Iga Świątek is on a winning streak, but how does it compare to past tennis greats?

Since taking over from the retired Australian Ash Barty as world number one, Iga Świątek has been unbeatable. In fact, her winning streak started a month before Barty’s shock announcement in March.

The 21-year-old Pole’s first victim was Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic at the Qatar Open. After winning that tournament, she’s collected titles in Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome.

Świątek’s latest victory over Russian Daria Kasatkina in the French Open semi-finals was her 34th win in a row. It equals Serena Williams’ unbeaten run from 2013. Should Świątek win the tournament she’ll match Venus Williams’ 21st century record streak of 35 matches that was set in the year 2000.

However, there’s a lot more winning to do before Świątek can challenge the women’s all-time record in the open era. Here are the top five winning streaks since 1968.
5. Chris Evert – 55 wins (1974)

Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors pose for a photo with their trophies.
Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors were a winning love match at Wimbledon in 1974.(Getty Images)

The 19-year-old American with a double-handed backhand that was rare for its time dominated 1974. Evert won the French Open and Wimbledon. She was also engaged to another future tennis legend, Jimmy Connors.

The baseliner’s calm demeanour under pressure earnt her the nickname “The Ice Maiden”.

Her winning streak ended at the hands of Australia’s Evonne Goolagong in the US Open semi-finals.

The marriage to Connors didn’t go ahead but her winning form on clay continued. Evert was unbeaten in 125 consecutive matches on the surface from 1973 to 1979. Evert would finish her career with 18 grand slam singles titles.
4. Margaret Court – 57 wins (1972-1973)

Margaret Court goes to hit a backhand shot.
Margaret Court in action at Wimbledon in 1973.(Evening Standard/Getty Images)

The Australian great had already won 21 grand slam singles titles before 1972.

Court didn’t play the Australian Open, French Open or Wimbledon that year due to the birth of her first child. The Albury-born right-hander had lost none of her form when she returned to the tour and went on a 57-match winning run that was ended by American Billie Jean King in the semi-finals of a tournament in Indianapolis in February 1973.

Court finished her career with a record 24 grand slam singles titles.
3. Martina Navratilova – 58 wins (1986-1987)

Martina Navratilova prepares to hit a slice backhand.
Navratilova won two grand slam singles titles in 1986.(Getty Images: Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG)

By 1986, the Czech-born US-based player was already the proud owner of 13 grand slam singles titles. The left-hander won two more that year at Wimbledon and the US Open. Further dominance beckoned in 1987 but in the Australian Open final in January, Navratilova was upset 7-5 7-6 by Czech player Hana Mandlikova.

It was the end of Navratilova’s 58 match winning run and was also the last Australian Open to be played on grass at Kooyong.
2. Steffi Graf – 66 wins (1989-1990)

Steffi Graf prepares to return serve.
Graf beat Navratilova in the Wimbledon final in July 1989.(Getty Images: Bob Martin/Allsport)

The German right-hander with the fast feet and flawless groundstrokes was a dominant world number one in 1988, winning all four grand slams and the Olympic gold medal. She was the first player to win the “Golden slam”. The 1989 Australian Open gave her a fifth consecutive major.

At the French Open, Graf lost a tight three set final to Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. Graf’s response was to go on a massive winning streak, taking out the Wimbledon and US Open titles along the way. She lifted the Australian Open trophy in 1990.

Her run of 66 wins was ended by the 16-year-old Monica Seles at the German Open in Berlin.

Graf would finish with 22 grand slam titles and married eight-time major winner, Andre Agassi.
1. Martina Navratilova – 74 wins (1984)

Martina Navratilova lifts the French Open trophy and smiles.
Navratilova defeated Chris Evert to win at Roland Garros in 1984.(Getty Images: Michel Philippot/Sygma)

1984 was the year of Prince’s “Purple Rain” and the Queen of tennis, Martina Navratilova.

In January 1984, Navratilova’s 54 match-winning run was ended by Mandlikova at the Virginia Slims of California tournament. Navratilova’s response was to start a longer winning streak. One that’s yet to be beaten 38 years later. The athletic woman with the game to conquer all surfaces won 13 straight tournaments. Triumphs at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open had Navratilova on target for the calendar year grand slam. At that stage, the Australian Open was played in November and December.

In the semi-finals, Czech teenager Helena Sukova upset Navratilova 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 to end the remarkable winning streak of 74 matches.

Navratilova won 18 grand slam singles titles during a professional career that started in 1974 and ended with doubles victories at the age of 49 in 2006.

And there’s another record that towers over all others.

Esther Vergeer – wheelchair tennis
Vergeer won the Wheelchair Australian Open title in 2012 – notching up her 444th consecutive win.(Getty Images Ryan Pierse)

Dutch wheelchair player Esther Vergeer won an astonishing 470 matches in a row from 2003 until she retired in 2012. In singles, she collected 21 grand slam titles and four Paralympic gold medals.

Iga Świątek’s only just getting started.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here