Defending champion Iga Swiatek surprisingly failed at the US Open in the round of 16 because of her feared opponent and will lose the top position in the world tennis rankings.

The 22-year-old Pole lost to Jelena Ostapenko 6: 3, 3: 6, 1: 6 and conceded her fourth defeat in the fourth duel with the Latvian. “I usually play badly at the beginning. I don’t know what happened to my game,” said Swiatek. With her exit, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka will replace the four-time Grand Slam tournament winner as the leader in the world rankings after the US Open.

Swiatek has been in the top position for 75 consecutive weeks. Only Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis managed to do this over a longer period of time in their debuts as world number one. “It meant a lot to me. It was also very tiring,” said Swiatek. “I would have loved to extend this record a bit more.”

Ostapenko in the top eight for the first time

Former French Open winner Ostapenko reached the top eight at the Grand Slam tournament in New York for the first time. “I knew I had to be aggressive because she doesn’t like it,” said the 26-year-old. “I am really happy.” Ostapenko is now challenging the American audience favorite Coco Gauff (19). The US star ended the Grand Slam comeback of the Dane Caroline Wozniacki (33) with 6: 3, 3: 6, 6: 1.

After winning the first set, the top seeded Swiatek found it increasingly difficult to cope with Ostapenko’s aggressive game. The world rankings-21. dominated the game with her powerful groundstrokes and after a 4:3 lead in the second set, she won seven games in a row. Swiatek seemed at a loss and had to admit defeat after 1:48 hours.