The Sun (Malaysia)

Swiatek stumped by ‘loss of control’


IGA SWIATEK said she was at a loss to describe the way in which her US Open title defence was left in ruins yesterday in a last-16 defeat to Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko.

The Pole lost for the fourth time in as many meetings with the talented but inconsiste­nt Ostapenko, who roared back to clinch a 3-6, 63, 6-1 victory after dominating the final two sets.

“She plays well against me. I mean, I don’t have any comparison because she always did that,” said Swiatek.

“But I’m just surprised that my level changed so drasticall­y because usually when I play bad, I play bad at the beginning, then I kind of catch up or just problem solve. This time it was totally the opposite.

“I don’t really know what happened with my game. I felt no control suddenly. I just have to watch and see ‘cause, yeah, I didn’t really know why I started making so many mistakes.”

The 22-year-old Swiatek had cruised into the fourth round in New York after not dropping a set in her first three matches, looking in prime form to defend the title she won last year.

But yesterday’s defeat will snap her 75week reign at the summit.

“Usually I’m not looking at numbers, but overall I love them. I would love to, like, extend this record a little bit longer,” said Swiatek, a five-time Grand Slam champion.

“This is something that when I was younger, I actually kind of wanted to break some record or have something.

“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.”

Ostapenko had been the butt of jokes earlier in the tournament after making 80 unforced errors in a fitful second round win.

But the Latvian had the last laugh yesterday, saying she had been inspired by the packed 23,000-capacity arena.

“I just honestly love to play on big courts with full stadiums and a lot of crowd,” Ostapenko said.

“It’s really the thing that we are working for and playing for. I had nothing to lose today. I knew it was going to be a tough match. I was ready for a battle.” – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia