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Wimbledon 2022: Iga Swiatek secures record 36th straight win

World number one Iga Swiatek recovered from a dip in form in the second set to see off Croatian Jana Fett 6-0 6-3 in her first-round match at Wimbledon

Poland's Iga Swiatek returns the ball to Croatia's Jana Fett during their women's singles tennis match on the second day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 28. (AFP)

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London: World number one Iga Swiatek recovered from a dip in her level in the second set to see off Croatian qualifier Jana Fett 6-0 6-3 at Wimbledon on Tuesday and extend her winning run to 36 matches.

The 2018 junior champion, who exited the grasscourt Grand Slam in the fourth round last year, had the honour of opening the second day's play on Centre Court in the absence of the retired Ash Barty who won the 2021 title.

Despite a stiff breeze swirling through the main show court, Poland's Swiatek powered through the opening set without losing a game -- registering a 6-0 set for the 17th time this year.

But problems with her delivery started early in the second set as the 25-year-old Fett, ranked 252nd in the world, built up a 3-1 lead. Swiatek, however, quickly regained her focus to win the next five games.

A powerful first serve helped Swiatek seal victory on her first matchpoint and she will meet British wildcard Sonay Kartal or Dutch lucky loser Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove for a place in the third round, a Reuters report said.

Earlier on Tuesday, title contender Matteo Berrettini was forced to pull out of Wimbledon after testing positive for coronavirus. Berrettini – last year's runner-up – wrote on Instagram: "I am heartbroken to announce that I need to withdraw from @wimbledon due to a positive COVID-19 test result," the 26-year-old Italian said.

Berrettini was widely regarded as one of the biggest threats to defending champion Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, having captured back-to-back grass-court titles in Stuttgart and Queen's, an AFP report adds. He is the second man to withdraw from Wimbledon with Covid in two days after 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic of Croatia also tested positive.

"I have no words to describe the extreme disappointment I feel," Berrettini, seeded eighth, said in his statement. "The dream is over for this year, but I will be back stronger."

The Italian was a potential semi-final opponent for two-time champion Nadal. His place in the Wimbledon first round will be taken by Sweden's Elias Ymer, a lucky loser from qualifying.

(With inputs from AFP; Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ed Osmond for Reuters)

Also read: Wimbledon Diary: The Championships gets off to a great start

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