Iga Swiatek: ‘I don’t consider myself a legend’

Iga Swiatek

World number one Iga Swiatek knows she cannot be compared to Serena or Venus Williams yet, despite winning her 36th match in a row to set a new record.

Swiatek’s 6-0 6-3 victory over Jana Fett on Centre Court extended her winning run that began in February and made it the longest winning streak of the 21st century, overtaking Venus Willams’ record set in 2000.

The 21-year-old, who is already a two-time French Open champion and a hot favourite for the SW19 crown, is surely set for bigger things but insists she is not at the level of the Williams sisters yet.

“Still when I see Serena or see Venus, they seem like, I don’t know, the legends,” she said. “I don’t consider myself a legend. They seem like the ones, they’re the greatest of all time in tennis. So not really.

“But it’s amazing for me to have that kind of streak. It just shows how much work we’ve been putting for every match. I’m pretty happy that I could show consistency because it was always my goal.

“I didn’t know it’s going to be possible for me to show that much consistency, and actually to win tournaments. But I’m just really happy and I’m trying to use it the best way possible.”

Swiatek’s 35th win was against Coco Gauff in the French Open final.

Gauff, a breakout star at SW19 in 2019, had to do things the hard way to get past Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse 2-6 6-3 7-5, but she thinks it will help her in the long run.

She said: “It’s definitely an art just because it’s impossible to play the best every day. I feel like the last couple tournaments that I played really good tennis.

“Today I think even though I lost against Iga, I lost against Ons (Jabeur), today I played even worse in moments of the match.

“I think that’s what makes you a champion, and what makes you get to that next level is how you figure out how to win in these tough moments.

“I think today made me a better player.”

Simona Halep returned to action at Wimbledon for the first time since her 2019 title success and looked at home again, claiming a 6-3 6-2 win over Karolina Muchova.

Fourth seed Paula Badosa cruised past Louisa Chirico 6-2 6-1, number five seed Maria Sakkari made light work of Australian Zoe Hives, wining 6-1 6-4, but 14th seed Belinda Bencic is out, losing 6-4 5-7 6-2 to Wang Qiang in a match carried over from Monday.

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova, winner in Eastbourne last week, opened her campaign with a 2-6 6-4 6-2 come-from-behind win over Jasmine Paolini.