a baffling final set.
Ostapenko piled on the punishment, amassing a 5-0 lead and came within striking distance of handing Swiatek a humiliating 6-0 set—known as a ‘bagel’ in tennis lingo, something Swiatek herself is known for dishing out to rivals.
Swiatek managed to dodge that bullet by finally breaking Ostapenko’s serve. Nevertheless, Ostapenko closed the deal with an awe-inspiring forehand winner, securing the break to love.
“As I was nearing the finish line, my focus was unflinching. I knew I had to keep the pedal to the metal until the last ball was in,” Ostapenko stated, summarizing her victorious mentality. “Being 5-0 up, I felt I was in control, but I still didn’t let up. I knew I had to shut the door on any of her comebacks.”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about US Open 2023 Upset
Who was the defending champion of the US Open that got eliminated?
Iga Swiatek, the top-seeded player from Poland, was the defending US Open champion who got eliminated in the Round of 16 by Jelena Ostapenko.
What was the final score of the match between Iga Swiatek and Jelena Ostapenko?
The final score of the match was 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in favor of Jelena Ostapenko.
How many winners did Jelena Ostapenko hit during the match?
Jelena Ostapenko hit an impressive 31 winners during her match against Iga Swiatek.
What’s significant about Ostapenko making it to the US Open quarter-finals?
This is Jelena Ostapenko’s first time advancing to the US Open quarter-finals. Her only other Grand Slam win was the 2017 French Open.
Who will Jelena Ostapenko face in the quarter-finals?
Jelena Ostapenko will face the American sixth seed, Coco Gauff, in the quarter-finals of the 2023 US Open.
How did the defeat impact Iga Swiatek’s WTA ranking?
The defeat ended Iga Swiatek’s 75-week reign as the women’s world number one. Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus is set to take over the top spot after the US Open.
What was Swiatek’s reaction to her loss?
Iga Swiatek expressed bewilderment at the sudden drop in her level of play. She mentioned that unlike usual, where she might start weak and then improve, this time her gameplay deteriorated as the match progressed.
What had been Iga Swiatek’s winning streak prior to this match?
Prior to this match, Iga Swiatek had been on a transformational 37-match winning run, which led her to the top of the WTA rankings.
Did Swiatek have a lead at any point in the match?
Yes, Swiatek had won the first set 6-3 but couldn’t maintain her lead and ultimately lost the subsequent two sets.
What did Ostapenko say about her game plan against Swiatek?
Ostapenko said she knew she had to be aggressive, as that kind of play disrupts Swiatek. She also stated that she was prepared for a tough battle but aimed to play her own game to gain the upper hand.
More about US Open 2023 Upset
- US Open Official Website
- WTA Official Rankings
- Jelena Ostapenko’s Career Highlights
- Iga Swiatek’s Player Profile
- Coco Gauff Upcoming Matches
- Aryna Sabalenka’s Rise to No. 1
- 2023 Tennis Season Overview
- In-depth Match Analysis: Swiatek vs Ostapenko
- History of Tennis Upsets
- Women’s Tennis Grand Slam Winners