Wimbledon: 'Golden set' helps Yaroslava Shvedova advance | Tennis
Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan won every point in the first set — the first "golden set" for a woman in the 44 years of pro tennis. — and proceeded to win her third-round match at Wimbledon.
WIMBLEDON, England — Absolutely perfect — 24 points played, 24 points won.
A player can't be more dominant than wild-card entry Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan was at the beginning of her third-round match at Wimbledon on Saturday, winning every point in the 15-minute first set of what became a 6-0, 6-4 victory over French Open runner-up Sara Errani of Italy.
It is the only "golden set" for a woman in the 44 years of pro tennis.
Of all the ways a point can be lost — a double fault, for example, or an opponent's ace; one ball that floats a half-inch wide or long or catches the tape of the net, say, or even a lucky shot off the other player's racket that somehow finds a line, etc., etc. — none happened during Shvedova's 15 minutes of fame.
Shvedova put the ball into play 44 times without making an error.
"Apparently, it's the biggest news of the day: I lost a set without winning a point. Unbelievable," the 10th-seeded Errani said. "She was impossible to play against. I don't even feel like I played terribly. She just was hitting winners from every part of the court."
Shvedova, ranked 65th, didn't realize what was happening until she was in the gym afterward, cooling down, when her coach pointed out the accomplishment.
"I had no idea. I was just playing every point and every game," said Shvedova, a 24-year-old who won two Grand Slam tournament doubles titles in 2010 with American Vania King.
In the fourth round Monday, Shvedova will face sixth-seeded Serena Williams, whose 13 major titles include four at the All England Club.
"Hopefully I'll be able to win a point in the set," said Williams, keeping a straight face. "That will be my first goal and then I'll go from there."
The American needed every one of her tournament-record 23 aces to come back and beat 25th-seeded Zheng Jie of China 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 9-7.
Williams won all 18 of her service games and saved all six break points she faced.
Williams also held the previous Wimbledon women's mark of 20 aces.
• Shvedova was close to a golden set in 2006, when she won the first 23 points against Amy Frazier in Memphis before double-faulting at 40-0 — and losing the match 1-6, 6-0, 6-0.
The last player to win 24 straight points was Bill Scanlon, who did it in the first round of a 1983 event in Delray Beach, Fla.
• American Sam Querrey lost a 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-7 (3-7), 17-15 decision to No. 16 Marin Cilic of Croatia. The 5 ½-hour match is the second-longest in tournament history, behind the 11-hour, 5-minute marathon John Isner won 70-68 in the fifth set against Nicolas Mahut in 2010.
"I'm bummed," Querrey said. "I'm sad."
• American qualifier Brian Baker, ranked 126th, reached the round of 16 by beating Benoit Paire of France 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
• No. 4 Andy Murray of Scotland beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in a four-setter that ended at 11:02 p.m., four minutes past the previous latest finish for a match at Wimbledon.