“At some point, I was playing fearless” – Putintseva says Birmingham title gave her confidence

After winning the title in Birmingham, the 29-year-old Kazakh is on an eight-match winning streak

Yulia Putintseva, Wimbledon 2024 Yulia Putintseva, Wimbledon 2024 Image Credit: Action Plus / Panoramic

Yulia Putintseva is not known for her prowess on grass, but the 29-year-old Kazakh pulled off the biggest upset of this year’s Wimbledon Championships so far with a three-set win over world No 1 Iga Swiatek in the third round on Saturday.

Putintseva lost the first set to Swiatek, who had won her last 21 matches in a row, but then rebounded to win 12 of the next 15 games to completely outplay the five-time Grand Slam winner and triumph in three sets. The Kazakh herself described her play as ‘fearless’ while speaking to the media in London after her win.

“I mean, at some point I was playing fearless. I was just, I can do it, I have to believe 100%, I have n nothing to lose, just go for it,” she said. “Also my coach told me, no matter which shot you’re doing, believe 100% and just follow. It’s when the turning point happened, I start to play really, really good. I think, today I’m happy, extra happy, because she didn’t lose it; I took it. I was playing really well. This is for me the most important.”

Honestly, the title in Birmingham give me a lot of confidence that I can play and I can be good on grass.

Yulia Putintseva

Putintseva is now on an eight-match winning streak herself, having won the WTA Birmingham Open title last month. The Kazakh said it was that run that helped her become more confident about her abilities on grass.

“Honestly, the title in Birmingham give me a lot of confidence that I can play and I can be good on grass, because before that my statistic on grass wasn’t that successful. Let’s put it that way,” the world No 35 said. “Last year I won no matches on grass. Entering the tournament like Wimbledon, when you have five consecutive wins on grass, it’s pretty good. You feel this surface much, much better. Yeah, just give me
confident.”

Putintseva will aim to take that confident mindset into the fourth round where she plays Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, with whom she has split her four career meetings so far.

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