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Elena Rybakina Defeats Iga Swiatek in Australian Open

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With those points, she can be comfortably in the highest 10.

Nor has Rybakina been granted a number of the perks that typically include a Wimbledon title. She has often been relegated to outside courts as a substitute of the foremost stadiums at tour and Grand Slam events. She played her opening-round match at this Australian Open on Court 13, while Swiatek opened the night session in Rod Laver Arena.

But she was unimaginable to disregard on center stage on Sunday as she smacked six aces and 4 return winners and repeatedly rushed the fleet-footed Swiatek together with her groundstrokes, all delivered together with her trademark equanimity.

“After all I’m nervous,” Rybakina said. “My coach is saying I really want to point out my emotions sometimes, so I’m also learning.”

Within the quarterfinals, Rybakina will face Jelena Ostapenko, who finished off her win over American Coco Gauff, 7-5, 6-3, shortly after Rybakina’s victory.

Of their only previous match against one another, Swiatek defeated Rybakina, 7-6 (5), 6-2, in 2021 within the quarterfinals of an indoor event in Ostrava within the Czech Republic. But this was their first meeting in a serious tournament and will mark the beginning of a rivalry.

Swiatek is 21; Rybakina, 23. Though Swiatek has been particularly dominant on clay together with her heavy forehand and excellent movement, Rybakina clearly has the tools to pose trouble for anyone on the sport’s faster surfaces. Along with her height and reach, she is in a position to handle Swiatek’s high-bouncing topspin and kick serve with greater ease than most opponents, and her pure ball striking might be overwhelming when she is on the right track.

Swiatek, despite her speed, was often a good distance from Rybakina’s winners on Sunday, and Rybakina had consistent success hitting behind Swiatek and forcing her to alter direction in a rush. Rybakina also pounded deep returns at Swiatek’s body, giving her little time to make the large grip change from her serve to her forehand.

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