On Sunday, Jeļena Ostapenko maintained her impressive undefeated streak against world No. 1 Iga Świątek by defeating the defending US Open champion in the round of 16 at Flushing Meadows.
Ostapenko’s incredible strength was once again too much for Świątek, as the Latvian emerged victorious with a 3-6 6-3 6-1 score, bringing her head-to-head record against Świątek to 4-0.
Ostapenko, who was seeded 20th in New York, hit 31 impressive shots on her way to winning and putting an end to Świątek’s 75-week reign as the world’s number one player. Belarusian player Aryna Sabalenka is now poised to claim the top spot for the first time following the conclusion of the US Open.
According to Ostapenko, the key factor is that she doesn’t enjoy playing against strong hitters. She prefers having more time to play. When I adopt a fast, aggressive, and powerful style, she struggles.
“I am always prepared for a challenging match against Iga, as she is an exceptional player and maintains consistency…but I took the risk. I recognized the importance of playing my own style and being assertive, as that is not her preferred approach.”
After dropping the first set, Ostapenko proceeded to dominate the match and quickly gained a remarkable 5-0 advantage in the final set.
Świątek, who was yet to drop a set at this year’s tournament, managed to avoid one of the bagels that she so often hands out to opponents, but there was ultimately nothing she could do to halt Ostapenko’s power and precision.
“I am quite taken aback by the drastic change in my level,” Świątek shared with reporters. “Typically, when I am not performing well, I struggle at the beginning and then find my rhythm or work through any issues. But this time, it was completely the opposite.”
“I’m not sure what caused the issue with my game. I suddenly felt a loss of control.”
Coco Gauff continues to advance in New York.
Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, will play Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals after the teenager beat the returning Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 3-6 6-1.
Gauff, who had to come back from a break down in the third set, won the biggest title of her career in Cincinnati ahead of the US Open and has continued her fine form in New York.
Gauff, the sixth seeded player and a top contender in a competitive tournament, is aiming to make it to her second grand slam final and her first one on American soil.
Wozniacki’s comeback to the sport after a three and a half year retirement to start a family was cut short by her defeat to her opponent. This was Wozniacki’s first time playing in a grand slam since the 2020 Australian Open, as she only recently returned to the tour last month.
Wozniacki’s performance at Flushing Meadows, where she defeated 11th seeded Petra Kvitová, will undoubtedly boost her confidence for the upcoming season.
“I’m feeling positive and moving in the right direction. As the 2018 Australian Open champion, I have a lot to take with me,” stated Wozniacki.
“I am becoming more confident and comfortable with my skills. I am eager to participate in additional events and compete against more players.”