Top-ranked Iga Swiatek was unbeaten since February and sure seemed unbeatable, compiling 37 consecutive match wins and six consecutive tournament titles.
She’s never quite been as comfortable on grass courts as other surfaces, though, and a mistake-filled performance Saturday sent Swiatek out of Wimbledon in the third round with a 6-4, 6-2 loss to 37th-ranked Alize Cornet of France.
It was not just the match’s winner that was unexpected. It was also just how one-sided this 1-hour, 33-minute encounter was.
No woman had won as many matches in a row as Swiatek since Martina Hingis also put together a run of 37 in 1997.
But right away, it seemed, this would not be two-time French Open champion Swiatek’s day.
Normally so crisp with her shots, calm with her demeanor, Swiatek was not exactly at ease in either sense. After one missed forehand return, she swatted the toes of her right shoe with her racket.
By the end, Swiatek had made 33 unforced errors — a whopping 26 more than Cornet. And Swiatek’s strong forehand produced nine winners, only two more than Cornet amassed.
This is not the first surprising result Cornet has come up with at the All England Club. The only other time she reached the fourth round at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament came in 2014, when she eliminated major singles champion Serena Williams.
“I have no words right now. It reminds me of the time I beat Serena on the same court, eight years ago exactly,” Cornet said. “This court is a lucky charm for me.”
Causing an upset on No.1 Court 🤝 <a href=”https://twitter.com/alizecornet?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@alizecornet</a> <br><br>A moment to cherish for the Frenchwoman 🇫🇷<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Wimbledon</a> <a href=”https://t.co/bHnVnxIQ80″>pic.twitter.com/bHnVnxIQ80</a>
When the match ended — appropriately enough, with Swiatek dumping a forehand into the net — Cornet raised her arms and smiled as wide a smile as can be.
Cornet is a 32-year-old who reached her first quarter-final in 63 appearances at majors by getting that far at the Australian Open in January. Now she’s a win away from getting that far again, facing unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia next.
“I’m like good wine,” Cornet said. “Good wine always ages well.”
Tan keeps on winning
The woman who eliminated Williams in the first round at Wimbledon Tan .
Harmony Tan beat Katie Boulter 6-1, 6-1 on No. 2 Court to reach the fourth round. It’s the first time in her career that she has won three straight matches.
Tan, an unseeded Frenchwoman, beat Williams in three sets on Centre Court on the second day of the tournament. She then defeated 32nd-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round.
The German player who criticized Tan for pulling out of their doubles match at Wimbledon has contracted COVID-19.
Tamara Korpatsch said on Instagram that she tested positive and withdrew from her next tournament in France.
No. 8 Matteo Berrettini, the runner-up to Novak Djokovic a year ago, and No. 14 Marin Cilic withdrew before the tournament started. No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut won his first-round match but pulled out Thursday.
Korpatsch lost to Heather Watson in their first-round singles match at Wimbledon.
She then criticized Tan after the French player withdrew from doubles to focus on singles
American teenager Coco Gauff is out of Wimbledon in the third round after a 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1 loss to Anisimova on Centre Court.
The 18-year-old Gauff was the French Open runner-up and was seeded 11th at the All England Club.
The 20th-seeded Anisimova has now reached the fourth round in three straight Grand Slam tournaments.
Anisimova, who is 20 years old, will next face Harmony Tan for a place in the quarter-finals.