Wimbledon: Swiatek survives scare after being taken to three sets by lucky loser Kerkhove

By Sports Desk June 30, 2022

Iga Swiatek was made to work hard for her place in the third round at Wimbledon after being taken to three sets by Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove in Thursday's entertaining encounter.

The top seed had won her previous 36 matches, dropping just six sets in the process, but she was taken the distance by world number 138 Kerkhove on Court No. 1.

Swiatek ultimately proved too strong and prevailed 6-4 4-6 6-3 in a little over two hours to set up a meeting with Alize Cornet, although she was broken three times in total.

In just the third meeting between a lucky loser and top-seeded female in an Open Era grand slam, Kerkhove gave Swiatek plenty to think about throughout.

The Dutchwoman broke her opponent's serve in the third and fifth games of the opener, either side of failing to herself hold, but Swiatek then temporarily found some rhythm.

She broke Kerkhove in the eighth game and again in the 10th to take the set, although the world's top-ranked player once again allowed errors to creep in.

Despite double-faulting eight times across the first two sets, Kerkhove levelled up the match by earning the only break of the second set in the seventh game.

That paved the way for a decider, which saw both players hold in two lengthy opening games, but Swiatek visibly started to grow in confidence and broke Kerkhove in the fourth.

Kerkhove produced an impressive backhand winner en route to taking the third set to a ninth game, yet Swiatek was still serving for the win and made no mistake in doing so.

 

Data slam: Swiatek streak continues

Swiatek was expected to come through this second-round clash with ease, but that proved far from the case as Kerkhove became the lowest-ranked player to win a set against the number one female in the world since Carla Suarez Navarro – also ranked 138 – against Ash Barty at Wimbledon last year.

The reigning French Open winner dug deep to claim a 37th win in a row, however, and she remains on course to become the first female since Angelique Kerber in 2016 to win two grand slam titles in the same season.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Swiatek – 31/31
Kerkhove – 15/22

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Swiatek – 5/1
Kerkhove – 2/8

BREAK POINTS WON
Swiatek – 4/7
Kerkhove – 3/5

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