Iga Swiatek after defeating Belinda Bencic. Alamy Stock Photo

Swiatek saves two match points to book her first Wimbledon quarter-final

Meanwhile, Italian eighth seed Jannik Sinner reached his second successive Wimbledon quarter-final.

IGA SWIATEK SAVED two match points to reach her first Wimbledon quarter-final on Sunday, battling back to beat Belinda Bencic 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-3.

The Polish world number one had reached the fourth round without losing a set but faced a tough battle against the Swiss 14th seed on Centre Court.

Swiatek was unable to capitalise on any of the six break points on offer in the first set, looking increasingly rattled and gesturing towards her coaching team.

Bencic, the Olympic champion, raced into a 6-1 lead in the tie-break, snuffing out Swiatek’s mini-comeback to take control of the match.

Swiatek, who had looked pleadingly towards her coaching staff, disappeared off court with a notebook in hand, searching for a workable game plan.

She returned to the court with a spring in her step and broke at her first opportunity, only for the tenacious Bencic to return the favour in the sixth game.

Swiatek appeared to be on the brink of a shock exit when she ballooned a backhand long to hand Bencic two match points at 15-40 in the 12th game.

But the top seed saved them both, forcing a tie-break, which she won easily to level the match. The four-time Grand Slam champion broke in the fourth game of the decider and then held to stretch her lead to 4-1.

She was made to work for her win but eventually served out to take the third set 6-3 and seal the match. 

Elsewhere at Wimbledon, Italian eighth seed Jannik Sinner reached his second successive Wimbledon quarter-final with a straight-sets victory over Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan.

Sinner came through 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-3 and will take on 92nd-ranked Roman Safiullin of Russia for a place in the semi-finals.

Andrey Rublev held his nerve to beat Alexander Bublik in a five-set thriller and reach his first Wimbledon quarter-final after squandering a two-set lead.

The Russian seventh seed was not broken once in the whole match on Centre Court as he avenged his defeat in last month’s Halle final, winning 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-7 (5/7), 6-4.

World number 92 Roman Safiullin reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final when he defeated Denis Shapovalov in four sets.

The 25-year-old Russian, who had never previously passed the second round of a major and was making his Wimbledon debut, came through 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 against the 26th-seeded Canadian, a semi-finalist two years ago.

Clinical Grigor Dimitrov picked up where he left off on Sunday, winning the final five games of his third-round match to oust 10th seed Frances Tiafoe.

Rain forced the suspension of the contest on Saturday with Tiafoe 2-1 up in the third set after Bulgaria’s Dimitrov had won the first two sets.

Tiafoe needed to make early in-roads but Dimitrov broke in the fifth game and lost just three more points as he wrapped up a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in style.

US fourth seed Jessica Pegula outclassed Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-3 to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time.

Pegula raced into a 5-0 lead on No. 1 Court, as her unseeded opponent struggled to get a foothold in the match.

Tsurenko, 34, eventually got on the board but it only delayed the inevitable as the 29-year-old American wrapped up the first set in 27 minutes.

Former French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time on Sunday with a three-set win over Czech compatriot Marie Bouzkova.

World number 42 Vondrousova came through 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 on the back of 37 winners and 44 unforced errors.

The 24-year-old will face either US fourth seed Jessica Pegula or unseeded Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine for a place in the semi-finals.

It will be Vondrousova’s first appearance in the last eight of a major since reaching the French Open final in 2019 where she was defeated by Ashleigh Barty.

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina won an epic, politically charged Wimbledon duel with Belarus rival Victoria Azarenka on Sunday.

Svitolina came through 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (11/9) after two hours and 46 minutes of thrilling shotmaking on Court One to set-up a quarter-final clash with world number one Swiatek.

– © AFP 2023

The 42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel