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Surprises of The Fortnight :Swiatek upset, Maria the super mum, Davidovich Fokina’s Mad Moment




The joy of tennis is that it can often be unpredictable and Wimbledon did not disappoint with its share of surprises.

Cornet snaps Swiatek’s streak

A favourable draw on paper had pundits backing world No.1 Iga Swiatek for at least a second week showing in her third Wimbledon campaign.


The former junior champion had ruthlessly dismantled Coco Gauff for her second Roland-Garros crown and was off to a flyer when she levelled Venus Williams’ 2000 sequence of 36 matches unbeaten with a comfortable opening win over Jana Fett.

A second round wobble against Dutch qualifier Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove was hardly cause to raise alarm bells as she equalled Martina Hingis’ unbeaten mark from 1997.


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Wily Frenchwoman Alize Cornet has built a reputation for her unwavering never-say-die resolve and had caused more than the occasional headache for more fancied opponents.

T Razzy

It had been eight years however, since her most memorable triumph over Serena Williams at SW19 and despite having never reached the fourth round since, she wound back the clock to halt the No.1-seeded Pole.

“I’m like good wine. In France good wine always ages well, that’s what’s happened to me,” she said.

“It’s unreal. I’m playing one of the best seasons of my career. I feel great on the court, I’m having so much fun.

“I feel good physically, eight years after my first qualification into the second week I can say I’m still there. I’m still so motivated and I still have the fire in me.”

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Super mum soars into semi-finals

Super mum

Unheralded German Tatjana Maria reached the third round at Wimbledon in 2015 – the furthest she has got in 46 Grand Slam campaigns, including qualifying.

After giving birth to her second child less than a year ago, the 34-year-old finally lived up to her grass court potential this Fortnight with a victory over No.5 seed Maria Sakkari and a match-points-saving triumph against No.12 seed Jelena Ostapenko.

Victory over compatriot Jule Niemeier made the world No.103 the oldest Grand Slam semi-final debutante in the Open era. Her run was ended by close friend Ons Jabeur in the semi-final.

“I always believed that I have something inside, I mean, that I can do this,” Maria said.

“I always believed in this, but to be now here in this spot… I mean, like I said, one year ago I gave birth to my second daughter.

“If somebody would tell me one year later you are in a semi-final of Wimbledon, that’s crazy.”

Davidovich Fokina ‘s rollercoaster

Spanish former junior champion Alejandro Davidovich Fokina thought he had struck bad luck on the eve of The Championships when a thumb injury ruined his Queen’s Club outing. It was only the beginning of an up-and-down summer.

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An ill-fated showboating trick shot on his first match point against last year’s semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz nearly resulted in the 23-year-old coming unstuck in the opening round.

It cost him the next two sets but he regrouped to pull off one of his gutsiest triumphs over the Halle champion and No.7 seed in a fifth set tie-break.

Hammed Tajudeen is the Editor-In-Chief of Blaze Newz Nigeria, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication.

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