Elena Rybakina said she had nothing to lose against Iga Swiatek and noted she knew she had to be aggressive right from the start if she wanted to have a chance against the world No 1 in their Australian Open match. Rybakina, seeded at No 22 in the world, stunned first-seeded Swiatek 6-4 6-4 to progress into the Australian Open quarterfinal.
Swiatek, who won two Grand Slams in 2022, was the No 1 favorite for this year's Australian Open title but Rybakina had other plans. "For sure when you play against No.1, I think you have really nothing to lose. I knew that I had to be aggressive from the first ball because she's a great mover, and she defends really well.
So I was trying to just attack her from the first ball, and it really worked well," Rybakina said, per the WTA website.
Rybakina beats Swiatek for her first win at Rod Laver Arena
In 2020, Rybakina suffered a straight-set defeat to Ashleigh Barty at Rod Laver Arena.
Three years later, Rybakina returned to the biggest Australian Open court and clinched her first win. Going into the Swiatek match, Rybakina knew what to expect when playing on Rod Laver Arena. "I actually played at Rod Laver [Arena] against Ash Barty in 2020.
I started well [that] season: I won in Hobart and then third round against her, and it was unbelievable crowd, of course. I kind of knew what to expect on these big courts, and I just tried to do my best and tried to focus on my serve.
A few games were not really successful on my serve, but in the end I think I did a good job," Rybakina said. In her next Australian Open match, Rybakina plays against Jelena Ostapenko. Reigning Wimbledon champion Rybakina is now three wins away from winning her second Grand Slam title.