Teen Linda Noskova, Ukrainian qualifier Dayana Yastremska into AO quarters

League: Tennis

Posted on: 22 Jan, 2024 at 03:42 PM

Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

Ukrainian No. 19 seed Elina Svitolina trailed 3-0 in the opening set and bowed out of the Australian Open with a back injury, pushing Czech teen Linda Noskova into the quarterfinals in upset-mad Melbourne.

"Today was not the way I've planned to win. I feel sorry for Elina and I hope she feels well very soon," said the 19-year-old Noskova, who embraced Svitolina at the net after a lengthy medical timeout signaled the end of their fourth-round meeting.

Noskova reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in six tries.

She'll oppose another Ukrainian, 23-year-old qualifier Dayana Yastremska, in an all-underdog quarterfinal. Yastremska beat two-time champion Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (6), 6-4 only 30 minutes after Noskova's match went final.

"My heart is going to jump out of my body," Yastremska said post-match, her seventh consecutive victory since qualifying began.

Upsets reigned on the top half of the bracket, which also includes Russian Anna Kalinskaya, ranked 75th in the world, and 12th seed Zheng Qinwen, who also made the final eight at the 2023 U.S. Open.

"It feels amazing to pass so many rounds at a Grand Slam. It's something special for me," Kalinskaya said.

Azarenka went ahead 3-0 in the second set and Yastremska admitted she was feeling fatigued, but found another gear.

"My coaches were telling me, 'Play in two shots,'" Yastremska said.

"I'm like, 'How can I play in two shots?' Vika's running good. Then I just started: boom, boom, boom. I don't know how to explain it."

Qinwen dominated Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin 6-0 6-3, and Kalinskaya had no problem with 26th seed Jasmine Paolini of Italy (6-4, 6-2) to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Noskova entered the field ranked 50th and previously eliminated No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland, who called the big-serving Noskova "fearless."

She's the first teenager to beat a world No. 1 at the Australian Open since Amelie Mauresmo knocked out Lindsay Davenport in 1999.

Svitolina cruised into the matchup by blowing past Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic, 6-2, 6-3, in the round of 16.

Trailing 2-0 in the opening set against Noskova, Svitolina unfurled a towel and laid face-down hoping her back would respond during a medical timeout. Her injury was evident during attempts to serve, as she grimaced and lacked her usual pop from the racket.

--Field Level Media