Tennis: Iga Swiatek defeated by Putintseva in the third round at Wimbledon

The world’s top-ranked female player continued her grasscourt nightmare at Wimbledon, losing in three sets to Yulia Putintseva.

Iga Swiatek has never had much affection for grass and any hope that this year’s Wimbledon would kindle a blossoming love affair for the surface went up in flames as the world number one was sent tumbling out in a 3-6 6-1 6-2 defeat by Yulia Putintseva.

On paper, the fiery 35th-ranked Kazakh should have been easy pickings for the top-seeded Swiatek on Saturday, who had not dropped a set in their previous four meetings and came into the encounter on a 21-match winning streak that included banking a fifth grand slam title at the French Open.

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Yet slick grass courts just do not suit Swiatek and in a cauldron atmosphere on Court One, Swiatek disintegrated under huge pressure from Putintseva, who dusted herself down after losing the first set to launch an attacking barrage that the Pole could not contain.

The huge Swiatek groundstrokes that had inflicted so much punishment in the opener were now being returned with interest, while the Pole’s movement seemed suddenly sluggish, her feet a fraction of a second slower to adjust to the ball.

Putintseva broke twice in the second set and twice more in the third before sealing a three-set victory to set up a fourth-round clash against Jelena Ostapenko.

For Swiatek, it was yet another disappointment at Wimbledon, where last year’s run to the quarterfinals remains her best effort.

It was not, therefore, as big a shock as it may have seemed. None of her 22 singles titles has come on grass, a surface on which she has never even reached a final.

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