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Swiatek's streak ends as Rafa's continues at Wimbledon

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Roar Guru
3rd July, 2022
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We will have our third different grand slam women’s singles champion this year after Iga Swiatek sensationally had her 37-match winning streak ended by French veteran Alize Cornet on Sunday morning (AEST).

Twenty-one-year-old Swiatek arrived at the All England Club as the in-form player on the WTA Tour, having not tasted defeat for over four months, taking in a winning run that also included romping to her second major title at Roland Garros last month.

Cornet went into their third round clash unfazed by the task at hand, coming in with the experience of having previously knocked off a top seed when she upset then-world No.1 Serena Williams on this very court eight years ago.

The Frenchwoman set the tone for the match by twice breaking Swiatek’s serve, and having a game point for a 4-0 lead, and while the Pole was able to snag back a break the 32-year-old was able to hold on to take the opening set 6-4.

Another double break in the second set proved to be enough as Cornet eventually served it out to love, sending the pre-tournament favourite crashing out and booking her ticket to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since the aforementioned upset of Williams in 2014.

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Swiatek admitted after the match that she didn’t play her best tennis, and that any attempt to get back into the match after dropping the first set backfired.

Iga Swiatek leaves the court.

(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

Cornet next goes on to face Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, who earlier in the day had caused another major upset by defeating former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in three sets.

Though her ranking will drop into the 70s next week, Tomljanovic is still displaying the tennis she is capable of producing, as best illustrated by her run to the quarter-finals 12 months ago where she lost to compatriot and eventual champion Ashleigh Barty.

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Another former major champion, Petra Kvitova, was beaten in straight sets by fourth seed Paula Badosa, who was making her Centre Court debut eight years after being a spectator in the very court where the Czech left-hander won the second of her two Wimbledon titles.

Kvitova broke in the first game of the match and had a chance to go up a double-break, but Badosa would save that break point to hold for 1-2 before the 32-year-old held for 3-1 in the next game.

She had the chance to serve out the first set at 5-4, but Badosa would break right back, then broke again two games later to take the first set 7-5 after Kvitova double-faulted on set point.

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The second set was evenly contested with neither player able to grab a break; it eventually went to a tiebreak which the Spaniard won 7-4 to secure a straight-sets win and set up a clash with 16th seed Simona Halep.

Halep, now the only remaining former Wimbledon champion left in the draw after Angelique Kerber’s exit at the hands of Elise Mertens on Friday, was barely forced to sweat as she saw off Magdalena Frech in straight sets.

Kerber’s departure means that not only is Jelena Ostapenko the last former major champion left in the bottom half of the draw, there will also be a first-time Wimbledon finalist by the end of the week.

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Harmony Tan, the first-round victor of Serena Williams, continued her fairytale run at the expense of local favourite Katie Boulter, who could only take two games off the Frenchwoman just two days after upsetting Karolina Pliskova on Centre Court.

She next goes on to face Amanda Anisimova, who came from a set down to defeat compatriot Coco Gauff in three sets on her Centre Court debut to reach the second week at the All England Club for the first time.

It was another successful day for the Aussies in the men’s draw, with Alex de Minaur, Nick Kyrgios and qualifier Jason Kubler all advancing to the final 16.

De Minaur saw off British wildcard Liam Broady to reach the fourth round for the first time and will fancy his chances against Cristian Garin, who defeated American 29th seed Jenson Brooksby in four sets.

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Alex de Minaur celebrates a point.

Alex de Minaur celebrates a point. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Kubler emerged through the longest match of this year’s Championships so far, coming from two sets to one down and emerging through a nerve-racking fourth set tiebreak to oust former American top-10 player Jack Sock in five sets.

He will face another tough test against another American, 11th seed Taylor Fritz, on Monday night (AEST); win that and he could line up a quarter-final clash against second seed Rafael Nadal.

The last of the Aussies in action, Nick Kyrgios, sent fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas packing in an entertaining yet controversial clash on Court No.1 that had just about every piece of drama you could imagine.

Tsitsipas took the first set in a tiebreak before Kyrgios began working his way back into the match, and after the Canberran took the second set he demanded that the Greek star be defaulted for hitting a ball into the stands, narrowly missing a female spectator.

He alluded to the fact that Novak Djokovic had been booted out of the 2020 US Open, where he inadvertently struck a lineswoman late in the first set of a match against Pablo Carreno Busta.

The drama would’ve been music to the ears of Netflix producers who are producing a documentary featuring both Kyrgios and Tsitsipas, arguably two of the most polarising players on the ATP Tour.

After all that, Kyrgios kept a cool head to claim a four-set victory, though had to save two set points in the fourth set tiebreak before winning through to a last-16 clash against American Brandon Nakashima in which he will start as the prohibitive favourite.

Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon

(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

A win would put him through to his first Wimbledon quarter-final since his debut in 2014, where he could face countryman Alex de Minaur who will be short-priced to defeat Cristian Garin in his fourth round match.

It would also be Kyrgios’ first major quarter-final anywhere since the 2015 Australian Open, where he lost to Andy Murray on his Rod Laver Arena debut after upending Andreas Seppi (who had upset Roger Federer the previous round) in five sets in the fourth round.

At stake could be a possible final four showdown against Rafael Nadal, who first needs to get past Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in the fourth round, and either Taylor Fritz or Jason Kubler in the quarter-finals.

For his part, the Spaniard was barely forced to sweat as he saw off Italian Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets, securing his 17th straight win at the majors this year and keeping alive his chances of a second calendar surfaces slam (after previously achieving this in 2010).

Sonego remains the most recent player to be beaten by Roger Federer anywhere, the Swiss star having since not played for nearly 12 months owing to knee surgery which will see him drop out of the world’s top 100 when the rankings are updated next week.

A change to the Wimbledon schedule means Middle Sunday is no longer a rest day, with fourth round action in both the men’s and women’s draws to be scheduled on the day going forward.

The last remaining Brit in the women’s draw, Heather Watson, kicks off play on Centre Court hoping to convert her first major fourth-round appearance into a quarter-final when she comes up against Germany’s Jule Niemeier, the second-round victor of Anett Kontaveit.

A battle of the young guns in Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz follows that match, with the winner to then watch on in interest as Novak Djokovic takes on Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven.

On No.1 Court, former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko will start a prohibitive favourite against Tatjana Maria, after which the last remaining British man in the draw, Cameron Norrie, lines up a clash against American Tommy Paul.

That’s followed by a clash between third seed Ons Jabeur, the highest seed left in the women’s draw, and Belgian Elise Mertens.

Matches to watch on Day 7

Centre Court – from 1:30pm (10:30pm AEST)
Heather Watson (GBR) vs Jule Niemeier (GER)
[10] Jannik Sinner (ITA) vs [5] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP)
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Tim van Rijthoven (NED)

No.1 Court – from 1:00pm (10:00pm AEST)
Tatjana Maria (GER) vs [12] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
[9] Cameron Norrie (GBR) vs [30] Tommy Paul (USA)
[24] Elise Mertens (BEL) vs [3] Ons Jabeur (TUN)

No.2 Court – from 11:00am (8:00pm AEST)
Marie Bouzkova (CZE) vs Caroline Garcia (FRA)
David Goffin (BEL) vs [23] Frances Tiafoe (USA)

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