NEW YORK - Defending champion Iga Swiatek crashed out of the US Open on Sunday after being defeated by Jelena Ostapenko and will lose her number one ranking, while Novak Djokovic marched into the quarterfinals.
Swiatek grabbed the opening set against Ostapenko but the unpredictable Latvian stormed back to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 and secure her fourth victory in as many meetings with the Polish star. The mercurial Ostapenko, who had never made it to the last 16 in New York before this week, goes on to face title contender and home favourite Coco Gauff in the last eight after blasting Swiatek out of the tournament.
“She plays well against me, she’s always done that,” said Swiatek. “I’m just surprised that my level changed so drastically. I don’t really know what happened with my game, I felt no control suddenly.”
Gauff ended Caroline Wozniacki’s fairytale Grand Slam comeback earlier Sunday as the sixth seed saw off the former world number one 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. The 19-year-old registered her 15th win in 16 matches, a run including titles in Washington and Cincinnati last month.
Djokovic swept into his 13th US Open quarter-final, cruising past 105th-ranked Croatian qualifier Borna Gojo 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 to advance to a showdown with American No.1 Taylor Fritz. The 36-year-old Serbian star will on Tuesday look to continue his dominance of Fritz, a player he’s beaten in all seven past meetings including a one-sided affair in Cincinnati last month.
Fritz became the third American man to reach the quarter-finals Sunday after a straight-sets win over Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker. The ninth seed knocked out world number 128 Stricker 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-4 to match his mother Kathy May’s run to the 1978 US Open quarterfinals. He joins compatriots Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton in the next round. It is the first time the US has had three men’s quarterfinalists in New York since 2005.
Tiafoe, seeded 10th, advanced to an all-American quarter-final against 47th-ranked Shelton after defeating Australia’s Rinky Hijikata 6-4, 6-1, 6-4. Meanwhile Shelton, 20, took down 14th-seeded compatriot Tommy Paul in four sets to reach his second Grand Slam quarterfinal of the year. He avenged his loss to Paul in the last eight of the Australian Open, winning 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.