Alize Cornet raised her hands in the air in almost disbelief as Iga Swiatek’s forehand fell into the net on match point. Cornet secured a 6-3 6-2 victory over the world #1, snapping a 37 match win streak that was the longest seen in the WTA in over 20 years. Cornet is known to be a giant-killer with the win today her 24th over a top-10 player, though she has never reached the top-10 herself. Cornet secured one of the most impressive upsets of the Wimbledon tournament by throwing Swiatek off her game and taking control of the match.
How it Happened
Cornet came out strong and through Swiatek off her game from the start. Cornet broke Swiatek’s serve on the very first game of the match to set the tone early. She was helped by Swiatek uncharacteristically making back-to-back unforced errors from deuce to seal the break. After holding serve, she continued her hot start and broke to 15 in Swiatek’s next service game, helped again by two unforced errors from her opponent. Swiatek looked to get some momentum back in the fourth game, getting one break back in a marathon game that saw five deuces. Cornet held strong the rest of the way, saving the only other break point she would see and taking the first set 6-3. Cornet played well but forced Swiatek into mistakes, Swiatek hitting more winners but making an incredible 17 unforced errors.
Swiatek looked to have finally found her groove in the second set. She held serve in a tightly-fought opening game, then immediately broke Cornet to race out to a 2-0 lead. Cornet showed no signs of backing down, immediately breaking back and evening the match in her next service game. Cornet continued to dominate points by hitting brilliant slices and running Swiatek all over the court. Swiatek looked lost while trailing for the first time in so long, missing an easy overhead down 2-4 in the set that seemed to seal the match for Cornet. Swiatek is one of the most consistent players on tour, but hit just 7 winners to 15 unforced errors, while Cornet made just two errors all set compared to 11 winners. By the final game, it was all but over, and Cornet held to love to secure the upset.
Swiatek will be sure to bounce back, as Cornet forced her into a difficult situation. She had not only won 37 straight matches, but had won a majority of those in straight sets. She was not used to playing from behind, and showed signs of nerves and being uncomfortable with the adversity. Cornet has a history of being able to throw great players off their games and showed that today. She will be looking to make a major quarterfinal for just the second time in her career, after this year’s Australian Open. Swiatek is the top player in the world for a reason and will surely come back strong, but Cornet was a deserving victor and the better player on court today.