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Australian Open 2023: No.1 seed Iga Swiatek crashes out in straight sets against Wimbledon champion Rybakina

Australian Open 2023: Australian Open Women's No.1 seed Iga Swiatek has crashed out of the ongoing tournament after she lost to defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina

Reported By : PTI Edited By : Aditya Pimpale
New Delhi
Updated on: January 22, 2023 9:59 IST
Australian Open 2023
Image Source : GETTY Australian Open 2023: No.1 seed Iga Swiatek crashes out in straight sets against Wimbledon champion Rybakina

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina eliminated No.1-ranked Iga Swiatek in straight sets Sunday to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals for the first time. The 22nd-seeded Rybakina used her big serving to unsettle Swiatek and got the better of their baseline exchanges to win 6-4, 6-4 in about 90 minutes.

Another big upset at AO 2023

Swiatek is a three-time major champion, including titles at the French Open and U.S.Open last season. Rybakina's ranking does not properly reflect her ability or results because her championship at the All England Club last July did not come with any ranking points. The WTA and ATP tours withheld all points at Wimbledon in 2022 after the All England Club barred players from Russia and Belarus from participating because of the invasion of Ukraine.

Rybakina was born in Moscow but has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, when that country offered her funding to support her tennis career.

The first Sunday of this year’s tournament began with a rare sight – two reigning women’s grand slam champions facing off on the biggest stage for the first time since Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber battled at Wimbledon in 2016, seven years ago.

Rybakina started with an immediate statement, bludgeoning Świątek’s first and second serves from the opening game as she snatched an early break and a 2-0 lead. Even when Świątek settled and pulled the break back, Rybakina continued to trust her enormous weapons, crunching two backhand return winners in the game for a 4-3 lead.

Throughout her spectacular 2022 season, Świątek dismantled and neutralised so many different game styles. But she has always been vulnerable to an explosive shotmaker in top form, someone who can expose her second serve and rush her elaborate forehand motion.

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Rybakina enjoys form of life

Rybakina played that role to perfection, suffocating Świątek in her service games, snatching the first strike and forcing the 21-year-old far behind the baseline. She served out the first set with ease, lasering two winning backhands before slamming down a final ace.

Despite securing one of the ultimate achievements in her sport, normally a life changing achievement, the 23-year-old’s circumstances did not change as much as they normally would. Rybakina is still ranked just 25th and has spent much of the past six months competing on lower courts, receiving difficult draws due to her seeding. Her profile is still relatively low.

 

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