Match Fixture: Iga Swiatek vs Elena Rybakina
Tournament: Australian Open 2023
Date: January 22, 2023
Round: Fourth Round (Round of 16)
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia.
Category: Grand Slam.
Prize Money: A$76,500,000.
Live telecast: USA – ESPN | UK – Eurosport | India – Sony Six, Sony Ten & Sony Liv.
World No. 1 Iga Swiatek is set to appear against Kazakh player Elena Rybakina in the fourth round of the 2023 Australian Open on Sunday, January 22.
Iga’s toughest win of the tournament so far was her first-round match against Germany’s Jule Niemeir. The only break point in the first set was won by Iga at the crucial stage of 5-4, who closed the set at 6-4. The second set saw both players breaking serve with the World No.1 ultimately coming out on top. Though it was a straight-sets victory (6-4, 7-5), it took Iga almost two hours to send the German packing.
The Polish player’s second-round match was against Colombian Camila Osorio. She dominated the match by winning the match 6-2, 6-3. Iga Swiatek’s serve was broken once deep into the second set but that was not enough for the Colombian to make a comeback at the 2023 Australian Open.
Iga Swiatek’s third-round match against Spanish player Cristina Busca was a masterclass in domination, with Swiatek finishing the match in only 55 minutes. Swiatek only let Busca win one game, winning the match 6-0, 6-1.
However, Elena Rybakina’s road to the Round of 16 was not as comfortable as her opponent’s. Rybakina defeated Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the first round 7-5, 6-3. The first set saw some service breaks, with Rybakina breaking Cocciaretto’s very first service game to go 3-0 up.
Cocciaretto broke Rybakina’s serve at 5-3, bringing her back on serve. But Rybakina broke her opponent’s serve at the crucial 6-5 stage and won the first set 7-5. Rybakina comfortably closed the second set at 6-3 to win the match.
Rybakina’s second-round match was against Slovenian Kaja Juvan. Rybakina closed the match within an hour at 6-2, 6-1. But Rybakina’s third-round match against 2022 Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins was not a one-sided affair. Rybakina won 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 in two hours and five minutes. Rybakina only gave one service break opportunity to the American at 5-6 which she converted. That cost Rybakina the second set. She pulled herself back up in the third set and won the final set 6-2.
Iga Swiatek vs Elena Rybakina head-to-head
Officially, Iga Swiatek leads head-to-head with 1-0. The pair previously clashed at the WTA J&T Banka Ostrava Open 2021, with Swiatek winning the match 7-6(5), 6-2.
However, on December 24, 2022, Rybakina defeated Swiatek 6-3,6-1 at the World Tennis League. The World Tennis League is not a WTA event but a mixed-gender exhibition tournament. Yet, Rybakina’s win over Swiatek cannot be ignored.