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37 on the trot – Iga Swiatek ties Martina Hingis for longest WTA win streak since ’97

The world No.1 struggled early but settled down in the third set to overcome lucky loser Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove at Wimbledon.

Iga Swiatek Wimbledon 2022 Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 30, 2022 Poland’s Iga Swiatek in action during her second round. AI / Reuters / Panoramic

She had won 13 of her last 14 matches in straights sets – and 36 on the trot – so very few expected Iga Swiatek to get involved in a tense, back-and-forth struggle with Dutch lucky loser Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove on Day 4 at Wimbledon, but that is exactly what happened.

Swiatek dropped the middle set as she struggled to hit her targets in swirling wind, while the world No 138, clearly relishing the honour of being just the third women’s singles lucky loser to face a reigning world No 1 at a Grand Slam tournament, and the first since 1990, played convincing, assertive tennis.

Swiatek – she handled the wind better than me

Swiatek, who finished with 31 winners and 31 unforced errors to improve to 44-3 on the season, gave full credit to her opponent.

“I think she used all the advantages that she could,” said Swiatek. “I feel like she was using the wind better than me, she wasn’t slowing down her hand, so yes, she played a really great match and it seems that she really understood how to play today, but I’m pretty happy that I could fight back – and I’m pretty happy that I am going to have another chance to play here.”

“Adding another match to this number is pretty special for me, but you know when I’m out there I’m not really thinking about that, I’m just trying to play the best tennis possible on grass.”

— Iga Swiatek, on her 37-match winning streak.

The streak hits 37 – Swiatek ties Hingis

It is the biggest story in tennis at the moment. The streak! Swiatek’s run of domination has gone across seven tournaments and she has not lost a match in 134 days as of Thursday.

Where it stops, nobody knows…

Today the 21-year-old leveled up with Swiss legend Martina Hingis and now is co-owner of the WTA’s longest win streak since 1997.

“Adding another match to this number is pretty special for me, but you know when I’m out there I’m not really thinking about that, I’m just trying to play the best tennis possible on grass, and the result is going to come,” Swiatek said. “It’s 37 now, I’m going to do my best to get even more.”

If she can win her third-round match against France’s Alizé Cornet, Swiatek would have the WTA’s longest winning streak since Steffi Graf in 1990. The 18-time Slam champion reeled off 41 straight in that year.

Here are the 10 longest winning streaks in WTA history:

  • 74 Martina Navratilova: 1984
  • 66 Steffi Graff 1988-89
  • 58 Navratilova, 1987
  • 57 Margaret Court, 1972 
  • 55 Chris Evert: 1974
  • 54 Navratilova: 1983
  • 46 Graf: 1988
  • 45 Graf: 1987
  • 41 Evert 1975-76
  • 41 Navratilova, 1982

Iga on the grass – it’s tricky

Confidence is quite as high as normal for the world No 1, and she admitted to reporters on Thursday that she’s not quite comfortable on the grass.

“I would say the grass is pretty tricky for me. I’m not going to lie,” she said. “I mean, I guess you can see that I’m not playing maybe as efficiently as on other surfaces.

“Basically my confidence is getting better overall. But this tournament is tricky and I’m still feeling out how to play the best game here.”

On facing Cornet – let’s have a good fight

Swiatek has never faced Cornet before, but the Pole knows that the 32-year-old is a talented player who loves to play on grass.

The Frenchwoman has pulled a significant shock at Wimbledon before. In 2014 she upset then No 1-ranked Serena Williams in the third round, before losing to Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in the round of 16.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Swiatek said of the upcoming clash. “It’s going to be exciting. Third rounds are for the people who deserve to be there, so I hope it’s going to be a good fight and I’m looking forward to it.”

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