No. 1 Iga Swiatek loses in third round of Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON — No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek again faltered at Wimbledon, losing in the third round to Yulia Putintseva 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 on Saturday.

Swiatek is a five-time Grand Slam champion, including four titles on the red clay at the French Open — most recently last month — and one on the hard courts at the US Open. The All England Club’s grass has always given her the most trouble at any major tournament as a pro, although the 23-year-old from Poland did win the junior trophy as a teenager.

Swiatek has only once been as far as the quarterfinals at Wimbledon; that was last year, when she lost at that stage.

She entered Saturday on a 21-match winning streak, all on clay, and decided to withdraw from the only grass-court tuneup that was originally on her schedule before Wimbledon.

This result also was unexpected because Swiatek not only had won all four previous meetings against the 35th-ranked Putintseva, but also had won every set they had played.

But Swiatek looked very little like someone who has led the WTA rankings for nearly every week since April 2022 and is assured of remaining there no matter what happens the rest of the way at Wimbledon.

She kept making mistakes, particularly over the last two sets, when Putintseva did not even try to put balls away and instead was happy to allow Swiatek to help her.

When Putintseva was building a 4-0 lead in the last set by grabbing 16 of its first 19 points, she needed only to produce two winners. That’s because her other 14 points were all gained thanks to either unforced errors (seven) or forced errors (seven) off Swiatek’s racket.

After one miss into the net, Swiatek muttered to herself, and she generally looked as flustered as she ever does during a match.


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