World number one Iga Swiatek survived two match points before reaching her maiden Wimbledon quarter-finals in a marathon match with Belinda Bencic.
Swiatek was looking frustrated after falling 15-40 6-5 down in the second set, but she turned the match around with two stunning winners.
The four-time Grand Slam champion was also given a tough fight by Olympic gold medalist Bencic in the third set but eventually prevailed 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-3. The epic of the hour on Center Court.
It sent Swiatek into the last-eight at the All England Club for the first time and, having previously won a junior title at the SW19, she will look forward to renewed confidence this could be her year on her least favorite surface.
Top-seeded Swiatek reached the fourth round without dropping a set, but found trouble early against Bencic, forcing a medical time-out due to blisters after only three games.
It didn’t deter the three-time French Open winner, who remained largely in control until Bencic turned the tide in the tie-break.
Bencic saved two set points in the 10th game before taking the first set after 66 minutes.
completed the slam
Inga Swiatek is the youngest player since Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the women’s singles quarterfinals at all four Grand Slam events.
Swiatek left the court and returned determined to avoid another exit before the second week in England, earning a break with a sweet forehand return after a nine-minute opening game.
The Tokyo 2020 champion remained a steely about Bencic, who staged a comeback to make it 3-3 then won 15-40 to win 6-5.
After losing again at Wimbledon in the fourth round, Swiatek produced a spectacular performance, producing equally fine forehand and backhand winners before repeating the move to take the second tie-break.
If Swiatek thought he had weakened Bencic’s armor, he initially appeared to be wrong as the Swiss right-hander opened up another break point opportunity early in the third.
However, Swiatek again tried deep to take hold, eventually breaking the resistance with back-to-back double faults by the 14th seed.
More drama was to follow after Swiatek fell 0-30 when serving for the match, but he responded in style with two passing forehand winners to seal his place in the last-eight.
Swiatek, who played two tie-breaks in the same match for the first time, said in his on-court interview: “Well, it obviously wasn’t easy.
“He had the perfect match point? So, I don’t know if that’s ever happened in my career, coming back from a match point, but I’m really happy.
“I think I needed that win to believe in myself a little bit more on this surface.
“Every day my love (for grass courts) grows, so hopefully I get more and more days to play on this court.”
Swiatek will play alina svitolina The Ukrainian wildcard then won the mother of all battles, coming from a set down to defeat two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (11-9) in their fourth encounter. Thrilling victory over – Round bump.
The crowd was in support of Svitolina throughout as Azarenka cruised to a stunning 2–6, 6–4, 7–6 (11–9) victory, after which Azarenka left Court No. 1 to a loud roar.
Since 2015, the year in which Elina Svitolina reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final, one of four players to appear in 10+ quarter-finals at such events along with Ukrainian Serena Williams (16), Simona Halep (13) and Carolina Is. Pliskova (11).
Svitolina was humiliated at the French Open for refusing to shake hands with Russian and Belarusian rivals, but it was Azarenka, who raised her hand to acknowledge Svitolina before leaving the court, who faced loud derision .
It was unclear whether the fans thought it was her who had disrespected her opponent and Azarenka exchanged a long, continuous stare before clenching her fists as she walked away.
This is the second happiest moment of my life after giving birth to our daughter.
Svitolina only returned to the tour in April following the birth of daughter Skye in October, and in her on-court interview she smiled: “After giving birth to our daughter, this is the second wonderful moment in my life.
“It was a really tough match. When I was down 0-2 in the second set I heard you guys cheering for me and I almost wanted to cry. I was really struggling and I really Wanted to win. You guys let me do it. Lots of energy today.”
Svitolina also found strength in thinking about the plight of her stricken homeland, saying: “I was at home thinking that there are so many people watching and cheering me on, I know it’s important to them. How much does it matter
“Any moment when they can share the joy. I was thinking that Ukraine is having tough times and I’m here playing in front of you guys. I can’t complain, I just have to fight. And here I am, I won the match.”
She had lost all five of her previous matches against Azarenka and although most of the games were close, the Belarusian remained largely on top.
Trailing 2-0 in the second set, Svitolina looked like she would soon face defeat, but she balanced things out before taking the deciding set.
Svitolina, a semi-finalist here in 2019, went 3-0 up in the deciding set and the Ukrainian looked to be cruising to victory but Azarenka came back.
Svitolina then came back from 4–7 down in a tense deciding tie-break to eventually win 11–9 on her second match point and fell to the turf in glee.
On a lighter note, the 28-year-old revealed before the match that his Wimbledon run meant he would have to give up tickets to a Harry Styles concert he had planned to attend.
“I hope Harry is watching,” she said. “I’m a big fan of his.”
Earlier, 4th preference jessica pegula Entered the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the first time with a straight sets win over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.
Pegula raced to a 4-0 lead within a quarter of an hour and won the first set 6-1.
Tsurenko reached the fourth round on Friday via the longest tie-break in women’s Grand Slam history but struggled to seize the opportunity.
Pegula sealed victory with a stunning backhand winner – awarded only after challenging an out call – and reached a Grand Slam final for the fifth time in her last seven appearances with a 6–1 6–3 victory. Made it to the eight.
“I’m glad I challenged it,” Pegula said in court. “I’m glad I was able to keep up the pace.”
Next match with Pegula is in the quarterfinals Marketa Vondrosovawho fought hard to win an all-Czech tie with Marie Bouzkova in three sets.
World number 42 Vondrousova had made it past the fourth round of a major only once before, when she won the French Open in 2019, but made it to the last-eights with an emphatic 2-6 6-4 6-3 victory. Have reached