World No.1 Iga Swiatek’s march in the Australian Open came to a screeching halt on Sunday as she was defeated 6-4, 6-4 by Elena Rybakina in the fourth round.
Rybakina seemed to be in the groove as Swiatek was left shellshocked by the Kazakhstani star’s performance at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday. The reigning Wimbledon Champion progressed into the next round of the grand slam in an hour and a half.
Aiming for her second straight quarterfinal appearance in Melbourne, Swiatek couldn’t find a way past Rybakina’s power in the first set. The World No.1 was given a code violation by the chair umpire for taking too long between warming up and starting the match. This may have affected the 21-year-old as Rybakina came back from 40-0 to go a break up in the very first game.
Swiatek then squandered the chance to break back in the second game. She did, however, make it 2-2. But the Kazakhstani star would restore her lead to 4-3 and held her next two service games and sealed the first set with an ace.
The World No.1 came out of the blocks quickly in the second set and raced to a 3-0 lead, much to the happiness of her fans. However, the joy was short-lived as Rybakina mounted an incredible comeback to make it 3-3 as the Rod Laver Arena was on its feet.
The 23-year-old would pile on the pressure on Swiatek and went on to expose her movement in the second set and converted her third break point to take a 5-4 lead.