Svitolina holds for 5-2, asking Azarenka to serve for the first set, and a service winner gives her 40-15 … then a real brute secures things at 6-2. But don’t sleep on Svito, who has moxie for months.
Oh yes! Swiatek, 3-6 down, smokes an inside-out backhand, then cleans up with another down the line. Bencic, though, has another serve, and when the return drops wide, that’s the set! This is brilliant from the number 14 seed, and the best player in the world has questions to answer!
Bencic earns a double mini-break at 4-0, then when Swiatek whiffs long on the backhand, leads 5-1. This is superb behaviour from the Olympic champ, who’s two points away from the set, and an ace gives her five – five – set points! Who saw this coming?
Excellent from Bencic, winning the first point of the breaker – Swiatek only lost five points on serve getting to this point – then a third consecutive long forehand is enough for 2-0 before a backhand winner secures the consolidated mini-break. Meantime, Azarenka breaks Svitolina again, taking a 4-1 first-set lead.
Swiatek goes long on the forehand and that’s 6-6. Bencic is one of those players who never seems to play well when I’m watching, but she’s done really well to face down early pressure and gradually assert herself.
Excellent from Azarenka, returning from 15-40 and several deuces for her consolidation. She leads 3-1 while Bencic is at 30-all serving to cement a first-set breaker against Swiatek.
Is it just me who sings Elina Svitolina to this?
Down two set points at 4-5 15-40, Bencic saves the first then patiently works Swiatek before laying a terrific drop that facilitates a winner down the line. She can’t close out from advantage on her first try but keeps composure to seal a crucial hold and it’s 5-5 while on No1, Svitolina forces deuce as she tries for an immediate break-back.
Beautiful from Svitolina, stroking a backhand cross-court into the corner, then another clean-up effort down the line to save break point. But Azarenka makes advantage then steps inside the line to spank back a slow second serve and when Svito drops long, that’s the break at 2-1.
Thanks Sarah and hi again everyone. Remember we’ve still got Djokovic v Hurkacz to come, but in the meantime we’re on serve in our two matches, Swiatek up 5-4 on Bencic with Azarenka and Svitolina at 1-1.
Swiatek 5-4* Bencic (*denotes next server)
The call of “out” reverberates around the court as Bencic’s forehand has too much on it. Swiatek then hits an ace but another great lob from Bencic has her on the board. Oh hello, Bencic hits a forehand winner to level the game 30-30. Swiatek takes a step toward holding with Bencic hitting the net and a call on Bencic’s forehand is challenged. It is called out and it is upheld! Swiatek holds. And with that I hand back to Daniel, thanks all!
Swiatek *4-4 Bencic (*denotes next server)
Again Bencic loses the first point of her service game. Swiatek’s return is out and then she hits the net for Bencic to be 30-15 up. The top seed hits the net again and the Swiss player looks as though she will hold here. And a fantastic lob does the job! (I know, another rhyme).
Azarenka v Svitolina is due to start on court 1 shortly, we will bring you all the major developments from that one as it rolls out.
Swiatek 4-3* Bencic (*denotes next server)
An unforced error from Bencic puts Swiatek 15-0 up. Bencic then can’t return the serve and her backhand has too much on it – 40-0. And a forehand from Bencic is just out. A break it yet to be seen!
Swiatek *3-3 Bencic (*denotes next server)
Bencic needs to start her service games much better, so far she has lost the opening point of each on her serve. She hits it out but then Swiatek errors and it’s 15-15. The top seed then smacks the net but Bencic forces a forehand to level it once more. The Polish player hits the ball out and Bencic holds.
Swiatek 3-2* Bencic (*denotes next server)
A forehand winner rockets past Bencic and then she cannot return a serve to put Swiatek 30-0 up. Bencic takes on Swiatek in the rally but her forehand hits the net and Swiatek is on her way to a clean game. A beautiful backhand sees her hold!
Swiatek *2-2 Bencic (*denotes next server)
A great backhand winner from Swiatek gets this game underway. Bencic hits a ball way out of play to see Swiatek 30-0 up but the top seed hits the net next. Swiatek’s return on the serve is out to level the game but Bencic gifts Swiatek break point with her backhand hitting the net. But we head to deuce! Bencic gets advantage and manages to hold – a shaky start from the Swiss player but she has not been broken yet.
She has padding around the blister with a plaster on now, Swiatek is just putting her shoes back on and play will be back.
She has called a medical time out for this blister, she is receiving treatment for it. Play should be back underway shortly.
Swiatek has a blister I think, the trainer is out to help her with it. It is on the back of the heel, commentators are discussing how her shoes must be irritating her.
Swiatek 2-1* Bencic (*denotes next server)
Bencic smacks the net on her return on Swiatek’s serve and the Swiss player can’t return again to see Swiatek 30-0 up. Another error from Bencic and a backhand winner from Swiatek sees her hold.
Swiatek *1-1 Bencic (*denotes next server)
Swiatek goes 15-0 up and then Bencic pops the ball out to gift another point to her opponent. A double fault gives Swiatek break point but Bencic follow it up with a great forehand. Swiatek can’t convert on the first break point with an error, she has another. But again she pushes it out, deuce we go. Swiatek can’t return serve to give Bencic the advantage and she holds! Bencic does have her arm wrapped up, she could be suffering with injury here.
On centre court now and Swiatek held the first game of the match, Bencic now on serve.
He has done it! He has become the first Italian man to reach two quarter-finals at Wimbledon! Here’s how it shook out: Sinner needs four points to win but it is Galan who draws blood first – a beautiful drop shot putting him 15-0 up. A forehand winner from Sinner (poet and I do know it) levels the game. And another great forehand, two points for Sinner to win this. An unforced error from Galan gives Sinner match point and he seals it with another error.
Sinner *7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 5-3 Galan (*denotes next server)
So can Sinner break Galan to go through? We’re about to find out. A double fault from Galan to start but then Sinner can’t return the serve – 15-15. A Sinner error puts Galan on a holding path but after a great forehand from Sinner, Galan smacks the net and we are level once more. Sinner does really well to come forward to return a drop shot and beats Galan – break and match point! However, we go to deuce with Sinner forcing the ball out. A delightful slice gives Sinner advantage – his second match point but again he can’t convert and we are back to deuce. Galan manages to hold!
Swiatek and Bencic are in action, we will stay with Sinner to wrap up the match and then focus on the centre court.
Sinner 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 5-2* Galan (*denotes next server)
Galan has an error to start this game and a Sinner ace puts him 30-0 up. He is not messing around, he wants to wrap this game up. Galan smacks the net and an ace puts Sinner 5-2 up!
Sinner *7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 4-2 Galan (*denotes next server)
Sinner thought he had a forehand winner but it is out but he follows it up with a lovely drop shot, 15-15. Galan challenges a call which was called out, it looks marginal and it is in! A few millimetres in but a great challenge there. Sinner makes an error to put Galan one point away from holding but he stays in it with another class drop shot. Galan then sews up the match.
Sinner sums up his next match quickly to lead the third 4-1, Galan has a mountain to climb if he wants to stay in the match. Let’s have a little game-by-game action so you can have more detail on this.
We’ll spend some time focusing on this match before Swiatek v Bencic gets underway – the centre court match should start soon.