Vie. Feb 23rd, 2024

MELBOURNE, Australia — Top-ranked Iga Swiatek is out of the Australian Open after a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 third-round loss to 50th-ranked Linda Noskova on Saturday, leaving no top 10 players in the bottom half of the women’s draw.

Swiatek is a four-time major winner but has never been past the semifinals at Melbourne Park.

Even so, she was on an 18-match winning streak and expected to beat Noskova, who is making her main draw debut at the tournament.

Swiatek beat 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and 2022 finalist Danielle Collins in the first two rounds.

But after taking the first set against her 19-year-old Czech opponent, she struggled for rhythm.

After saving breakpoint in the seventh game of the second set, Noskova won 11 of the next 12 points to level the match at one set apiece.

Noskova continued to pound away and got the decisive break in the seventh game of the third set.

Swiatek held at love in the penultimate game and made her rival serve it out, then jumped to 0-30 lead in the 10th game.

But Noskova remained calm, winning the next four points to finish it off quickly. She earned match point with an ace and sealed it when Swiatek sent a forehand long.

Swiatek’s loss leaves No. 12 Zheng Qinwen as the highest-ranked player in the bottom half of the women’s draw and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka, at No. 18, as the only major winner.

Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka, seeded second, US Open champion Coco Gauff, seeded fourth, and No. 9 Barbora Krejcikova are all on the opposite side of the draw.


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