Iga Swiatek crashed out of the US Open 2023, losing to Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 3-6 1-6 in the Round of 16, at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York on Sunday. The Pole had not dropped a set before Sunday’s match but was unable to hold off Ostapenko. The 20th seed drove a crisp forehand winner to break her opponent’s serve on match point, as she extended her career head-to-head record against Swiatek to 4-0.
After her shock exit, Swiatek admitted that her ‘mistakes were so huge’ against Ostapenko and stated that she would need to analyse her performance. “My mistakes were so huge, I had no idea why suddenly I couldn’t return. I’m a good returner. I was focusing on the same things as in the first set, and the same things overall, when my game is working. I don’t know. I need to watch”, she said.
“Maybe this will give me some answers. I’m just surprised that my level changed so drastically because usually when I play bad, I play bad at the beginning, then I kind of catch up or just problem solve. This time it was totally the opposite,” she further added, via Tennis Now.
When the standings are updated after the tournament, Swiatek will see Aryna Sabalenka replace her as world number one. She held that spot since April 2022. In her next match, Ostapenko will face Coco Gauff, who defeated wildcard Caroline Wozniacki in three sets.
The result saw Ostapenko extend her best run at the hardcourt major as she had failed to get past the third round in six earlier main draw appearances. Speaking after the match, she said, “I knew she’s a great player and she’s very consistent, especially last few years. I also knew she would have all the pressure because she’s number one. If she loses against me she loses the number one spot.”
“I knew there will be moments when I have chances, and I waited for them. Second set 4-1, 4-3, a little bit tricky. I was still playing and I was fighting. I think I dominated in the end of the match,” she further added.