Putintseva stuns Swiatek, Jabeur also falls as Wimbledon women’s draw opens up

The top seed was sent packing by an inspired Yulia Putintseva on Day 6. Ons Jabeur also was defeated.

Iga Swiatek Wimbledon 2024 | © Action Plus / Panoramic Iga Swiatek Wimbledon 2024 | © Action Plus / Panoramic

The rain was falling on Day 6 at Wimbledon.

Beneath closed roofs, on the tournament’s two biggest showcourts, so too were two of the biggest names remaining in the women’s singles draw.

Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva flipped the script on top-seeded world No 1 Iga Swiatek, winning 12 of the final 15 games on No.1 Court to complete a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 triumph, while two-time finalist Ons Jabeur was dispatched by 21st-seeded Elina Svitolina, 6-1, 7-6(4).

Now there’s a crater-sized hole in the top half of the draw – and plenty of hungry names eager to continue their advance at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon unsolved

The loss ends another attempt by Swiatek to achieve a Wimbledon breakthrough. She was hoping to reach beyond the quarter-finals for the first time this year, and got off to a fast start against Putintseva in their fifth career meeting, but was unable to hold off the surging 29-year-old as she mounted an emphatic comeback across the final two sets.

Swiatek had won her previous four meetings with Putintseva in four sets but lost the script as Putintseva mounted her charge. She ended up committed 38 unforced errors (nearly 30 of them off the forehand wing) and was unable to problem solve her way past the world No 35.

“It’s far too hard to win a tennis match when you’re hitting that many unforced errors,” said former Wimbledon champion Ash Barty, who was commentating the match for ESPN. “She was pressing. She was forced to try and problem solve today but Yulia just tightened the screws.”

Putintseva had never been beyond the second round at Wimbledon in her nine previous appearances, but her second career win over a reigning world No 1 places her in the round of 16 alongside 13th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko.

How did she manage to turn the match around so decisively?

“I don’t know,” she said. “Really I was just so focused on playing fast and not giving her any time. It worked.”

Swiatek’s 21-match winning streak comes to an end with the loss. The five-time major champion drops to 11-5 lifetime at Wimbledon, and 45-5 on the season. She had little time to prepare for these Championships, instead electing to rest and recover after reeling off titles on clay at Madrid, Rome and Roland-Garros this spring.

She’ll turn her sights on gunning for gold at the Paris Olympics, to be held later this month, next. Swiatek drops to 71-7 when winning the opening set at the majors overall.

Putintseva took the play to her, and saved seven of eight break points while committing only 15 unforced errors. A remarkable turnaround, given that she had never won more than four games in her first nine sets against Swiatek.

No dream run for Jabeur

While Swiatek was dropping out, the hopes of Ons Jabeur were also being dashed by 21st-seeded Elina Svitolina on Centre Court. The two-time semi-finalist from Ukraine was flawless at times as she needed just 80-minutes to send the two-time runner-up packing.

Svitolina has now won four of five meetings with Jabeur as she improves to 19-9 lifetime at Wimbledon. She saved both break points she faced and cracked 24 winners to set a round of 16 clash with unseeded Chinse Wang Xinyu.

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