NEW YORK -- Iga Swiatek's 75-week run at World No.1 will end after the US Open. The 22-year-old bowed out in the fourth round of her title defense to Jelena Ostapenko, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 late Sunday night. 

"Well, it meant a lot, obviously," Swiatek told reporters after the match. "It was great. 

"On the other hand this last part, it was pretty exhausting. I still need to do all this stuff that my team and all these great players like Roger or Novak or Rafa are telling about: you just have to focus on the tournaments, not the rankings."

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Swiatek admitted the challenge of holding onto the No.1 ranking had been weighing on her. On Monday after the tournament, Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka will supplant her as the new World No.1. Swiatek had successfully held her off since the French Open but trailed Sabalenka by 245 points on the Race to the WTA Finals Leaderboard, which only calculates points earned in the current season.

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Swiatek took over the No.1 ranking in April last year after Ashleigh Barty's sudden retirement, becoming the first Polish No.1 in tennis history. Her elevation came amid what would become the longest win streak of the 21st century, a 37-match run that ran from Doha until Wimbledon. She raced away from the pack, capturing two Slams and eight titles last year. Through it all, she carried the weight and expectations of a nation, setting new milestones for Polish tennis with seemingly every win.

"Usually I'm not looking at numbers, but overall I love them."

- Iga Swiatek

With the pressure to follow up one of the best seasons of the century, Swiatek has stood up to the challenge. Going into New York, she led the tour both wins and titles this year, winning four, including three successful title defenses. Her 75-week streak is the third longest in WTA history for a first-time World No.1, behind only Stefanie Graf (186) and Martina Hingis (80). 

"I would love to extend this record a little bit longer," Swiatek said. "This is something that when I was younger, I actually kind of wanted to break some record or have something. I already did that 'cause I already won a Slam as a first Polish player. Obviously being No.1 as the third player in history is great.

"But for sure when it happens, when you lose it, there are some sad emotions. 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. 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. I'm just happy that I will have time to reset a little bit."

Part of that reset will be more focused time to practice. It's easy to forget that Swiatek had to manage two significant injuries this season. First there was the rib injury she sustained in the spring that forced her out of Miami. Then came a leg injury that threatened her Roland Garros title defense. 

As a result, aside from one week of practice on grass, Swiatek has only had two weeks of regular practice. She's been playing an otherwise non-stop schedule.

"For sure I'm not happy with my performances on hard courts in terms of Grand Slams this year," Swiatek said, referring to her fourth-round finishes at in Melbourne and New York. "I think overall, with my history, this season I've done a pretty good job just staying on a constant level, maybe except some matches that I shouldn't mess up.

"But I'm happy that I'm going to have some time now to practice because I really, really need that and I really miss that."

Swiatek is currently entered in the WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara, which begins one week after the US Open on September 17. She is also entered in Tokyo and Beijing.

"I'm really happy that I have smart people around me and they are telling me how to do it, and they are guiding me. But it's on me to actually make it happen."

- Iga Swiatek

"There are plenty of things that I know I should have done differently," Swiatek said. "Maybe I'm not mature enough yet to do that. I'm really working hard to not think about [numbers] a lot. Sometimes when you force yourself not to think about stuff, the result is the opposite.

As she now focuses on chasing down the top spot to finish the year at No.1, Swiatek says she'll take positive lessons from how she successfully managed her pressure-packed initial stint in the top spot. 

Until then, Swiatek will embrace her new position as the hunter. 

"For sure when I'm going to be next time in the same situation, I'm going to do some stuff differently because it was a little bit stressful, and it shouldn't be," Swiatek said. "I mean, tennis is stressful overall, but I should embrace it a little bit more. 

"I'll do it differently next time, so I guess that's positive."