Paris, May 28 (IANS): World No 1 Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 31 with a 6-3, 7-5 defeat of Danka Kovinic in the third round of the French Open, here on Saturday.
With her win in over 1 hours and 30 minutes, Swiatek, the 2020 champion, has now reached the second week in all four of her Roland Garros appearances and she has won 17 of her 19 matches at the tournament.
Her active winning streak, which stretches back to February and encompasses titles in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome, is the fourth-longest of the 21st century.
The 20-year-old Pole is one win away from tying Justine Henin's 32 in 2007-08; a final would equal Serena Williams's 34 in 2013, and a title would put her level with Venus Williams's 35 in 2000. Swiatek will next face either home hope Alizé Cornet or rising 19-year-old Zheng Qinwen.
No 95-ranked Kovinic, the first Montenegrin to reach the third round at Roland Garros, delivered a valiant performance that meant Swiatek could not repeat the smooth sailing of her opening two rounds. Having never gone beyond the second round of a major in 17 main draw entries prior to this year, Kovinic has now made the third round of both of this year's Slams.
In another game, Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu returned to the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time since 2016, defeating French wildcard Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-4. Ranked No. 63, Begu withstood a surge from Jeanjean in the second set to close out the win after 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Despite generating more break-point chances, 11 in total, the 26-year-old Frenchwoman was able to break Begu just once in the match. Begu finished the match with twice as many winners as Jeanjean while keeping a cleaner sheet, hitting 21 unforced errors to 27.
Begu, who previously reached the fourth round at the 2015 Australian Open and 2016 French Open, will next face either No.11 seed Jessica Pegula or 2021 semifinalist Tamara Zidansek for a spot in her first major quarterfinal.