Iga Swiatek ‘sad’ and ‘surprised’ as US Open exit confirms new world No.1
Iga Swiatek has been knocked out of the US Open by Jelena Ostapenko, confirming that Aryna Sabalenka will become WTA No.1 for the first time following the conclusion of the tournament.
Swiatek claimed the first set before the 2017 Roland Garros champion fought back to win, 3-6 6-3 6-1, and become the first woman to beat the Pole from a set down this year.
This has extended Ostapenko’s unbeaten run against Swiatek to four matches, as she moves into the US Open quarter-final for the first time in her career.
Ironically, Swiatek’s last defeat before becoming No.1 was to Ostapenko and now her final defeat in this reign as No.1 is against the Latvian.
She admitted her surprise at the defeat, “I’m surprised that my level changed so drastically. Usually when I play bad, I play bad at the beginning, then I catch up or problem solve.
“This time it was totally the opposite. I don’t really know what happened with my game. I felt no control suddenly.”
The 22-year-old has been at the top of the WTA rankings for 75 weeks, and revealed that she felt sad now that she new her reign was coming to an end.
“Usually I’m not looking at numbers, but overall I love them. I would love to, like, extend this record a little bit longer,” explained Swiatek. “This is something that when I was younger, I actually kind of wanted to break some record or have something.”
The Pole continued, “I already did that ’cause I already won a Slam as a first Polish player. Obviously being No.1 as the third player in history is great.
“But for sure when it happens, when you lose it, there are some sad emotions. All these great players know it’s going to come back if you’re going to work hard, focus on the right things, just develop as a player.”
As Swiatek has failed to defend her title in New York, it means that there is guaranteed to be a new women’s US Open champion this year.
Sabalenka will play her first match with the knowledge that she is becoming No.1 tonight, as she takes on Daria Kasatkina in the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
We will have a brand new World Number one on monday!
☝️ Aryna Sabalenka ☝️
The 29th World No.1 of WTA history. pic.twitter.com/3MR7r9g2Kv
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) September 4, 2023
For Ostapenko, she moves onto play home favourite Coco Gauff, who she also beat at the Australian Open this year.
Iga Swiatek and her achievements as No.1
With Swiatek’s era as No.1 coming to an end, we at Tennishead wanted to reflect on her achievements in an impressive 75-week reign:
Weeks as No.1: 75 (10th in history)
WTA Titles: 9
Grand Slam titles: 3 (Roland Garros 2022 & 2023, US Open 2022)
WTA 1000 titles: 1 (Rome 2022)
Longest winning streak: 37 matches (Longest in 21st Century)
Total matches won: 97
We look forward to having you back, Iga! 👋 pic.twitter.com/op8m7WYnAO
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 4, 2023
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