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Rybakina Upsets Iga Swiatek To Reach Australian Open Quarter-finals


January 22, (THEWILL) – Defending Wimbledon Champion, Elena Rybakina, has knocked out World Number One, Iga Swiatek, in the last 16 stage of the Australian Open, winning 6-4 6-4.

Three-time Grand Slam Champion Swiatek was the heavy favourite to win her maiden Slam in Melbourne, but she could not find a way past the World Number 23, who was just too powerful from the baseline. Rybakina came from 4-0 down to go to a break up after the very first game, profiting off Swiatek’s second serve.

The top seed squandered the chance to break straight back in the second game of the match, hitting a smash wide on her second breakpoint before Rybakina eventually held. Swiatek broke back to love on Rybakina’s next service game, though, to make it 2-2, as the Kazakhstani fired a backhand long. Rybakina restored her break advantage when she crashed a backhand winner off Swiatek’s kick serve to lead 4-3, and then held her next two service games to take the first set, sealing it with an ace.

It is the fifth consecutive time Swiatek had lost the opening set of a round of 16 match at a Grand Slam. She responded by taking a quick 2-0 lead in the second set, but Rybakina broke back to make it 3-2 with the Pole’s forehand letting her down. Rybakina continued to pile on the pressure from the baseline, exposing Swiatek’s movement, and she converted a third breakpoint to move into a crucial 5-4 lead.

There were no signs of nerves from Rybakina as she produced an emphatic love hold to serve out the match. Rybakina will play Jelena Ostapenko, in the quarter-finals as she chases her second Grand Slam title.