New York, Sep 3 (EFE).- Defending United States Open champion Iga Swiatek was eliminated Sunday in the round of 16 against Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, losing her No.1 ranking to Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, as former champion Novak Djokovic made the men’s quarterfinals.
Winner of Roland Garros this year, Swiatek had been No. 1 one in the women’s rankings since April 2022, but will lose the position after 75 weeks at the top once she finishes the US Open.
Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open in January, will face Russian Daria Kasatkina in the round of 16 on Monday.
Swiatek had not lost a set in her first three matches, but succumbed to Ostapenko 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and 48 minutes.
The Pole has played four matches in her career against Ostapenko and has lost all four.
No. 6 seed Coco Gauff now awaits the Latvian, winner of Roland Garros in 2017, in the next round.
Gauff, 19, is one of the most beloved players in Flushing Meadows, and defeated former world No. 1 and Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 3-6, 6 -1 in two hours.
Wozniacki, who had retired in 2020 but returned to the competition this summer, put an end to her meritorious time at the Grand Slam after overcoming three rounds.
The other quarterfinal match at the top of the women’s draw will be played by Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, who defeated Belinda Bencic, and Czechia’s Karolina Muchova, who defeated China’s Xinyu Wang.
After securing a quarterfinals spot Sunday, No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic will now face the decisive part of the United States Open needing to overcome two Americans to make the men’s final: Taylor Fritz and either Frances Tiafoe or Ben Shelton.
Not since 2005 had three Americans reached the quarterfinals of the men’s tennis competition at Flushing Meadows.
Djokovic easily beat world No. 105 Croatian Borna Gojo 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 26 minutes and in the quarterfinals will face Fritz, winner of Indian Wells in 2022 and the highest-ranked American player on the ATP.
A 25-year-old Californian, Fritz beat Switzerland’s Dominic Stricker in the round of 16 by 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes.
The American will have the support of the New York fans against the Serb, but his seven losses to the former champion present a daunting challenge.
The other quarterfinal crossing at the bottom of the US Open draw will face Tiafoe, 25, a semifinalist last year at the US Open and Shelton.
Aged 20 and born in Atlanta, Shelton beat his compatriot Tommy Paul 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 49 minutes.
Shelton is the youngest American to reach the quarterfinals in this Grand Slam since Andy Roddick in 2002.
Tiafoe defeated Australian Rinky Hijikata 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours in his round of 16 match. EFE