Iga Swiatek out of Wimbledon after Yulia Putintseva defeat


Iga Swiatek, the world No 1 who has never won Wimbledon, has been eliminated from this year’s tournament.

Up against Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva, the 5ft 4in world No. 35, Swiatek was defeated 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in a third-round match on Court 1. There were eerie echoes of her loss to another tennis giantkiller, Alize Cornet, on the same court, at the same stage, on the equivalent day of the tournament in 2022.

Swiatek, who was visibly upset at points during the match, ultimately had no answer to the intensity of Putintseva, who is in excellent form on grass having won the Birmingham tournament two weeks ago. She is now up to 8-0 on the surface this year, the joint-most wins without losing on both tours this year alongside Jannik Sinner. Back in 2019, Putintseva beat the then world No 2 Naomi Osaka at Wimbledon. Otherwise though it’s not been a surface she’s had much success on.

The same is true of Swiatek, who doesn’t have so much as a Wimbledon semifinal to go alongside her four French Open titles and five Grand Slams overall. She spoke after her latest Roland Garros title of even considering training in the offseason on grass to try and get a better handle on it.

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After this defeat, Swiatek feels no closer to solving the riddle, and if she keeps on winning in Paris there will be no obvious solution. Swiatek didn’t play a grass warm-up event prior to Wimbledon, citing understandable mental and physical exhaustion, which always meant there was a decent chance she’d arrive at the All England Club undercooked.

Putintseva certainly looked the sharper of the two, racing around the court and rushing Swiatek, taking away her rhythm. Swiatek ended up with an extremely high 37 unforced erros compared to Putintseva’s 15.

Putintseva faces No 13 seed Jelena Ostapenko next.

Swiatek will remain the world No 1 whatever Coco Gauff does the rest of the fortnight, and will now turn her attention to the Paris Olympics where she will be the overwhelming favourite to win the gold medal.

For now, though success at Wimbledon remains elusive.

(Clive Brunskill / Getty Images)



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