Ostapenko Stuns Swiatek, Gauff Outruns Wozniacki At US Open; Pegula v Keys

by Staff | September 4th, 2023, 12:53 am
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The dream Coco Gauff v Iga Swiatek Tuesday quarterfinal is over. Swiatek was bundled out of the US Open Sunday night by a red-hot Jelena Ostapenko who once again solved the riddle of the Polish star with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 win.

“I always expect a tough battle against Iga,” Ostapenko told the crowd. “She’s won many Slams and she plays very consistent. I just went on court and I had to play aggressive because that’s what she doesn’t really like. In the third set, I stepped more in the court and I was serving better.”

Ostapenko now leads Swiatek 4-0 in their series and tonight she showcased why. The Latvian pushed Swiatek off the baseline, took her time away and just went for shots as she always does and this time she was connecting.

Ostapenko finished with 31 winners to just 20 unforced errors. Swiatek had just 18 winners to 18 unforced during the 1 hour, 45 minute match.

In the third set, Ostapenko won 25 points, Swiatek just 11.

Swiatek knew the danger going in and after the first set looked in control. But serving 0-1 at 40-15, things unraveled. Ostapenko came back for the break to go up 2-0 in the second and then her game went to another level.

The loss also drops Swiatek out of the No. 1 ranking and gives it to Aryna Sabalenka who will take the top spot a week from Monday. Swiatek’s streak of 75 straight weeks at No. 1 is over.

Earlier, Coco Gauff outclassed Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the big match of the day.

The 19-year-old teen was all the things Wozniacki was in her prime, just better. Quicker, faster, strong and just better. Wozniacki, playing her first Grand Slam in 3.5 years, showed off her speed and defense, but Gauff’s quickness created too many errors.

The Dane finished with 27 unforced errors to just 14 winners while Gauff had 33 winners.

Gauff did wobble in the second and then was broken to start the third, but ended up taking the last six games to reach her second straight US Open quarterfinal.

“Caroline, she’s back. It’s like she never left,” said Gauff who is 15-1 this summer. “The level that she played today is really amazing. She’s been an inspiration for me growing up. She definitely gets to a lot of balls. I felt sometimes it was like playing myself, anticipating and getting that one extra ball back. I knew going in that I had to play aggressive, I knew I had to go for my shots.

“She’s a player where you have to be mentally tough every single point. She’s not going to back down,”

Karolina Muchova eased past Xinyu Wang 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 to reach her very first US Open quarterfinal. The Czech has now made the quarters or better at all four Slams.

“I’ve never played her before,” said Muchova. “She’s young and she played unbelievable tennis. Every match is very tough—I’m just glad I’m through and I played and won another tough match.”

Sorana Cirstea cruised past the 15th-seeded Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-3. The 33-year-old is into just her second career Grand Slam quarterfinal and the first since the 2009 French Open over two years ago.

The fourth round wraps up Monday with world No. 1 in waiting Aryna Sabalenka taking on No. 13 Daria Kasatkina. Sabalenka is up on Kasatkina 4-2 in their tour-level encounters including a win last month in Cincinnati.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula draws No. 17 Madison Keys seeking a second win after San Diego last year.

No. 5 Ons Jabeur will meet No. 23 Qinwen Zheng and Wimbledon winner Marketa Vondrousova will meet former NCAA champion Peyton Stearns.

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