The number one in the world, Every Swiatekwas removed from Wimbledon in the third round by the French Alize Cornet, which defeated her 6-4 and 6-2. Thus, the Polish cut an impressive 37-game winning streakwhich included his coronation at Roland Garros.
The Frenchwoman, 32 years old and 37th in the world, beat Swiatek in one hour and 33 minutes. The Pole had not lost a match since her elimination in the second round in Dubai on February 16. In the absence of defending Wimbledon women’s titleholder Ashleigh Barty of Australia, who withdrew in March, the Pole was the top favorite at the grass-court Grand Slam. She this year has won titles on hard courts in Doha, Indian Wells and Miami, and then on clay in Stuttgart, Rome, Madrid and Roland Garros.
Swiatek played hesitantly from the start of the match, receiving two breaks in his first two service games, never managing to regain control. The 21-year-old Pole broke her opponent’s serve at the first opportunity in the second set, but Cornet immediately called her in the same coin and continued to dominate as Swiatek, who made 33 unforced errors unusual for her, she faltered to the point of losing. Swiatek’s powerful right hand added nine winners, just two more than Cornet.
“I have no words”, said the Frenchwoman after her unexpected victory on court number 1 of the All England Club in London. “It reminds me of my win against Serena (Williams) eight years ago on this very Court 1, which it gives me good luck”, she added excitedly. “I am like good wine. In France, good wine always ages well. That’s the thing with me, ”he continued, humorously, after a blow that ran fast through the corridors of Wimbledon and became the news of the day.
“I knew I could do it, because if there was a time to beat her, I knew it was on grass”, added Cornet, who in 2014 reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon beating Williams. That was the last time a French player eliminated a world number one. Until today, when Cornet herself scored the win over Swiatek. However, she hadn’t made it past the third round since then. “I live for this kind of match, I train for this every day,” she insisted, fully.
In January, at his 17th Australian Open, his 63rd Grand Slam overall, Cornet had reached the quarterfinals at a major for the first time. “It’s never too late to try again”he said then. Today’s triumph follows that same path: at his age, she showed that she can compete on an unstable women’s circuit, which Swiatek dominates with authority. Now it will be enough for her to beat the unseeded Australian Ajla Tomljanovic to reach the same round again.
In this contest, Cornet disputes its 62nd consecutive Grand Slam, thus equaling the record of Japan’s Ai Sugiyama. “If all goes well, I hope to beat him at the US Open. It is still a great test of longevity. It’s hard not to miss a Grand Slam for so long, not get injured and not break the Top 100. It’s also a test of consistency in the rankings. I have always been in the 50s, in the 100s, and that has allowed me to enter the Grand Slams without a wild card. Of course I am proud of it. Of course I would have liked to have had better results at the Grand Slams, but I’m already something big”, Cornet had told L’Equipe before beating Swiatek.
And what did Swiatek say after his streak ended on the London pitch? “I know I didn’t play good tennis. I was quite confused about my tactics. I couldn’t control the ball. He needed to slow down a bit, because he was pushing her. But when you usually play aggressively and suddenly change the way you play, it’s not easy. That confused me,” she agreed, self-deprecating.
The press conference showed that side of the player born in Warsaw 21 years ago: she was aware that the defeat had not been by chance. And that no woman had won 37 games in a row since Martina Hingis had a streak of 37 in 1997, something that Swiatek emulated.
“I’m usually hard on myself. Here, I know how I felt before games, I know how I felt when I was training. Let’s just say I don’t feel like I’m in the best shape. This could happen. It may not be the right attitude, but it is what it is. I tried many things to feel better on the court, but it didn’t really work. That’s why I’m not even hard on myself because it stands to reason that If I couldn’t find him even in practice, I won’t find him in a game.”he reasoned lucidly.