World Number 338 Ana Konjuh Topples Reigning French Open Champion Iga Swiatek at Miami Open 2021

Published 03/27/2021, 1:39 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Poland’s Iga Swiatek in action during her second round match against Italy’s Camila Giorgi REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek crashed out of the Miami Open after losing to Croat Ana Konjuh in a round-of-32 clash on Saturday. Currently ranked 16th in singles, Swiatek fell behind early in the contest as the 23-year-old Croat came out all guns blazing.

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Unheralded Ana Konjuh dominated Iga Swiatek in the opening set

The pressure that Konjuh brought to bear on the Pole’s serve paid her the desired dividend as she broke Swiatek to pull away to an early lead in the opening set. She held on to the advantage to claim the first set 6-4.

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Bursting with momentum and self-belief, the Croat won her opening two service games and put the heat on Swiatek in the quest of another early break.

Iga Swiatek came roaring back to take the second set 6-2

Boxed into a corner, Swiatek came out swinging and got herself an early break off the Croat’s serve.

Finding her range, she brought out her dominant self to break Konjuh again, and then simply overwhelmed the young Croat in the games that followed to skip to take the second set at a canter.

While the contest was now on level terms, the momentum appeared to shift in Swiatek’s favor.

The Pole brought up three straight points in her opening service of the final set before the Croat made it 30-40. However, Swiatek recovered to come away with a service hold and go 1-0 up in the decider.

Looking for an early break, Swiatek attacked the Croat’s serve and took the score t0 deuce. However, Konjuh managed to pull away and close out the game with two straight points.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021, Poland’s Iga Swiatek in action during her fourth-round match against Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

The Croat pressed Swiatek in the next game and went 15-30 up. However, the Pole drew level and brought up game point. However, the Konjuh persisted and took it to deuce before bringing up her 10th breakpoint. But Swiatek pulled level.

The Croat brought up her second breakpoint in the game, but the Pole brought it back to deuce again. However, Konjuh converted her third breakpoint in the game to open up a crucial 2-1 lead in the deciding set.

Looking to hit back, the Pole opened up a 15-30 lead in the next game but the Croat came back well to close the game and extend her advantage to 3-1.

Mar 25, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Ana Konjuh of Croatia hits a forehand against Madison Keys of the United States (not pictured) in the second round of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Seeking a decisive break in the final set, Konjuh went 15-40 up in the next game. However, Swiatek took it to deuce. Konjuh’s persistence paid off again as she brought up her 15th breakpoint and cashed in on it to go 4-1.

Barring a miracle, the tournament was headed for its first big upset.

The wheels seemed to have come off as the Pole merely went through the motions thereafter. The Croat played out another service hold to go 5-1 up.

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Serving to stay in the match, the Pole went 30-15 up the next game. She managed to close out the game to make Konjuh serve for the match.

The Croat went 30-15 up in the next game before bringing up match point. She then closed out the contest, bringing a fitting end to a dominating performance.

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The Pole, for once, came out second best in the clash between two power hitters.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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