Coming to Wimbledon 2023 thanks to a wildcard, Svitolina is naturally classified as a “bottom door” compared to Swiatek. In the competition with Swiatek, Svitolina did not catch up well when losing to the opponent in the first game.
Swiatek then had one more break in the service game to lead Svitolina 5-3. However, when pushed into a corner, Svitolina rose up violently. She won 4 games in a row to close the first set with a score of 7-5.
Set 2 continued to be dramatic as each side won 1 break and had to settle the win and loss with a tie-break series. Here, Svitolina seemed to be able to soon finish the opponent when leading 4-1, but let Swiatek equalize 4-4. Not stopping there, the 22-year-old Polish player also won 3 consecutive points to win 7-5, thereby bringing the match back to the balance.
In the decisive set, Swiatek suddenly dropped clearly when he made a mistake of hitting the ball 11 times. She only won 2/4 of the serve games, and Svitolina’s success rate reached 100%. It only took 48 minutes to beat Swiatek in the third set, Svitolina won the final with a score of 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2 to enter the semi-finals.
Speaking after the game, which lasted 2 hours and 41 minutes, Swiatek admitted he was not at his best, and affirmed that Svitolina was the better player. “How do I feel right now? It’s not comfortable, of course. I tried my best, but maybe today is not my day.”
“While I did not reach my full potential, Svitolina played too well. Congratulations Svitolina. She presented a very different image today than when she met me on the clay court in Rome two years ago. Svitolina is very agile, strong and constantly pressurizes me to make mistakes,” Swiatek said.
Expert extermination of “giant”
So far, Svitolina has never reached the final of a Grand Slam, let alone won the championship. However, in the journey to the semi-finals of Wimbledon this year, the 28-year-old Ukrainian tennis player beat up to 4 opponents who have all won Grand Slams.
Specifically, it was Venus Williams in round 1, Sofia Kenin in round 3, Victoria Azarenka in round 1/8 and most recently Swiatek (in the quarterfinals). It is worth mentioning that Svitolina constantly writes fairy tales at Wimbledon in the context that she gave birth to a daughter in October last year and returned to compete in April this year.
After a long time of rest and still having to take care of a small child, of course, Svitolina has to work a lot to regain her speed and fitness. Even after winning the Strasbourg tournament in May, the wife of French tennis player Gael Monfils could not believe she could make it this far at Wimbledon.
Speaking to the press, Svitolina could not hide her excitement when sharing: “I don’t know what is happening. Unbelievable. So happy to return to my favorite sport and have the support of the crowd of fans. I’m very proud to beat such a big opponent as Swiatek. Before Wimbledon, if someone told me I could beat the world number one to make it to the semi-finals, I would have thought he was crazy.
In fact, Svitolina has reason to surprise herself. Should know, before this season, the last time she reached the semifinals of Wimbledon was 4 years ago. If only Grand Slam tournaments are counted, there have only been two times before Svitolina recorded her name in the round for the four strongest players (the other time was the US Open semi-finals in 2019).
It should also be added that, in the open era in tennis (from 1968 to the present), only two rare players can do such a miracle as Svitolina, Zheng Jie (2008) and Sabine Lisicki (2011). What they have in common is going to Wimbledon together as guests and still reaching the semi-finals.
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