Iga Swiatek breezes through while Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk fights back to win

By Sports Desk July 05, 2023

World number one Iga Swiatek was enjoying the calmness amid the chaos at Wimbledon after easing past Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round.

The Pole was able to book her place in the third round before some first-round matches had even started after rain caused havoc with the scheduling.

There was little danger of her being knocked out of rhythm as she breezed to a 6-2 6-0 victory on Centre Court.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Women’s Tennis Association (@wta)


“For sure it’s really comfortable,” she said. “I’m happy that my matches were scheduled under the roof, so I always was certain that it’s going to actually happen.

“It’s a little bit easier to prepare knowing that. But on the other hand I know I would still be ready anyway if my match was suspended or something.

“For sure it’s more comfortable. I would say you have this normal grand slam rhythm with one day off, one day of playing matches.”

Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk revealed a bout of tears during the two rain breaks helped her stage an impressive recovery against eighth seed Maria Sakkari.

Kostyuk looked to be heading home after being bagelled in the first set, but, with the aid of a couple of emotional outbursts when the wet weather came, she turned it around to seal a 0-6 7-5 6-2 victory.

“The rain helped. I think I was very emotional,” she said. “I got more emotional on court after the second rain break, but before that, I was very emotional but I was, like, numb in a way. I was so emotional I couldn’t do anything about it.

“So I had a really good cry both times, that helped, because I was also desperate in a certain way, because I’m playing good, but I don’t know why is it going so bad.”

Kostyuk received good support from the British crowd, having been booed at the French Open for failing to shake Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka’s hand after their match due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“That was questionable behaviour from the fans,” she said. “I mean, they can do whatever they want, honestly, but I just didn’t understand it. I don’t think I ever will.

“Obviously the support here is different, I’m very happy with the support at the end of the match and throughout the match too.”

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova enjoyed an impromptu appearance on Centre Court as her contest with Jasmine Paolini was moved there following three quick matches.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Women’s Tennis Association (@wta)

And she prevailed in a thrilling late-night finish on her old stomping ground, winning 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-1.


Donna Vekic, who was originally scheduled to play on Monday, finally got on court and wrapped up a 6-2 6-3 success over Zhang Shuai while Anett Kontaveit, playing in her final tournament, beat Lucrezia Stefanini 6-4 6-4.

Daria Kasatkina needed only an hour to beat an overwhelmed Jodie Burrage on Centre Court while former French Open winner Sloane Stephens kicked off her campaign with a 6-2 6-3 win over Rebecca Peterson.

Related items

  • Andy Murray will not have surgery on ankle injury but return date unknown Andy Murray will not have surgery on ankle injury but return date unknown

    Andy Murray will not have surgery on an ankle injury and his rehabilitation is progressing enough for him to think about a return to practice again soon.

    The 36-year-old ruptured ligaments at last month’s Miami Open but he is now out of his protective boot.

    A spokesperson from Murray’s team said the former world number one’s “rehab is going well and he is hoping to start hitting again on court soon” but added that “he doesn’t have a date yet for returning to competition”.

    Murray was injured late on in his third-round defeat by Tomas Machac at the Miami Open on March 24.


    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Andy Murray (@andymurray)


    After crying out in pain and falling to the floor, he was able to complete the match following on-court treatment but revealed in an Instagram post that he had seriously damaged two ligaments in his left ankle.

    The timing was cruel for the three-time grand slam champion, who had won back-to-back matches for the first time this year in Miami.

    Murray has said he is unlikely to play beyond this summer as retirement looms ever nearer.

    It is unclear if he will be fit for Wimbledon, which gets under way on July 1, while the Olympic Games in Paris – which the two-time gold medallist said he would like to play at – starts on July 26.

  • Dan Evans’ poor clay-court season continues with defeat to Brandon Nakashima Dan Evans’ poor clay-court season continues with defeat to Brandon Nakashima

    Dan Evans’ poor clay-court season continued with a third consecutive defeat as he went down in straight sets to Brandon Nakashima in Barcelona.

