Women’s world number one Iga Swiatek withdrew from the Australian Open after a fourth-round loss on Sunday.
Elena Rybakina defeated the 21-year-old Polish tennis player in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena.
Svyatek has been favored for this year’s tournament after reaching the semi-finals last year and winning eight titles in 2022, including two Grand Slam titles.
Rybakina was born in Russia but has been representing Kazakhstan since 2018, winning her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year and the first for Kazakhstan.
She will now face the winner of American Coco Gauff and Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko in the quarterfinals.
Gauff lost to Svyatek in the French Open final last year, but ranks seventh in 2022 and is considered a strong contender for all four Grand Slams this year.
The 2023 Australian Open will be held in Melbourne on January 29.