World No. 1 Iga Swiatek falls to Yulia Putintseva at Wimbledon

League: Tennis

Posted on: 06 Jul, 2024 at 10:00 PM

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Unseeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan shocked World No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the third round at Wimbledon on Saturday in London.

Swiatek had won 21 consecutive matches, including titles in Madrid, Rome and Paris. She has four French Open titles and five Grand Slams overall but has never captured a Wimbledon title.

Swiatek -- who committed 38 unforced errors to just 15 by Putintseva -- will next enter the Paris Olympics, where she's expected to challenge for a gold medal.

But on Saturday in London, she was not feeling so great about her performance.

"For me going from this kind of tennis where I felt like I'm playing the best tennis in my life to another surface where I kind of struggle a little bit more, it's not easy," Swiatek told reporters. "All that stuff really combines to me not really having a good time in Wimbledon."

Swiatek finished with 34 winners, 15 more than Putintseva, but the unforced errors came back to haunt her.

Putintseva, who had lost all four previous matches against Swiatek, went 7 of 8 on break-point opportunities to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon for the first time.

"At some point I was playing fearless," Putintseva said. "I was just, 'I can do it, I have to believe 100 percent, I have nothing to lose, just go for it.' Also my coach told me, no matter which shot you're doing, believe 100 percent and just follow.

"It's when the turning point happened, I start to play really, really good. I think today I'm happy, extra happy, because she didn't lose it; I took it."

Putintseva will next face No. 13 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, who won the 2017 French Open. She had no trouble with Bernarda Pera, advancing with a 6-1, 6-3 win.

In other third-round action, No. 21 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine upended 10th-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-1, 7-6 (4), who lost the last two finals at Wimbledon.

Svitolina won 76.3 percent (29 of 38) of her first-serve points and saved both break-point opportunities. She also forced Jabeur into 31 unforced errors and committed just 12.

"Definitely was a great performance," Svitolina told reporters after the match. "I'm really happy the way I was playing, the way I was moving around the court. It was a really good match for my side. I had to be focused from the first point to the last one, and I'm happy I could execute that."

In an all-Russian matchup, No. 17 seed Anna Kalinskaya moved on with a 7-6 (4), 6-2 victory over 15th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova.

She will next face No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan. Rybakina rolled to a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, having a 36-4 edge in winners and prevailing in just 57 minutes.

"Of course it feels amazing," Rybakina, the 2022 champion, said of the dominating win. "Perfect conditions for my type of game. I'm really pleased."

Former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, the No. 31 seed, was leading 6-0, 4-3 when Spain's Jessica Bouzas Maneiro retired in the second set with a lower back injury. The unseeded Bouzas Maneiro stunned defending champion Marketa Vondrousova in the first round.

"I had two very tough first two matches," Krejcikova told reporters after the match. "Today I wouldn't say it was easier, but the score was definitely easier than the matches before, especially in the first set."

Krejcikova will next face No. 11 Danielle Collins, who continued her stellar season with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 20 Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil. Collins won nine straight games -- the last six of the first set and first three of the second -- en route to reaching the Wimbledon round of 16 for the first time.

"It's a goal of mine to be able to play on Centre Court in a singles match at some point," said Collins, who had a 22-17 edge in winners. "I have yet to do that in my career. So I am just trying to ride this thing out until I can play on Centre Court."

Xinyu Wang of China, who took down No. 5 seed Jessica Pegula in the second round, defeated fellow unseeded player Harriet Dart of Great Britain 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the round of 16.

--Field Level Media