    Evans has endured a difficult 2024 as a whole, suffering a first-round exit at the Australian Open, and has now failed to make the quarter-finals in any of his nine tournaments this year.

    After early exits on clay in Marrakesh and Monte Carlo, British number three Evans lost 6-7 (5) 2-6 to Nakashima in the Barcelona Open first round.

    The contest lasted two hours and 10 minutes but after a closely-fought first set, where the pair exchanged two breaks each, American youngster Nakashima took control in the second to inflict another loss on world number 49 Evans.

    Jack Draper fared better in Munich as he beat Vit Kopriva in three sets to reach the last 16 of the BMW Open and claim his 50th ATP Tour victory in the process.

    Draper had lost narrowly to Hubert Hurkacz at the Monte-Carlo Masters last week, but bounced back to claim his first win of the season on clay.


    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by LTA (@lta)


    Sixth seed Draper breezed through the opening set in 28 minutes before he let a 3-1 lead slip in the second as Kopriva of the Czech Republic forced a decider after he decisively broke his opponent in the 12th game of the set.

    After the British number two rediscovered his composure, Draper was able to claim two breaks at the start of the third set before he registered another in a 6-1 5-7 6-4 success.

  • Rafael Nadal set to make return to clay at Barcelona Open Rafael Nadal set to make return to clay at Barcelona Open

    Rafael Nadal will make his eagerly-anticipated return to clay on Tuesday after he confirmed his participation in the Barcelona Open and provided a further hint that 2024 will be his last on tour.

    Nadal has been ravaged by injuries in recent years and announced last May his intention to retire at the conclusion of this season.

    The farewell tour for the 22-time grand-slam champion has failed to go to plan though, after he had to pull out of the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury and subsequently missed ATP 1000 events in Indian Wells and Monte Carlo.

    However, the 37-year-old will play at the Barcelona Open, where there is a court named after him, on Tuesday against Italian youngster Flavio Cobolli, which will represent his first professional tie on clay since his 2022 Roland Garros triumph.

    “No, I can’t give you an injury update because the list is long and I just want to think about what can happen,” Nadal told a press conference in English.

    “I can only tell you that today I feel myself, enough good to be on court tomorrow and that for me is so important.

    “It means a lot to me to be able to play one more time here in Barcelona, a place that I have amazing success and a lot of unforgettable memories.

    “So, I am just trying to enjoy every moment and I am excited about being on court in a professional tournament again, especially here at home.”

    Nadal has won this tournament a record 12 times but has only managed three competitive matches in 2024.

    He did recently take part in an exhibition with compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, who will miss this week’s ATP 500 event due to a forearm injury.

    Current world number 644 Nadal has battled with his fitness for several years and was on crutches a day after his last major victory at the French Open in 2022, which was followed by injury-hit appearances at Wimbledon and the US Open before he barely featured last year.

    This appearance in Barcelona does at least raise the prospect that he could participate at Roland Garros next month and later this year when it hosts the tennis tournament for the Paris Olympics.

    Asked if he could envisage such a painful journey, Nadal conceded: “Well, no but the day after Roland Garros I have been on crutches so that’s the truth.


    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal)

    “In 2022 I cannot and I was not able to think about how long it would take me to be back playing in a clay-court tournament because at the time I was enjoying the title of Roland Garros and trying to be ready for the next event.


    “That is what I have been doing my whole life. To think about what is going on day-by-day and just try to adapt to the situation, try to be able to improve under any circumstances to be a better player. That is what I did all my life and it worked well.

    “Now I am in a different perspective of my tennis career, a different moment and I am trying to enjoy every moment.

    “I was not able to spend a lot of days on tour over the last two years, so I just want to enjoy every day I am able to play with the guys on a professional level. That means a lot for me.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.