Linda Noskova upends No. 1 Iga Swiatek at Australian Open

League: Tennis

Posted on: 20 Jan, 2024 at 04:32 PM

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Unseeded Czech Linda Noskova upended top-seeded Iga Swiatek in the third round of the Australian Open in late action Saturday in Melbourne, Australia.

Noskova overcame a first-set setback to post a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Swiatek and become the first teenager to defeat a No. 1-ranked woman at the Australian Open since 1999.

"I'm just really kind of exhausted mentally and physically," the 19-year-old Noskova said. "I just believed my game tonight. I just really wanted this."

Noskova broke Swiatek in the seventh game of the third set to take control and go on to end the match in two hours, 20 minutes. The victory propelled Noskova into an upcoming encounter against 19th-seeded Elina Svitolina, who secured a 6-3, 6-2 win against Viktorija Golubic in 64 minutes.

Swiatek, a four-time major champion, saw her 18-match winning streak come to a halt.

"I felt like I had everything under control until she broke me in the second set," the 22-year-old Swiatek said. "But, yeah, well, I had couple of chances to break her in second set and I didn't use them. So that's a shame.

"But when she broke me, she was kind of proactive. I wanted to do that as well later in the next games. Sometimes, yeah, I was rushing it. I just wasn't playing kind of with my intuition and naturally."

Swiatek's setback marks just the second time that the No. 1-seeded woman has failed to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open. Virginia Ruzici was ousted in the round of 32 in 1979.

Svitolina had a much easier time of it in her third-round match against Golubic. The Ukraine native won the final four games to defeat the Swiss woman.

Also, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka secured a 6-1, 7-5 victory over fellow Grand Slam winner Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia. Azarenka won the final five games to defeat the 11th-seeded Ostapenko.

"I think I'm just ready to give whatever it takes," Azarenka, of Belarus, said.

"I love a challenge, I love the challenge whenever something is difficult. I love to do that, that makes me excited. I think that brings out the best in me."

Azarenka will meet Ukrainian qualifier Dayana Yastremska, who upset 27th-seeded Emma Navarro, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

--Field Level Media