Wimbledon: Elina Svitolina defeated tournament top seed Iga Swiatek in a thrilling three-set struggle in their Wimbledon quarter-final on Tuesday.
Svitolina appeared startled as she completed the 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 victory in front of a rapt Centre Court audience.
To win the opening set against Swiatek, the Ukrainian had to mount an incredible comeback, twice coming from a breakdown.
No. 1 in the world Swiatek made an early statement by winning the first game against Svitolina’s serve. She appeared to have gained control of their quarter-final early on, demonstrating delicate touch as she pushed the ball out of Svitolina’s reach.
But mistakes began to sneak into her performance, and hitting the ball into the net earned Svitolina a break. Swiatek seemed to reclaim her lead until Svitolina returned a forehand too long and Swiatek moved up a break.
In the following game, Svitolina held serve narrowly. Swiatek would subsequently begin to stumble. She double-faulted, giving the game away. The Pole and tournament top seed continued to botch her strokes, and with the pressure on her, she fired a volley wide, handing Svitolina the opening set.
Swiatek reunited after a brief delay to allow the roof to be closed due to the possibility of rain. She maintained her serve to start the game, but in a moment of complacency, Svitolina blew a 40-0 lead in her own service game, and Swiatek stormed in to grab a break.
But Svitolina refused to leave the set willingly. She made another break to even the score. Swiatek increased the pressure on her in the ninth game of the second set, but Svitolina saved two break opportunities and was able to celebrate a hold.
For the second time, the Pole had to serve to stay in the match. But she kept her cool and forced a tiebreak.
Svitolina, who has recently returned to the sport after having a mother, earned a mini-break and Swiatek’s misfired forehand put her up 3-1. The Ukrainian hit a down-the-line serve for an ace.
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