WIMBLEDON, England–Top-ranked Iga Swiatek was unbeaten since February and sure seemed unbeatable, compiling 37 consecutive match wins and six consecutive tournament titles.
She’s never quite been as comfortable on grass courts as other surfaces, though, and a mistake-filled Saturday sent Swiatek out of Wimbledon in the third round with a 6-4, 6-2 loss to 37th-ranked Alize Cornet of France.
” I know that I did not play very good tennis. Swiatek said that he was confused by his tactics and has not advanced beyond the fourth round at All England Club. It was not a great performance .”
It wasn’t just the match’s win that was surprising. It was also just how one-sided this 1-hour, 33-minute encounter was.
” This kind of match, is what I live for and what I practice every day,” Cornet stated. It drives me. It was something I believed I could accomplish. This belief .”
was something I had.
No woman had won as many matches in a row as Swiatek since Martina Hingis also put together a run of 37 in 1997.
But it was clear that this wouldn’t be Swiatek’s day.
” I didn’t know where to start,” she stated.
Not until the fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. He became frustrated with what he described as a “circus atmosphere” and bullying tactics of Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios cursed and argued his route to victory by 6-7 (2).
Kyrgios insulted Damien Dumusois, the chair umpire. He insisted that Tsitsipas be dismissed for striking a ball into fans near the crowd after dropping the second set. 1 Court.
There was some simultaneous contentiousness across the way at Centre Court, too, although to a much lesser degree, as 22-time major champion Rafael Nadal beat No. 27 seed Lorenzo Sonego 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Nadal protested Sonego’s long, grunting sounds and brought him to the net for a discussion. Sonego was against this face-to-face encounter.
Nadal later apologized for trying to engage his opponent in that manner.
A cold, windy afternoon at No. 1 Court, Swiatek quickly fell behind 3-0 and of Cornet’s first 14 points, nine came via unforced errors off the racket of the 21-year-old player from Poland. Cornet produced only one winner.
Swiatek is not a natural at both shooting and being calm. She pounded the right toe of her right shoe with her racket after a missed forehand return.
By the end, Swiatek had made 33 unforced errors–a whopping 26 more than Cornet. Swiatek had nine wins, two more than Cornet.
This surprising result isn’t the first Cornet has achieved at the All England Club. The only other time she reached the fourth round at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament came in 2014, when she eliminated major singles champion Serena Williams.
” I don’t have any words at the moment. “It reminds me of when I beat Serena at the same court eight years ago,” Cornet stated. This court is my lucky charm .”
When the match was over, Swiatek had thrown a forehand in the net. Cornet raised her arms to smile widest possible.
Cornet is a 32-year-old who reached her first quarterfinal in 63 appearances at majors by getting that far at the Australian Open in January. She is now one win away from reaching that final, and will be facing Ajla Tomljanovic (Australia) next.
” I’m like good wines,” Cornet stated. “Good wine always age well .”
Tomljanovic, a quarterfinalist a year ago at the All England Club, eliminated 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
In a contest between two young Americans–and a rematch of the 2017 U.S. Open junior final–No. 20 seed Amanda Anisimova came back to top No. 11 Coco Gauff 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1 at Centre Court.
Gauff, who is 18 and lost to Swiatek in the final at Roland Garros last month, led 3-0 at the start, before the 20-year-old Anisimova’s forceful baseline game eventually began to hold sway. Anisimova won the tiebreaker and led 4-1. Gauff took the rest of the points.
That could have caused Anisimova some problems. She didn’t let it derail her. Instead, she kept taking control of groundstroke exchanges while also doing a fantastic job of handling Gauff’s serve, which reached 123 mph Saturday.
In all, Anisimova won more than half of Gauff’s service games and saved 10 of the 13 break points she faced.
After entering 2022 with a record of 11-23 in three-setters, Anisimova has gone 13-6 this season, leading the tour for the most victories in matches that go the distance.
As Anisimova wrapped up the win, she lowered to her back and covered her face with her hands. She then raised to kiss the crowd, and then wiped her tears away.
Next is Anisimova’s match against Harmony Tan. Tan is making her Wimbledon debut after defeating Williams in round one last Tuesday.
Other women will play in the fourth round on Monday. 17 Elena Rybakina vs. Petra Martic, and 2019 champion Simona Halep against No. 4 Paula Badosa beat Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, 7-5, 7-6 (4).
A total of four American men are into the round of 16 at the All England Club for the first time since 1999 after victories Saturday by No. 11 Taylor Fritz and unseeded Brandon Nakashima. They are now No. 23 Frances Tiafoe and No. 30 Tommy Paul, who advanced a day earlier.
By Howard Fendrich