Australian Open: Title favourite Swiatek eliminated by Wimbledon champion Rybakina

By Sports Desk January 21, 2023

World number one Iga Swiatek was knocked out of the Australian Open in straight sets in the fourth round by Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on Sunday.

The reigning US Open and French Open winner could not handle Rybakina's outstanding serve, with the Kazakh triumphing 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 30 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Rybakina won 80 per cent of first-serve points, including sending down six aces, while she broke Swiatek four times throughout the match.

Swiatek's elimination means the top-two seeds in both the women's and men's singles are out, with Ons Jabeur losing in the second round.

Title favourite Swiatek had routed Cristina Bucsa in 55 minutes in Friday's third-round win but she was broken immediately on Sunday by 23-year-old Rykabina, who offered a different threat.

"It was a really tough match," Rybakina said during her on-court interview after the match. "I really respect Iga. Today I think I was serving so good. In the end, I think in the important moments I played really well. I think that was the difference."

Swiatek did respond after Rybakina's early break by squaring up the first set at 2-2, but the Kazakh re-claimed her lead for 4-3, before serving to love to clinch the opening frame.

The 21-year-old Pole seemed outclassed in the 42-minute first set, but responded immediately in the second, racing to a 3-0 lead, only for Rybakina to hit back again to get it back on serve.

Rybakina failed to convert two break points at 15-40 in the ninth game but capitalised on her third opportunity, before serving out for victory, including another big ace at 30-0.

Data slam: Swiatek's grand slam dominance halted

Swiatek had not dropped a set all tournament, prior to losing the opening frame to Rybakina. In fact, the Pole had lost only two sets in her past 10 grand slam matches, dating back to her 2022 US Open triumph. Including her 2022 French Open title, she had only dropped five sets in her previous 19 grand slam matches.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 15/14
Rybakina – 24/25

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 2/1
Rybakina – 6/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 2/4
Rybakina – 4/6

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