She had just seen Alizé Cornet. The 32-year-old Frenchwoman remembered two things before her meeting with Iga Swiatek. First that she had ” nothing to lose “ and then that the surface on which the world n ° 1 was taken, it was the grass “where she has a little less experience”. The feat became possible and the French went to the end of her ideas by beating the Polish, who remained on 37 victories in a row, in the third round of Wimbledon (6-4, 6-2), Saturday.
Despite the maddening series of his opponent in recent months, Cornet believed in it and it was seen from the start. She attacked the Pole from the first points, ultra-offensive in return and refusing to give ground. Swiatek, disturbed by the wind on her first face-offs, suffered immediately and failed to find her rhythm. In the meantime, the last winner of Roland-Garros, multiplied the faults and found herself very quickly led by two breaks.
Cornet held its guideline
At 3-0 for Cornet, she was already at twelve unforced errors and was shooting her racket after a new error. The first sign of annoyance that will be more and more palpable before giving way over the match to a hint of spite. Her first start, marked by a break in her favour, was not enough to disturb the Frenchwoman and her guideline. Relentless on each ball, Cornet forced the opponent to play one more shot, cracked the opponent most of the time and concluded this first act with a smash.
At the start of the second set, the Polish took almost ten minutes to win her serve before breaking in stride. The streak had everything to finally launch her in this game. It was without counting on Cornet. His maximum risk-taking in return was not paying off? The French returned there four points later to afford the break with a full line ball. Monstrous. Swiatek, disturbed by her fouls (33 in all, only 7 for Cornet over the whole match), held back her shots too much to hurt.
Iga Swiatek did not find the solution against Alizé Cornet. (P. Lahalle/The Team)
Swiatek head down
She then tried to come up to the net. Two missed volleys later, she found herself head down and helpless on the court. Cornet, she continued her undermining work and continued with a new break on a long return line. Swiatek’s totally missed smash a few moments later (he crashed directly into the back wall and Cornet had to avoid the ball) symbolized her lack of success and benchmarks on this grass that she tastes little.
It had been eight years since a Frenchwoman had eliminated a world No. 1 in a Grand Slam. It was already Alizé Cornet, who had beaten Serena Williams in the third round at Wimbledon.
Cornet, she could savor after the match point. And remember that this Court n°1 had been the scene of one of her exploits eight years ago when she had beaten another world n°1. “Reminds me of when I beat Serena (Williams, in 2014). This court is a lucky charm. I am a fan of Iga, she is an incredible ambassador for women’s tennis and I am very honored to have beaten her today. I train for this kind of match, it feeds me. I believed in it very hard. »
Here she is again in the second week of a Grand Slam, six months after her quarter-final at the Australian Open. She will challenge the Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the eighth to try to taste it again.