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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday January 20, 2024

Linda Noskova

19-year-old Czech Linda Noskova flipped the script on World No.1 Iga Swiatek, rallying from a set down to secure the biggest win of her career.

Photo Source: Getty

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday January 20, 2024

Linda Noskova had never played in the Australian Open’s main draw prior to this year, and she had never played on Rod Laver Arena prior to tonight’s matchup against World No.1 Iga Swiatek. If this is how she handles the white-hot pressure of the Australian Open with no experience, what will her future look like in Melbourne.

Tennis Express

50th-ranked Noskova turned up the heat and engineered an impressive comeback against the Pole, defeating the top seed 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 behind a steady diet of high-octane groundstrokes and pitch perfect serving.

Noskova increased the pace off of both wings and took her backhand down the line with more regularity after dropping the opening set and overpowered Swiatek down the stretch. Paced by ten aces and 35 winners (24 across sets two and three), Noskova took the racquet out of Swiatek’s hands on many occasions as she marched to her second career Top-5 win, and first over a reigning World No.1.

“I’m speechless,” Noskova told the crowd. “Obviously I knew it was gonna be an amazing match with the World No.1, but I didn’t really think that it would end like this – I’m just really glad to get through this one.”

Swiatek wasn’t far off course in the contest. She struck 34 winners, including 14 in the final set, but she had her serve broken twice and couldn’t muster a second break against Noskova, who rallied from 0-30 in the final game, winning the final four points to close it out.

Swiatek, who was riding an 18-match winning streak into the match, will remain No.1 after the Australian Open, regardless of who wins the event. The loss marks just the second time that Swiatek has lost to a player that is younger than her on tour.

Meanwhile, Noskova’s win cracks open the top half of the draw even further. No.3-seeded Elena Rybakina fell in the second round to Anna Blinkova, and Swiatek’s loss means that there are no Top-10 players remaining in the top half of the draw.

No.12-seeded Zheng Qinwen is the highest seed remaining in the top half.

Noskova, making her sixth main draw appearance at the majors, will face either Elina Svitolina or Viktorija Golubic in the round of 16.


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