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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Sweetek’s 37-match winning streak ends in third round of Wimbledon

Wimbledon, England ( Associated Press) — Top-ranked Inga Swietec was unbeaten since February and looked certainly unbeatable, adding 37 consecutive match wins and six consecutive tournament titles.

However, she has never been as comfortable on the grass court as other surfaces, and a fault-filled Saturday saw Sweetek crash out of Wimbledon in the third round, defeating 37th-ranked Elise Cornet of France 6-4, 6. Lost by -2.

“I know I didn’t play good tennis. I was very skeptical about my strategy,” said Switek, a two-time French Open champion who hasn’t progressed past the fourth round at the All England Club. Well, it wasn’t a good performance for me.”

It was not just the winner of the match that was unexpected. It was similar to how this one-hour, 33-minute encounter was one-sided.

“This is the kind of match I live for, that’s what I’m practicing every day,” Cornet said. “It really drives me. I knew I could do it. Somehow, I believed it.”

Martina Hingis also scored 37 runs in 1997, after which no woman has won as many matches in a row as Swietec.

But immediately, it seemed, this would not be Svetek’s day.

“I didn’t know what to do,” she said.

On a cold, windy afternoon on the No. 1 court, she quickly went 3-0 down and nine of Cornet’s first 14 points came through unforced errors from the 21-year-old’s racket from Poland. The only one produced by Cornet came through the winner.

Usually so crisp with his shots, calm with his demeanor, Sweetek was by no means comfortable at all. Once he missed the forehand return, he swung the toes of his right shoe with his racket.

By the end, Sweetek had made 33 unforced errors – 26 more than Cornet. And Sweetek’s strong forehand produced nine winners, only two more than Cornet’s.

This is not Cornet’s first surprising result at the All England Club. Her only chance to reach the fourth round of a grass-court Grand Slam tournament was in 2014, when she knocked out major singles champion Serena Williams.

“I just can’t have the words. It reminds me of the time I beat Serena on the same court exactly eight years ago,” Cornet said. “This court is a lucky charm for me.”

When the match ended—appropriately enough, Sweetek dumped the forehand into the net—Cornet raised his arms and smiled as hard as he could.

Cornet is 32-year-old who reached her first quarterfinal at the Australian Open in January in a massive 63 appearances that far. Now she is once again one win away from going that far and will next face unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in the next round.

“I am like a fine wine,” said Cornet. “Good wine is always good.”

Tomljanovic, who reached the quarter-finals a year ago at the All England Club, defeated 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

In a contest between two young Americans — and in a rematch of the 2017 US Open Junior Finals — No. 20 seed Amanda Anisimova returned to center top No. 11 Coco Gauff 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1. Court.

Gauff, who is 18 and lost to Sweetek in the final at Roland Garros last month, was initially 3-0 up before 20-year-old Anisimova’s groundbreaking baseline game finally began to sway. Anisimova took that opening set to a tiebreaker, taking a 4-1 lead, but Gauff grabbed the next half-dozen points.

This could have been a problem for Anisimova. He didn’t let her derail. Instead, she continued to control the groundstroke exchanges, while also doing a great job of handling Gough’s service, which reached 123 mph on Saturday.

Overall, Anisimova won more than half of Gauff’s service games and saved 10 of the 13 break points she faced.

After entering 2022 with an 11-23 record in the three-setter, Anisimova has gone 13-6 this season to lead the tour for the most wins in matches that go the distance.

When Anisimova ended the victory, she lay on her back on the court, covering her face with both hands, then rose to kiss the crowd and wipe away the tears.

Anisimova’s next match is against Harmony Tan, who is making her Wimbledon debut after defeating Williams in the first round last Tuesday.

Other women’s fourth-round matches will take place on Monday against No. 17 Elena Rybkina vs Petra Martic and 2019 champion Simona Halep against No. 4 Paula Badosa, who defeated two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova 7-5, 7-6. ,

11 Taylor Fritz and unseeded Brandon Nakashima are in the round of 16 at the All England Club for the first time since 1999. They were joined by number 23 Francis Tiafoe and number 30 Tommy Paul, who moved on the day before.

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More Associated Press Wimbledon coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/wimbledon and https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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