Thursday, August 11, 2022

Wimbledon: Nadal survives scare; Iga Swiatek enters second round

Rafael Nadal got his Wimbledon campaign off to a winning start, though he needed four sets to do it. While World No.1 Iga Swiatek safely navigated the first round at Wimbledon, beating Croatian qualifier Jana Fett in straight sets, stretching her winning streak to 36 matches, the most consecutive wins since 2000.
The second-seeded Nadal defeated Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on Centre Court. The Spaniard is attempting to win his third consecutive Grand Slam tournament to add to his men’s record 22 major titles.
It was Nadal’s first match since winning the French Open earlier this month. The three weeks off showed at times, as Nadal amassed 41 unforced errors to go with 23 winners.
At Roland Garros, Nadal needed injections to numb the pain in his bothersome left foot. But he entered Wimbledon optimistic about the foot after receiving new treatment.
Iga Swiatek extends winning streak to 36
Playing her first match since bagging the French Open title earlier this month, the 21-year-old Polish won her Centre Court contest 6-0, 6-3 in 75 minutes to be safely through to the second round.
Swiatek has now matched Monica Seles’s 36-match winning streak from 1990.
A second-round win would tie Martina Hingis’s season-opening 37-match winning streak in 1997. The top seed has fallen at the opening stage only three times in SW19. And Swiatek did not give any indications that she would disrupt the tradition.
Opening Centre Court play on Tuesday and against a player who was playing just her third Grand Slam main draw. Swiatek was dominant in the first set but was heavily tested by Fett in the second set.
Fett increasingly drew errors from the top seed as the match progressed, and held five break points to take a commanding 4-1 lead in the second set.
But Swiatek’s powerful groundstrokes held her in good stead and she squeaked her way out of trouble before grabbing the last five games of the match. Swiatek converted six of her 10 break points on the day, according to a report on the WTA tour website.
Former Top 100 player Fett is now 0-3 against Top 10 players in her career. Fett famously held two match points against Caroline Wozniacki in the second round of the 2018 Australian Open — an event Wozniacki would go on to win.
Swiatek will next face Dutch lucky loser Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove, who beat British wildcard Sonay Kartal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the second round of Wimbledon for the second time. Pattinama Kerkhove replaced Danka Kovinic in the draw due to a lower back injury, the report said.

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