Iga Swiatek’s opponent was ‘annoyed’ by delaying tactics as Laura Robson gives her verdict

Kevin Palmer
Laura Robson talks to Tennis365 about Iga Swiatek
Laura Robson talks to Tennis365 about Iga Swiatek

Former British No 1 Laura Robson has explained why grass courts are proving to be so challenging to Iga Swiatek after her shock defeat at Wimbledon.

World No 1 Swiatek admitted she had nothing left in the tank after she suffered more Wimbledon woe by crashing out in the third round to Yulia Putintseva.

Swiatek was on a 21-match winning streak and looked on course to cruise into the last 16 when she claimed the opener, but the Kazakhstan player hit back with a brilliant second set where she broke twice.

Four-time French Open champion Swiatek raced off court before the decider and when she eventually returned faced boos from an impatient crowd.

It seemed to knock the top seed off her stride and Putintseva roared to a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory on her third match point.

It was another disappointing result for Swiatek on grass, with Robson telling Tennis365 that the Polish star has different challenges on grass compared to other surfaces.

“Her shots are naturally spinny and her forehand grip is quite extreme,” Robson said at a Play Your Way To Wimbledon event.

“It means she plays with a lot of topspin and on grass, that sits up a bit more for the opponent.

“So the spin that works so well for her on other surfaces, especially on clay, might not be quite so effective on grass, so she just needs to hit down on the ball more.

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“I’m sure she will get it right. We are talking about minor adjustments.

“She is such a great frontrunner and so mentally strong. You back her to handle these situations when the pressure is applied.”

Swiatek will now have to wait another year to try and master Wimbledon’s grass courts after her shock defeat against a highly impressive Putintseva, who insisted she was not annoyed by her opponent’s extended break at the end of the second set of their match.

The No.1 Court crowd were then riled by Swiatek spending more time testing her rackets on the side of the court after she returned from her break, but the delaying tactics appeared to inspire Putintseva.

“I was not annoyed, but she took a lot of time off the court,” said the Kazakhstani.

“I don’t know what the rules are. She just went to the toilet break. I don’t know like what happened or how many minutes she was taking.

“Honestly at some point, I was so bored. I thought she was coming. Then I was like moving, moving, she’s not there. Again moving, she’s not there. I was kind of getting bored.

“Then I was just super excited about the third set, that I was playing so well.

“I was just giving it a roll. I was not rushing on purpose. Honestly, I think every time I’m playing my service game, I’m not taking much time. I never wanted to go for a towel or anything. I’m just going.”

Putintseva will now take on Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, with the top half of the women’s draw still looking loaded with talents as the in-form Danielle Collins is set to play grass court specialist Barbora Krejcikova in the next round, with former grass court tournament winner Jelena Ostapenko and ex-Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina also in that section the draw.

Vodafone, Official Connectivity Partner of Wimbledon, is working with Laura Robson to inspire the next generation of tennis players through Play Your Way To Wimbledon.