37-Match Winning Streak Ends for Iga Swiatek
By: Claire Ying
On the third day of the world-renowned tennis competition in Wimbledon, England, a 132-day winning streak, one that was brough through 6 countries, was broken for 21-year-old Polish player Iga Swiatek in the third round of competition. Of the last 19 points in her game against veteran Alize Cornet of France, she lost 16 of them to the 32-year-old.
In 2014 also in the third round of Wimbledon, Cornet defeated tennis phenom Serena Williams. However, now she is considered the modern-day Helena Sukova, who, in 1984, ended a 74-match winning streak.
After her elimination, Swiatek said, “I was pretty confused about my tactics.” Meanwhile, Cornet, a 62 consecutive time Grand Slam main draw attendee praised Swiatek by saying, “I mean, what she’s done this year is out of this world, and I can’t believe I’m the one that actually broke the streak.”
A season of success out on the court came just as Cornet was hoping to retire from the sport. So far this year, she has reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open as well as the third round in the French Open. Her theory is, “I think that’s why I’m playing so good. It’s because I know it’s almost the end.”
Swiatek claims she tried using some tactics like being more aggressive, proactive, and speeding up. None of these worked out in her favor, but she laughed it off. It was suspected that the grass court setting may have flustered players, even someone on a 37-match streak. Cornet benefitted from this weakness by playing a strong, confident game.
Swiatek was a finalist in the French Open alongside Coco Gauff of the USA, who was also lost a spot following the third round at Wimbledon. Gauff, 18, made it to round 4 in 2019 at just age 15. This time around, she says she has “grown a lot in my mentality over this trip.” The American is expected to resile from her loss and play in the mixed doubles with Jack Sock later in the week.
In the last few days of Wimbledon, we can expect to meet many more surfacing athletes as well as returning stars for next year. It is unknown if Cornet will retire. Nonetheless, ending a season beating out the No.1 player will make it one to remember.