Gauff Ensured To Catch Up To Swiatek In World No. 1 Chase Despite Wimbledon Disappointment

Gauff Ensured To Catch Up To Swiatek In World No. 1 Chase Despite Wimbledon Disappointment

by Nurein Ahmed

Coco Gauff has truncated Iga Swiatek's lead at the top of the WTA rankings at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships.

That is because Swiatek suffered a shock defeat to unseeded Yulia Putintseva in the third round. Despite the Pole's difficulties on grass, the Kazkahstani's come-from-behind victory is the upset of the women's tournament.

Having won each of her first two matches in straight sets, Swiatek looked on course to secure a spot in the second week of Wimbledon when she led Putintseva 6-3 after the first set.

But the World No. 35, who is having the best season of her career, highlighted by winning a maiden grass-court title in Birmingham two weeks ago, turned the match around with her swashbuckling style of aggressive shotmaking, improvised slices, and sumptuous drop shots.

Swiatek had no answer to what Putintseva threw at her. And for once, the woman who is synonymous with her fiery temperament on the court let her racket do all the talking.

Putintseva ended the top seed's 21-match win streak, which dates back to the Stuttgart Open when compatriot Elena Rybakina last defeated her en route to the title.

The defeat prevents Swiatek from advancing into the second week of Wimbledon for the third time. She was a quarterfinalist last year, which means she will lose 300 points from her tally when the tournament ends.

Swiatek still has a monstrous lead, becoming the first WTA player since Serena Williams in 2015 to amass over 11,000 ranking points in a season. But her 11,695 points, which she started with during the grass-court swing, have now been cut by 410 points (she also did not defend Bad Homburg's points).

The biggest beneficiary of Swiatek's upset is World No. 2 Coco Gauff. The young American was beaten in the opening round in last year's Wimbledon and had a lot to gain in points this fortnight.

She did just that. The 20-year-old has 8,173 points in the live rankings, reducing her gap to the World No. 1 by 530 points, as she improved by 230 points compared to last year, despite her fourth-round exit. Still, her goal of becoming World No. 1 in the near future looks achievable.


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