Top-ranked Since February, Iga Swiatek was undefeated and appeared untouchable, having won 37 consecutive matches and six consecutive tournaments.
She has never been as comfortable on grass courts as she is on other surfaces, and a 6-4, 6-2 loss to France’s 37th-ranked Alize Cornet on Saturday caused her to be eliminated in the third round of Wimbledon.
“I am aware I did not play tennis well. Swiatek, a two-time French Open champion who has never gotten past the fourth round at the All England Club, stated, “My strategy was a mess.” Certainly, that was not a good performance on my part.
Not only did the match’s winner come as a surprise, but the entire outcome was unexpected. It was also the one-sided nature of this 1 hour and 33 minute encounter.
Cornet stated, “This type of match is what I live for and what I train for every day.” “It truly frustrates me. I knew I could succeed. I somehow believed this.”
No woman had won as many consecutive matches as Swiatek since Martina Hingis in 1997, when she won 37 consecutive bouts.
But it appeared immediately that this would not be Swiatek’s day.
She stated, “I didn’t know what to do.”
Several hours later, neither did the fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, who grew agitated by what he termed a “circus” environment and “bullying” methods employed by Nick Kyrgios, who cussed and argued his way to a 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7) triumph.
After losing the second set on No. 1 Court, Kyrgios frequently criticized chair umpire Damien Dumusois and demanded that Tsitsipas should be defaulted for striking a ball into the stands near the spectators.
Across the court on Centre Court, 22-time major champion Rafael Nadal defeated No. 27 seed Lorenzo Sonego 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, although to a far lesser extent. Nadal complained to Sonego’s prolonged grunts and summoned him to the net to discuss the matter; Sonego objected to the face-to-face discussion.
Afterward, Nadal expressed regret, stating he should not have attempted to engage his opponent in such a manner.
On a chilly, windy afternoon on No. 1 Court, Swiatek fell behind 3-0 fast, and nine of Cornet’s first 14 points were from unforced errors made by the 21-year-old Polish player. Only one came from a winner that Cornet herself developed.
Swiatek, who was always so precise with her photographs and composed in her demeanor, was not at ease in any regard. After a failed forehand return, she struck her right shoe’s toes with her racket.
Swiatek committed 33 unforced errors, a staggering 26 more than Cornet. And Swiatek’s powerful forehand delivered nine winners, which was only two more than Cornet’s total.
This is not the first time Cornet has produced an unexpected result at the All England Club. The only other occasion she reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam competition on grass was in 2014, when she defeated Serena Williams, the reigning major singles champion.
“I am speechless right now. It reminds me of the time, exactly eight years ago, when I defeated Serena on the same court “Cornet stated. “This court is my good luck charm.”
When the match concluded — appropriately, with Swiatek slamming a forehand into the net — Cornet raised her arms and grinned as much as could.
The 32-year-old Cornet reached her first quarterfinal in 63 major tournament outings at the Australian Open in January. Now, she is one win away from returning to that stage, as she faces unseeded Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in her next round.
“I’m like good wine, “Cornet said. “Good wine ages well invariably.”
Tomljanovic, who reached the quarterfinals of the All England Club a year ago, defeated Barbora Krejcikova, the 2021 French Open champion, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
In a rematch of the 2017 U.S. Open junior final between two young Americans, No. 20 seed Amanda Anisimova defeated No. 11 seed Coco Gauff 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1 on Centre Court.
The 18-year-old Gauff, who lost to Swiatek in the final of Roland Garros last month, led 3-0 until the 20-year-old Anisimova’s aggressive baseline game took control. Anisimova forced the first set into a tiebreaker, which she led 4-1 before Gauff won the next six points.
That could have caused Anisimova difficulty. She did not allow it to deter her. Instead, she maintained control of groundstroke exchanges and did an outstanding job with Gauff’s 123 mph serve on Saturday.
Anisimova won over fifty percent of Gauff’s service games and saved ten of the thirteen break points she faced.
Anisimova, who entered the 2022 season with a record of 11-23 in three-setters, currently leads the tour with 13 triumphs in matches that go the distance.
When Anisimova secured the victory, she fell to her back on the court, covered her face with both hands, and then blew kisses to the spectators and wiped away her tears.
Anisimova’s next opponent is debutante Harmony Tan, who upset Williams in the opening round of Wimbledon on Tuesday.
Other women’s fourth-round matches scheduled on Monday include No. 17 Elena Rybakina versus Petra Martic and No. 4 Simona Halep versus No. 4 Paula Badosa, who defeated two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 7-5, 7-6. (4).
Four American men have advanced to the round of 16 at the All England Club for the first time since 1999, thanks to victory by No. 11 Taylor Fritz and unseeded Brandon Nakashima on Saturday. They join Frances Tiafoe, ranked No. 23, and Tommy Paul, ranked No. 30, who advanced a day earlier.