Iga Swiatek matches her best Wimbledon showing with win over Petra Martic

Iga Swiatek matches her best Wimbledon showing with win over Petra Martic

Iga Swiatek overcame a late start and the lack of a Centre Court crowd to progress into the fourth round of Wimbledon with a straight-sets win over Petra Martic.

Swiatek had been scheduled to play second on the biggest venue at the All England Club on Friday, but Andy Murray’s unfinished match with Stefanos Tsitsipas had to be squeezed in before she did battle with the 30th seed.

By the time Swiatek walked out just before 6.30pm, the majority of the crowd had exited following Murray’s five-set defeat.

There were plenty of empty seats for Iga Swiatek's match
There were plenty of empty seats for Iga Swiatek’s match (Steven Paston/PA)

But the world number one showed why she is a four-time grand-slam champion with a professional display in a 6-2 7-5 victory that equals her best showing in SW19.

After a long wait to begin her quest to make the last-16 for a second time, Swiatek had to save three break points and needed six minutes to hold in her first service game.

It was a sign of things to come with three consecutive breaks following before the Polish right-hander ended the sequence to go 4-2 up.

A powerful backhand winner from behind the baseline clinched a third break and despite being troubled by an insect on her foot at set point, Swiatek closed out the opener 6-2.

Petra Martic put up a fight
Petra Martic put up a fight (Steven Paston/PA)

The final score did not tell the full story with Martic forcing more break point opportunities but only converting one from four.

More spectators filtered into Centre Court ahead of the second set and Swiatek started to up her level, showing impressive agility to land a volley before she repeated the trick to end a thrilling net exchange with a glorious passing winner.

Another change of ends, with Martic leading 3-2 on serve, saw the attendance increase and those new to their green seats were welcomed with an exquisite backhand from Swiatek.

Swiatek was in the zone now and a rocket of a return brought up break point and another flush forehand sealed it.

Two more winners followed in an easy hold that put her a game away from round four, but Martic, who has made the last-16 on three occasions in SW19, suddenly dug in.

One match point was saved by the Croatian, who after a dogged hold went on to break Swiatek to make it 5-5.

It allowed more fans to flood back in with Centre Court closer to capacity now and they were treated to two more games, the first featuring a sumptuous backhand return that helped Swiatek break again before she booked her spot in the last-16 for only a second time at Wimbledon.

Next up is 14th seed and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, but Swiatek feels there is more to come from her on the English lawn.

Iga Swiatek is eyeing her furthers Wimbledon run
Iga Swiatek is eyeing her furthers Wimbledon run (Steven Paston/PA)

She said in her on-court interview: “Well for sure, it wasn’t easy. Petra was playing well, I tried to be focused from beginning to the end.

“I am happy to win in two sets and happy with my performance.

“There is always something to improve. I am still 22 so I feel I have a lot to learn. I hope I will get better and better every year. That is my ambition.

“Belinda is playing a great game, we all know she can play great tennis but fourth round of a slam, really looking forward to that match.”