On Sunday, Jeļena Ostapenko continued her remarkable streak of never losing to world No. 1 Iga Świątek by defeating the defending US Open champion in the round of 16 at Flushing Meadows.
The sheer power from the big-hitting Ostapenko once again proved too much for Świątek, with the Latvian winning 3-6 6-3 6-1 to improve to 4-0 in their head-to-head record.
During her win at the US Open, Ostapenko, who was seeded 20th, hit 31 impressive shots and ended Świątek’s 75-week streak as the top-ranked player. Following the tournament, Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka will become the new world No. 1 for the first time.
According to Ostapenko, the key factor is that her opponent doesn’t enjoy facing strong hitters. In fact, she prefers having more time on the court. When I play with speed, aggression, and strength, it puts her at a disadvantage.
I anticipate a challenging match against Iga every time, as she is an exceptional and reliable player… but I took the risk. I understood that I needed to stick to my own strategy and be assertive, as that is not her preferred style of play.
After dropping the first set, Ostapenko proceeded to control the match and quickly gained a remarkable 5-0 advantage in the third set.
Świątek, who was yet to drop a set at this year’s tournament, managed to avoid one of the bagels that she so often hands out to opponents, but there was ultimately nothing she could do to halt Ostapenko’s power and precision.
“I am taken aback by the significant change in my level,” Świątek stated to reporters. “Typically, when I am not playing well, it starts off poorly and then I am able to catch up or find a solution. However, this time it was completely the opposite.”
“I am uncertain about what transpired during my game. Suddenly, I felt a loss of control.”
Coco Gauff continues to advance in New York.
Ostapenko, winner of the 2017 French Open, is set to face off against Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals. Gauff advanced after defeating Caroline Wozniacki, who was making her return to the court, in a three-set match with a final score of 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
Gauff, who had to come back from a break down in the third set, won the biggest title of her career in Cincinnati ahead of the US Open and has continued her fine form in New York.
Gauff, the sixth ranked player and a top contender in a competitive tournament, is aiming to make it to her second major championship and her first on her home turf.
Wozniacki’s comeback to the sport after retiring three and a half years ago to start a family was cut short by her opponent’s victory. This was Wozniacki’s first appearance at a major tournament since the 2020 Australian Open, as she had only recently returned to the tour last month.
Wozniacki’s performance at the Flushing Meadows tournament, where she defeated 11th seed Petra Kvitová, is sure to boost her confidence for the upcoming season.
Caroline Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion, expressed that she has many encouraging aspects to carry with her as she looks ahead. She believes she is making progress in the right direction.
“I am getting into my groove and gaining confidence. I am eager to participate in additional events and compete against more players.”