World Number one Iga Świątek has now racked up 37 victories in a row, but she was made to fight for it. The Polish player overcame Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove of the Netherlands 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round of Wimbledon on Thursday.
It took Poland’s Iga Świątek over two hours on No.1 Court to see off a stern test from Pattinama Kerkhove and advance into the third round at SW19 for the second year in a row.
The victory over Kerkhove, sees the 21-year-old surpass Monica Seles’ 36-match winning streak from 1990 and match Martina Hingis’ 37-match winning streak from 1997.
Świątek’s run has earnt her six consecutive titles both on hard courts (Doha, Indian Wells, Miami) and clay (Stuttgart, Rome, Roland Garros), including two wins for Team Poland at the Billie Jean King Cup.
World Number 138 Pattinama Kerkhove put up a stern test in her first match against a top 10 player. Kerkhove appeared unfazed to be facing such a formidable opponent.
Indeed Kerkhove took a 4-2 lead in the opening set, but then Świątek began to find her rhythm. Deploying her immense forehand to devastating effect, Świątek powered through the last four games to take a one-set lead.
However, Pattinama Kerkhove notched up the first break in the second set, and went on to take it 4-6.
Świątek responded by raising her game-breaking for a 3-1 advantage. With the wind in her sails, the young Pole took the third and final set 6-3.
The world number one will face France’s Alizé Cornet in the third round on Saturday . It will be the first meeting between the pair.