By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday September 3, 2023
Iga Swiatek was left pondering what went wrong after her 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 loss to Jelena Ostapenko on Sunday night at the US Open.
The defending champion fell to 0-4 lifetime against the Latvian and saw her US Open winning streak snapped at 10 victories.
“I’m just surprised that my level changed so drastically because usually when I play bad, I play bad at the beginning, then I kind of catch up or just problem solve,” she said. “This time it was totally the opposite. I don’t really know what happened with my game. I felt no control suddenly. I just have to watch and see ’cause, yeah, I didn’t really know why I started making so many mistakes.”
Swiatek was off to a solid start, but melted down in the heat and humidity in sets two and three, as she struggled to hit her spots against the former Roland-Garros champion.
“Usually I can feel what I’m doing wrong,” she said. “This time, I don’t know, like my mistakes were so huge, and I had no idea why suddenly I couldn’t return. I’m a good returner. I was focusing on the same things as in the first set, and the same things overall, when my game is working.
“I don’t know. I need to watch. Maybe this will give me some answers. Overall it’s just that it doesn’t happen often for me when I start playing so badly. It’s a positive thing overall, but I’m just surprised a little bit. I have to analyze.”
On the No.1 Ranking: It’s Sad
Swiatek said it is difficult to lose the No.1 ranking, but she believes that she will have chances to regain it if she continues to develop as a player.
“For sure when it happens, when you lose it, there are some sad emotions,” she said. “As I said at the beginning, all these great players know it’s going to come back if you’re going to work hard, focus on the right things, just develop as a player.
“For sure besides this match, which was pretty weird, I feel like I am progressing as a player. I have more skills. This season was – is still – the hardest part is already done for me, but this season was really tough and intense. It’s not easy to cope with all of this stuff, yeah.
“I’m just happy that I will have time to reset a little bit.”