|Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 16-29 January|
|Coverage Commentary daily at 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra “Tennis Breakfast” live from Melbourne. With selected text commentaries and match report on the BBC Sport app, you can also watch live text commentaryaries.|
Iga Swiatek, top seed, has been eliminated from the Australian Open after she lost to Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
Rybakina was seeded 22nd and had not been able to match the performances that saw her win at The All England Club in July.
However, Swiatek showed that the Kazakh can thrive on the big stage. She won 6-4 6-4 at Melbourne Park.
Coco Gauff lost 7-5 to Jelena Obapenko less than 30 minutes later.
American seventh-seed Gauff (18), was one of the favorites for the title, but was defeated by the 17th seed from Latvia.
Rybakina (23), will face former French Open champion Ostapenko, in the quarter-finals. This is instead of the matchup between Swiatek or Gauff that many had predicted.
“I get nervous when I go on court, but I try my best to be calm. Rybakina stated that it was a huge win and she was happy to be back in the next round.
Third seed Jessica Pegula , the highest-ranked player in the women’s draw came through 7-5, 6-2 against Czech Barbora Crejcikova.
After beating Zhu Lin, China’s Zhu Lin 6-1 6-4, Azarenka defeated Zhu Lin 4-6.
Swiatek “wanted it too badly”
Swiatek of Poland rose to the top in the world rankings after Ashleigh Barty retired. She went on to win the French Open title and the US Open titles, dominating the WTA Tour.
She reached Melbourne’s semi-finals last season and returned to the competition in 2022 with the goal of becoming the first woman since Serena Williams to hold all four major titles.
She said that she felt like she had taken a backward step in how she approached these tournaments.
“So, I’m going try to relax a bit more. ”
Rybakina has had sporadic success. She won only 14 of her 24 matches, despite being awarded the most prestigious tennis title and the Australian Open. Rybakina has expressed frustration at the lack of recognition that she received.
Her Wimbledon win was not without her struggles with difficult draws. She received no points for this victory.
She made an impressive performance at Melbourne Park with a dominating win over Swiatek.
After a couple exchanged breaks in the first set, Swiatek’s double fault at 3-3 gave Rybakina a second chance. She won with a stunning cross-court backhand win.
Swiatek won the first set with a confident hold to love. However, Swiatek took a step forward at the beginning of the second set and moved into an advantage of 3-0.
Rybakina quickly responded and tied for 3-3, as Swiatek tried to cope with her heavy serve.
After dropping six points on her initial serve, she registered a remarkable held to love and won the match for 5-4.
Rybakina said that she doesn’t care about her ranking at Wimbledon, but that improving her world standing is motivating.
She said that although it is a motivator, she also stated that every tournament she attends, she wants to win, and not matter how many points they score.
“I love competing, regardless of where I play. These things are not something I really see at the moment. ”
Ostapenko has “never doubted” she can win another major.
Ostapenko was a teenager champion at the French Open six years ago. However, her lack of deep runs has led many to dismiss her as a one-hit wonder.
She displayed however, against Gauff, the aggressive and powerful-hitting skills that won her the 2017 Roland Garros title.
Ostapenko won 30 matches. She broke Gauff’s serve 3 times, and saved 7 of 8 break opportunities for America.
Although Ostapenko reached the quarter-finals for the first time since Wimbledon 2018, the 25-year old says she hasn’t “really doubted” her chances of winning another.
Ostapenko said that his life was forever changed by the Melbourne Park incident. He had never been beyond the third round at Melbourne Park.
“I believed in my game and knew it all the way. If I play well, anyone can beat me.
“I was working on my consistency, especially in pre-season, to just step on the court and play my sport. ”
Gauff hadn’t dropped a set in any of her three previous matches, which included a win over British number one Emma Raducanu in the second round.
The teenager prodigy who lost to Swiatek last year in the French Open final became emotional during her news conference, as her wait for a major continued.
Gauff stated that although every loss is within my control, it’s not impossible to win. She feels like a great player and today she played better.
“While there were a few things I could improve on, overall I believe she deserved to win. ”