Cornet ends Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak
July 03 2022 12:21 AM
Alize Cornet roars in celebration on her way to defeating Iga Swiatek at Wimbledon yesterday. (AFP)
Alize Cornet roars in celebration on her way to defeating Iga Swiatek at Wimbledon yesterday. (AFP)

AFP/ London

Iga Swiatek admitted she was “confused” over her tactics after French veteran Alize Cornet ended the top seed’s 37-match unbeaten run at Wimbledon yesterday.
Cornet, ranked 37, took advantage of an error-strewn performance from the Polish world number one to win 6-4, 6-2 on Court One in their third-round tie.
Swiatek was broken five times and made a total of 33 unforced errors in an uncharacteristically sloppy display.
The 21-year-old, who had won her previous six tournaments including the French Open,
said she struggled to control the ball.
“I know I didn’t play good tennis,” said the world number one. “I was pretty confused about my tactics. As a solid player, she used that pretty well. For sure, it wasn’t a good performance from me.”
Swiatek had not lost a match since her defeat to Jelena Ostapenko in February in Dubai.
Though she had looked unbeatable on hard courts and clay, she had admitted she was on a learning curve on grass.
She was made to battle hard in the second round to defeat lucky loser Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove in three sets and has yet to beat a top-50 player on grass. Swiatek said she had not felt in her best shape at Wimbledon during practice despite her stellar form this season.
“I’m kind of aware that this could happen,” she said. “Maybe it’s not the right attitude to have, but it is like it is. I tried many things to feel better on a grass court but it didn’t really work out.
“That’s why I’m not even hard on myself because, like, it’s kind of logic that if I couldn’t find it even in practice, I’m not going to find it in a match.”
In reaching the fourth round, Cornet matches her run at Wimbledon in 2014, when she beat Serena Williams in the third round.
“I have no words right now,” she said.
“It reminds me of the time I beat Serena on the same court eight years ago exactly. This court is a lucky charm for me.”
The 32-year-old reached a career milestone by defeating former number one Simona Halep to advance to her first major quarter-final at the Australian Open earlier this year.
“I’m like good wine,” said Cornet, who is contesting her 62nd consecutive Slam, matching Ai Sugiyama’s record.
“In France good wine always ages well, that’s what’s happened to me. It’s unreal - I’m playing one of the best seasons of my career.”
Cornet will face Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic for a place in the quarter-finals.
World number four Paula Badosa defeated two-time champion Petra Kvitova to reach the fourth round, where she will face another former winner, Simona Halep, who defeated Magdalena Frech 6-4, 6-1 in their third round match yesterday.
The Spaniard triumphed 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) to make the last 16 for a second successive year at the All England Club. Badosa recovered from a 4-2 deficit in the opening set to get the better of Kvitova, who double-faulted when she was facing set point.
In a tighter second set, Kvitova was eventually undone by her all-or-nothing approach.
Earlier, Harmony Tan, who knocked Serena Williams out in the first round, demolished British wild card Katie Boulter 6-1, 6-1 in just 51 minutes to reach the fourth round.
The 24-year-old French player broke Boulter five times in a dominant display to disappoint the crowd on Court Two.
“I think I like grass,” said Tan, ranked 115th in the world.
“I never play on this court but I like to play with slice and volley and everything with my game so I’m really happy.
“It was really emotional for the first round against Serena and after it was just playing match by match and today was really good tennis. I don’t know why but it depends on the day.”
Tan will next play 20th seed Amanda Anisimova, who came from behind to beat French Open finalist Coco Gauff 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-1 in an all-American tie.

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