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Shvedova set for Williams test

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Originally published on: 30/06/12 00:00

After a surprise run to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, which saw her defeat defending champion Li Na along the way, Yaroslava Shvedova was offered a place in the Wimbledon draw courtesy of a wild card. As the Russian-born Kazakh rattled off 24 consecutive points to win Wimbledon’s first ever ‘golden set’ against French Open finalist Sara Errani on Saturday, it was safe to say the All England Club had made a good decision.

While spectators marveled in the perfect set, ‘Slava’ as she’s known to her friends was unaware of her history-making feat.

“Yeah, I had no idea,” said the 24-year-old. “I was just playing every point and every game. I didn't feel like every game was 40-Love, only in the second set. I remember like first or second ball of the second set she won. All the people start to like clap and scream. I was like, ‘What's going on?’ I even smiled. I was, like, ‘okay, they want to see a good match’.

“And then in the gym after the match, when I was cooling down, my coach came, and he's like, ‘Did you know someone told me the stats about you and not losing a point’. I was like, ‘Really?’ So it was incredible.

“I still cannot believe, and I was like probably maybe they made the mistake or something until I went to have a bit of food before the mixed. My manager came and she's said, ‘they checked the stats. They said it's really true. You won 24 points in a row’.”

The only previous player to record a golden set was American Bill Scanlon at Delray Beach in 1983. In fact, Shvedova had held the previous women’s record for most consecutive points won. She reeled off the first 23 points against Amy Frazier of America at Memphis in 2006 only to end up losing the match.

Shvedova will be hoping she can continue breaking records during the second week of Wimbledon. Only two wild cards have managed to go beyond the fourth round of The Championships – Zheng Jie and Sabine Lisicki reached the semi-finals in 2008 and 2011 respectively – but the world No. 65 knows she will need to be on top form if she is going to get the better of four-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams today.

“She had the tough match [against Zheng Jie], and I will just go on court as I usually go and be positive and just enjoy the game and try to feel and focus on the things what I have to do.”

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