US Open: Maverick Jelena Ostapenko makes her way past Iga Swiatek into last-8

Coco Gauff, Karolina Muchova and Sorana Cirstea are the remaining three semi-finalists in the first half

by Abbey Johnson
US Open: Maverick Jelena Ostapenko makes her way past Iga Swiatek into last-8
© Simon Bruty/USTA

Jelena Ostapenko posted the biggest shocker on day seven of the US Open. The Latvian upset world no. 1 Iga Swiatek 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 48 minutes in their fourth-round clash on Sunday evening. Entering the match, Ostapenko had carried a 3-0 lead over the Pole.

But it was the latter who gained the upper hand as she built a 5-2 lead for herself in the first set and then served out the first set, in the ninth game. But as it turned out, it was the end of the 22-year-old’s domination in the match.

From the second set onwards, Ostapenko began to freely mark her shots and this left Swiatek unable to do much to counter her. After the former French Open champion levelled the match by taking the second set, she wreaked further havoc on Swiatek’s game in the third set.

In that set, the defending champion looked like a minnow. Up to the third round, she was the player who had directed the pace of the match and won matches swiftly but against Ostapenko, she seemed lost as to what she needed to change tactically to bring the match once again on her side.

And she struggled to do so, she went down to two breaks of serve to Ostapenko. In the end, Swiatek was able to salvage some lost ground for herself as she claimed a lone game in the set before bowing out to the 20th seed. Swiatek finished with 18 winners and unforced errors each in the match.

Ostapenko had 31 winners and 20 unforced errors. Ostapenko saved three of the seven break points she faced while converting seven of the 10 break points, she created on Swiatek’s serve.

US Open: Coco Gauff outsmarts Caroline Wozniacki

Ostapenko’s quarter-final rival will be Coco Gauff.

The sixth seed also needed three sets to put an end to Caroline Wozniacki’s wildcard run at Flushing Meadows. After two hours of play, the American won 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to make it this far at New York City for the second straight season.

The second quarter-final in the top half of the US Open will be contested between Sorana Cirstea and Karolina Muchova. Cirstea upset 15th seed Belinda Bencic, 6-3, 6-3. This is the first time in her career that the Romanian’s this far in the American Slam. The 10th-seeded Muchova battled past Xinyu Wang 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 in their round-of-16 encounter.

Jelena Ostapenko Iga Swiatek Sorana Cirstea