Australian Open: Women’s World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff No. 7 eliminated
Coco Gauff broke down in tears after losing in straight sets in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Sunday, while fellow American Jessica Pegula advanced to the quarter-finals.
Gauff, 18, lost 7-5 6-3 to Latvian Jelena Ostapenko at the Margaret Court Arena and couldn’t hide her disappointment when speaking to reporters about the match afterwards.
When asked to explain her frustrations, a tearful Gauff said: “I think it’s because I worked really hard and felt really good coming into the tournament and I still feel GOOD. I still feel like I’ve made a lot of progress.
“But when you play against a player like her and she plays very well, it’s like you can’t do anything.
“So it’s a bit frustrating on that side.”
Gauff was the seventh seed in Melbourne and had started the season promisingly, winning the ASB Classic in Auckland earlier this month for the third WTA title of her career.
But Ostapenko held on when needed, saving seven of the eight break points she faced, while taking her three chances on Gauff’s serve.
“I think every loss is a bit under my control because I feel like I’m a good player, but today she just played better,” Gauff added, according to Reuters.
“There were times in the game where I was frustrated because I can normally solve problems, but today I felt like I didn’t have a lot of answers to what she was doing. .
“There were balls that I was hitting deep and she was hitting them down the line and hitting them deep, like, over and over. It’s just one of those days that just didn’t go my way and went its way.
Ostapenko advances to the quarter-finals for the first time at Melbourne Park and will face Elena Rybakina, who beat women’s world No. 1 Iga Światek on Sunday.
Former French Open champion Rybakina, 23, beat the 21-year-old 6-4 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena.
Światek was the tournament favorite after reaching the semi-finals last year and winning eight titles in 2022, including two Grand Slams.
“I felt the pressure and I felt like ‘I don’t want to lose’ instead of ‘I want to win’. So that is, I think, a base that I should focus on in (the) next few weeks,” Światek told reporters.
Rybakina, who was born in Russia but has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year and the first for Kazakhstan.
Third seed Pegula is now the highest-ranked player in the women’s draw after beating Czech Barbora Krejcikova 7-5 6-2 in an hour and 41 minutes.
The 2023 Australian Open runs until January 29 in Melbourne.