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Iga Swiatek’s Hope Of Defending US Open Title Ended In Disappointment



Iga Swiatek’s defence of the US Open title was ended by an inspired performance from the huge-hitting Jelena Ostapenko in the last 16.

Polish top seed Swiatek lost 3-6 6-3 6-1 to Latvian 20th seed Ostapenko during Sunday’s night session in New York.

With her fearless and aggressive approach, Ostapenko hit 31 winners and forced Swiatek into a host of mistakes.

Ostapenko, who won her sole major at the 2017 French Open, will face American sixth seed Coco Gauff next.

Swiatek’s 75-week streak as the women’s world number one has been ended by the defeat, with Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka guaranteed to replace her after the US Open.

“I’m surprised that my level changed so drastically,” said 22-year-old Swiatek.

“Usually when I play bad, I play bad at the beginning, then I catch up or problem solve. This time it was totally the opposite.

“I don’t really know what happened with my game. I felt no control suddenly.”

Swiatek had lost all three of her previous meetings against Ostapenko, but the pair had not played since February 2022 – after which the Pole embarked on a transformational 37-match winning run.

The run led to Swiatek taking over at the top of the WTA rankings, a place she had not relinquished since as her dominance increased.

How she could cope with 26-year-old Ostapenko’s powerful hitting was a key question in an intriguing match-up.

“I always expect a tough battle against Iga, she is such a great player and very consistent,” said Ostapenko.

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