By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
World no.1 ranked female lawn tennis player Iga Swiatek is now out of the 2023 Australian Open after suffering a fourth-round loss at the hands of world no. 22 Elena Rybakina- 6.4, 6.4- last January 22, 2023.
The favorite to win the 1st Grand Slam championship trophy of the year failed to meet the expectations of the majority after failing to clinch a single set against the pride of Russia and Kazakhstan.
“It was a really tough match, and I really respect Iga because the streak she had and the Grand Slams,” said Rybakina.
Swiatek immediately opened the set with disappointments as she dropped a couple of her service possessions while also committing tons of unforced errors.
Her early meltdown was then capitalized by Rybakina who started to take full control of the match midway through the first set.
Rybakina’s efficient baseline game alongside her explosive first service helped her match Swiatek’s comeback attempt when she found her stroke early in the second set.
Swiatek shrugged off her jitters and began punishing Rybakina with her heavy forehand bombs but was not enough to keep her within striking distance as the challenger continued to stick to her game plan.
After a long rally to secure a 4-3 lead, Rybakina began to smell blood and took care of all her service possessions to cruise past the World’s no.1 ranked player in the tournament.
“Today, I think I was also serving well, just struggling a bit on one side. But in the important moments, I think I played really well, so it made the difference,” added Rybakina.