Wimbledon 2022: Brit Swan left to rue missed opportunities after narrow defeat

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Katie Swan suffered a three set defeat in the first round of Wimbledon, beaten 4-6 6-4 6-4 by Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk.
Katie Swan suffered a three set defeat in the first round of Wimbledon, beaten 4-6 6-4 6-4 by Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk.

By Paul Eddison at Wimbledon

Katie Swan admitted it was a case of what might have been after narrowly losing her first round match at Wimbledon in three sets.

The 23-year-old from Avon eventually succumbed 4-6 6-4 6-4 to Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk and admitted it was a tough blow.

She had overcame a nervy start to take the first set, and had the momentum on her side midway through the second but lost her way with a series of unforced errors.

At just 20, Kostyuk is already in the world’s top 100 and was a Grand Slam winner as a junior and yet when Swan saved four break points on her own serve before immediately getting to 0-30 on Kostyuk’s serve at 2-1 in the second set, it looked as though the favourite was on the ropes.

The game could have swung in that moment, but a string of unforced errors from Swan let her opponent off the hook.

“It was a very tough match. I think I started off a little bit nervy,” said Swan, who benefits from the LTA’s NTC Access programme that provides cost-free access to courts, coaching, trainers and the LTA’s tournament bonus scheme.

“But once I settled, I thought I played quite well in that first set especially.

“Overall I think what I learnt is you just can't afford to go on a run of a few points with kind of a bit sloppy unforced errors against the top players. It was very marginal differences.

“I have to give her credit. I mean, she played well also. But I could feel that momentum was shifting (at 2-1), and she was getting quite frustrated. I wasn't able to capitalise on that unfortunately.”

Swan’s cause was not helped by a troublesome left hip which was heavily strapped as she came onto the court.

She required some treatment at the end of the second set but kept fighting to the end, unable to find the necessary break after dropping serve early in the decider.

She added: “It's been a bit tricky with my leg during that match, just pushing up on serve was a bit uncomfortable. I just wanted to get some extra pain meds from the medical team when they came on. I had some before the match but just felt like I needed some more.

“For now, I just kind of need to figure out what's going on with my hip, and then I will plan my next schedule based off that.”

While it was ultimately a disappointing way to end her campaign, Swan was confident that she has taken a step forward this season compared to previous appearances at SW19.

She concluded: “It's so nice to play in front of the crowd again this year. I think I really showed that I belong here now.

“It was really nice to have that support out there.”

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