Top seed Iga Swiatek crashed out of the Australian Open on Saturday, losing 3-6 6-3 6-4 to Czech teenager Linda Noskova in the third round as her bid for a maiden Melbourne Park title and fifth Grand Slam trophy fell apart.
The Pole, more accustomed to breezing past opponents with the odd “bagel” or 6-0 scoreline thrown in, had struggled in Melbourne, enduring a first-set tiebreak in her opener against Sofia Kenin before fighting back from the brink of defeat to oust Danielle Collins last time out.
Noskova, 19, emerged as a tricky third-round opponent with three top-10 wins under her belt, but Swiatek looked in no mood to be dragged into another dogfight as she broke in the sixth game and held to love in the next to take charge.
The 22-year-old barely let the intensity drop after taking the first set as she forced Melbourne Park debutant Noskova into uncomfortable positions in the second by working the angles and launching big forehands.
But the Czech held firm, responding with some explosive hitting of her own and breaking en route to levelling up the contest before heaping the pressure on the four-times major champion to take a 2-1 lead in the decider.
Swiatek looked to have composed herself during a brief pause in play as doctors attended to a sick supporter in the crowd and broke back, but Noskova did not relent and got her nose in front again to close out the match on serve and complete a huge upset.