MELBOURNE, Australia — Down a set to Elena Rybakina, women’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek Rod Laver Arena, for a toilet break. I then perused her handwritten notes.

However, as diligently as she did her studies, and as hustle-filled as she was when quick-strike rallies resumed. Swiatek We could not find the answer. Rybakina’s power game as she was beaten 6-4 6-4 in Fourth round Australian Open Sunday

Thought Swiatek A break of serve was taken and the score was 3-0 in The second set she couldn’t hold the lead. Rybakina Six of the seven final games were won to win, resulting in the victory at the love.

“In the end, I think in the important moments I played really well,” Rybakina in Her interview on the court “So it made the difference.”

It was quite a surprise in terms seedings. RybakinaA big, 6-footer from Kazakhstan named ‘, has been seeded as No. 22. Swiatek It is No. 1. This is a significant mathematical margin.

The numbers don’t tell the entire story. It was an duel between two Grand Slam singles champions who are still in active. in The sport. Ashleigh Barty was the previous No. The award went to Ashleigh Barty (previous No. Australian Open Last year, but I retired in March, age 25.

In Barty’s absence, Swiatek quickly took command of the women’s game, winning the French OpenThe U.S. Open Six other titles. But Rybakina Wimbledon: She won with her powerful strokes and smooth style, a match made in heaven for the All England Club’s grass.

Rybakina However, the tour had stripped Wimbledon from points and so no ranking points were awarded for this victory. in Retaliation against its decision to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes from the tournament in the aftermath of the invasion by Ukraine.

RybakinaI was born and raised. in Russia, before it switched allegiances to Kazakhstan in 2018. The ban did not affect 2018, but she was not able to get the 2000 points that are normally given to singles champions. She also didn’t receive a ranking boost for her victory.

These points would make her feel at ease. in Top 10.

No. Rybakina Your Wimbledon title usually comes with some perks. She was often relegated outside the Grand Slam stadiums for tour events and Grand Slam matches. Here she played in her first round match. Australian Open While at Court 13. Swiatek Opened the evening session in Rod Laver Arena.

She was hard to miss on Sunday, as she scored six aces with four return winners. Swiatek With her signature equanimity, her groundstrokes are delivered with ease.

“Of course I’m nervous,” She said. “My coach is saying I actually need to show my emotions sometimes, so I am also learning.”

Soon thereafter Rybakina’s victory, Coco Gauff lost 7-5 6-3 to Jelena Ostapenko, who will face Rybakina in The quarterfinals.

They had never met in a match before. Swiatek Defeated Rybakina 7-6 (5), 6-2 in 2021 in The quarterfinals in an indoor event in Ostrava in Czech Republic. This was however their first encounter. in It could also be the beginning of an era in tennis.

Swiatek It is 21 Rybakina, 23. However Swiatek With her powerful forehand and exceptional movement on clay, she has proven to be a dominant player Rybakina clearly has the tools to pose trouble for anyone on the game’s faster surfaces. Because of her height, reach and strength she can handle anything. Swiatek’s high-bouncing topspin and kick serve with greater ease than most opponents, and her pure ball striking can be overwhelming when she is on target.

SwiatekEven though she was fast, it took her a while to get there. Rybakina’s winners on Sunday, and Rybakina Having consistent success behind Swiatek Forcing her to shift in the right direction in Don’t be in a rush. Rybakina You also get deep returns Swiatek’s body, giving her little time to make the big grip change from her serve to her forehand.

This was quite the package. Swiatek She was clearly upset and shouted at her box. in Frustration in The final game, and only barely getting to cover Rybakina’s final winner — a forehand down the middle of the court.

Swiatek No doubt, he was the player-of-the year in She has failed to make it through 2022 in The two biggest tournaments of the last few years: winning in WTA Finals Semifinals in Fort Worth to Aryna Sabalenka in November, now we are losing in Fourth round in Melbourne where she made it to the semifinals last season.