Australia Open: "Teary" Coco Gauf and Iga Swiatek bundled out on Sunday
Coco Gauff wept in the interview room on Sunday, as she lamented her straight-sets exit from the Australian Open, describing herself as powerless on the court as the game drags on
Two leading favorites, teenage Coco Gauf, and World number 1 Iga Swiatek got bundled out of the Australia Open in the fourth-round match early Sunday morning in Melbourne.
Jelena Ostapenko takes out Gauff by a 7-5, 6-3 margin, and Swiatek suffers a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Elena Rybakina to record the double upsets of the day in the Women's category.
Coco Gauff wept in the interview room on Sunday, as she lamented her straight-sets exit from the Australian Open, describing herself as powerless on the court as the game drags on " I worked hard, and I felt really good coming into the tournament,” said Gauff.
Swiatek, meanwhile, said that she needed to address her mental game after struggling to deal with the expectation around her. "The last couple of weeks have been hard. I felt the pressure. I wanted not to lose more than I wanted to win. I need to work on that."
Rybakina is the reigning Wimbledon champion, one of the few women with the firepower to defy Swiatek’s athleticism and large safety margins, Scampering around won’t get the job done. You have to think big, aim for the lines, to crush every groundstroke. And no one does that better than Rybakina, whose 121mph serve would look respectable in the men’s event.
In the first game of this match, Rybakina walloped successive returns of serve with such vicious intent that Swiatek – one of the best movers in the sport – couldn’t lay a racket on them. Swiatek did her best to dig in but was overrun as surely as a sandcastle in the face of the incoming tide.
Jelena Ostapenko – who won the 2017 French Open – is noticeably less athletic than Gauff, who sprints like a track-and-field star, but she also delivers a massive payload on her ball strike. The average rally length in this one was just over three shots, as Ostapenko claimed almost half her points with clear winners.
Time after time, both Gauff and Swiatek tried to build rallies conventionally, only to see the ball go whistling past at 100mph. Both women were bundled out without ever finding their feet. Their matches were done in a snappy 1hr 33min and 1hr 29min respectively.
Swiatek’s exit created a remarkable statistic. Since the Open era began in 1968, this is the first time that the top two seeds in both the men’s and women’s draws had fallen before the quarter-finals. The other early departures were from Ons Jabeur, Rafael Nadal, and Casper Ruud.