Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Wimbledon: Swiatek survives Bencic scare to enter quarterfinals

World No.1 Iga Swiatek saved two match points to defeat No.14 and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-3 to advance to her first Wimbledon quarterfinals.

The victory marked Swiatek’s 14th consecutive win and booked her a place in her ninth straight quarterfinal. The 22-year-old Pole is the youngest player to make the quarterfinals at all four majors since Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Swiatek will face Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina for a spot in the semifinals.

With confident ball-striking, Bencic raced to a 6-1 lead in the opening set tiebreak before closing it out on her fourth set point to hand Swiatek her loss of a set.

Swiatek responded immediately, breaking Bencic with a clean forehand return winner in the opening game of the second set, but Bencic kept the pressure on, breaking back to 3-all. After Bencic held to 6-5 on a netted forehand return from the World No.1, Swiatek found herself serving to stay in the match.

Facing two match points at 15-40, Swiatek showed her champion’s mettle. She saved both points with winners from both wings, holding serve to force another tiebreak after over two hours of play.

Having kept herself in the match, Swiatek raced away with the tiebreak to take the high-quality match into a third set. Two early break points decided the third set. Bencic earned the first chance, with Swiatek serving at 1-1, but could not convert.

Swiatek converted her first chance a game later, breaking to 3-1 after Bencic struck her 10th double fault of the match. The Pole protected her lead and closed out the win with her 33rd winner after 3 hours and 3 minutes.



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