Jelena Ostapenko continues her dominance over the WTA Tour’s most dominant player with a 3-6 6-3 6-1 victory over defending champion Iga Swiatek in the fourth round of the US Open. Not only has the Latvian now become the first player who has defeated the Pole four times, but she also ends her 75-week streak at the top of the rankings.
In their first meeting since Swiatek’s rise to No.1 in early April last year, Ostapenko recorded a victory over a top-ranked player for the first time since 2017.
After dropping serve at the start of the match, Swiatek managed to absorb Ostapenko’s groundstrokes and promptly took charge in the entertaining first set. She suffered another break early in the second set and, this time, couldn’t salvage the situation.
Rushed by the speed of Ostapenko’s returns, Swiatek continued to commit errors during the rallies and ultimately found herself completely overwhelmed in a remarkable deciding set. Ostapenko unleashed a series of impressive winners as she surged to a 5-0 lead and had the chance to achieve a rare 6-0 scoreline against Swiatek, who herself has gained a reputation for bageling her opponents.
Although Swiatek prevented that outcome by breaking Ostapenko’s serve, it was clear that Ostapenko was determined and appropriately clinched the win with a perfectly executed forehand winner to secure a love break.
At the post-match press conference, Ostapenko said:
I think the main thing is she doesn’t really like to play big hitters. She likes to have some time. When I play fast, aggressive, and powerful, she’s a little bit in trouble.
In the quarterfinals, the 2017 French Open champion will face American sixth seed Coco Gauff, who ended the comeback run of Caroline Wozniacki earlier on Sunday.