Australian Open: Women’s world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, No. 7 Coco Gauff eliminated



Coco Gauff burst into tears after her straight-set defeat in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Sunday, as compatriot Jessica Pegula progressed to the quarterfinals.

Gauff, 18, lost 7-5 6-3 to Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko at the Margaret Court Arena and couldn’t hide her disappointment when she spoke to reporters about the match afterwards.

Asked to explain her frustrations, a tearful Gauff said: “I think it’s because I worked really hard and I felt really good coming into the tournament and I still feel good. I still feel like I’ve improved a lot.

“But when you play against a player like her and she plays very well, it’s like you can’t do anything.

“So it’s a little frustrating on that side.”

Gauff was the seventh seed in Melbourne and had started the season promisingly by winning the ASB Classic in Auckland earlier this month for her third career WTA title.

But Ostapenko held her ground when it mattered, saving seven of the eight break points she encountered, while taking all three of her chances on Gauff’s serve.

“I think I have a little bit of control over every loss because I feel like I’m a good player, but today she just played better,” Gauff added, per Reuters.

“There were times in the game where I got frustrated because normally I can solve problems, but today I feel like I didn’t have a lot of answers to what she was doing.

“There were balls I hit deep and she hit them on the line and hit them back deep over and over again. It’s just one of those days when things just didn’t go my way and went her way.

Światek won the French Open and the US Open last year.

Ostapenko has advanced to the quarter-finals in Melbourne Park for the first time and will play Elena Rybakina, who defeated world number 1 Iga Światek on Sunday.

Former French Open champion Rybakina, 23, defeated the 21-year-old 6-4 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena.

Światek was the tournament favorite after reaching the semifinals last year and winning eight titles in 2022, including two grand slams.

“I felt the pressure and I felt that ‘I don’t want to lose’ instead of ‘I want to win’. So that’s, I think, a foundation of what I need to focus on in the coming weeks,” Światek told reporters.

Rybakina, who was born in Russia but has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, won her first grand slam title at Wimbledon last year and the first for Kazakhstan.

As the third seed, Pegula is now the highest-ranked player left in the women’s draw after beating Czech Barbora Krejcikova 7-5 6-2 in one hour and 41 minutes.

The 2023 Australian Open runs until January 29 in Melbourne.

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