Home Sport Djokovic still in hunt for eighth Wimbledon title, but Swiatek crashes out

Djokovic still in hunt for eighth Wimbledon title, but Swiatek crashes out

98

Poland’s Swiatek, who clocked up her fifth Grand Slam title at last month’s French Open, was beaten 3-6 6-1 6-2 by Yulia Putintseva in the third round as she again struggled on grass.

Iga Swiatek of Poland crashed out of Wimbledon in the biggest shock of this year’s Championships. Picture: EPA, ADAM VAUGHAN

Martyn Herman, in LONDON – Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic moved into the fourth round but only after dropping the opening set to Alexei Popyrin.

The 37-year-old Serb, seeded two, stayed on course for a record 25th Grand Slam title with a 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3) win to set up a clash with Danish dynamo Holger Rune.

“It was another tough match,” Djokovic, who also dropped a set against British wildcard Jacob Fearnley in the second round, said on court. “It was a very challenging match mentally today.”

“Each match it’s getting better,” added Djokovic, who is yet to win a title this year and needed knee surgery last month.

Meanwhile, top seed Iga Swiatek crashed out of Wimbledon in the biggest shock of this year’s Championships.

Poland’s Swiatek, who clocked up her fifth Grand Slam title at last month’s French Open, was beaten 3-6 6-1 6-2 by Yulia Putintseva in the third round as she again struggled on grass.

“I know what I need to change, and I’ll do that,” the world number one told reporters after her 21-match winning streak came to an end on Court One.

“My tank of really pushing myself to the limits became suddenly empty. I was kind of surprised.”

Britain was left with only one singles player out of the 19 who started as Alexander Zverev beat Cameron Norrie and China’s Wang Xinyu dumped out local favourite Harriet Dart.

Emma Raducanu will fly the flag alone for the hosts on Sunday and perhaps with that in mind she pulled out of her highly anticipated mixed doubles with Andy Murray.

Her decision, put down to protecting a sore wrist, effectively ended British great Murray’s illustrious Wimbledon career in rather anti-climactic fashion.

US SUCCESS

Despite the impression that Swiatek and her topspin game is still unsuited to Wimbledon’s lawns, she arrived as the favourite to finally make her mark at the All England Club.

And when she took the opening set against Kazakhstan’s fiery 35th-ranked Putintseva it seemed everything was under control.

But after Putintseva broke serve in the fourth game of the second set Swiatek’s game crumbled rapidly under the withering firepower of her opponent.

“At some point I was playing fearless. I was just, I have to believe 100%, I have nothing to lose, just go for it,” Putintseva, who plays Jelena Ostapenko next, told reporters.

The soggy British summer continued to disrupt play on the sixth day of the Championships although there were enough dry interludes to complete the third round singles matches.

Men’s fourth seed Zverev served like a machine against Norrie for a 6-4 6-4 7-6(15) victory although he suffered a scare when he fell awkwardly and hurt his knee in set two.

The 27-year-old has reached the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time and will have to beat Taylor Fritz to make it to the quarter-finals after Fritz beat Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo 7-6(3) 6-3 7-5.

Fritz was joined in the fourth round by compatriot Ben Shelton who won a five-setter against Denis Shapovalov to set up a clash with top seed Jannik Sinner.

Fifth seed Daniil Medvedev stayed under the radar as he beat Jan-Lennard Struff to set up a clash with Grigor Dimitrov.

In the women’s draw, Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, runner-up for the last two years, bowed out in round three this time as she lost 6-1 7-6(4) to Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina.

Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina, who beat Jabeur to win the 2022 title, fired out a warning as she thrashed former world number Caroline Wozniacki for the loss of one game.

Danielle Collins also progressed to the last 16 with a 6-4 6-4 defeat of Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia, meaning seven American players – four women and three men – have advanced to the last 16 in the singles, the most since 2004.

Reuters

Previous articleBiden digs in as pressure from fellow Democrats escalates
Next articleIranian voters pick moderate as president to replace hardline Raisi