Perfection: Tennis Star Yaroslava Shvedova Plays The Golden Set


It’s been at least 44 years since any woman in professional tennis has done it, but during a third round match at Wimbledon, Yaroslava Shvedova recorded a “Golden Set.” What does that mean you ask? Shvedova won a full set, in perfect form. She won all 24 points and all 6 games in the first set against Sara Errani during a windy match in England. Shvedova herself didn’t realize the magnitude of her accomplishment until after the match. The crowd stirred into a frenzy on the final point of the set, leaving Shvedova a bit confused.

“I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ ” Shvedova said. “I even smiled. I was like, ‘O.K., they want to see a good match.’ ”

Shvedova then powered a 108-mph serve past Errani to compete the Golden Set. It wasn’t until her coach, Emiliano Redondi confronted her after the match that she understood what she had achieved.

To put Shvedova’s Golden Set into perspective, it’s interesting to look at a list of tennis icons who have NOT achieved one: Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams. That’s a lot of star power and a lot of Grand Slam championships combined, all without a Golden Set.

News spread around the All England Club and tennis players of all kinds were stunned. On a day that saw superstar Rafael Nadal upset by Lukas Rosol, Shvedova’s Golden Set was still the talk of the town.

It was incredible,” said Errani, the unfortunate player on the losing end of the Golden Set.

“Never lost a point? I’m, like, speechless,” American Sam Querrey chimed in after catching word of Shvedova’s accomplishment. “To me, that’s almost as incredible as Isner-Mahut.”

Shvedova went on the win the match 6-0, 6-4, advancing to face Serena Williams; a match that she eventually lost. However, she can take solace in simple fact that she completed what is considered almost impossible, especially given the windy and slippery conditions on the grass courts at Wimbledon. The 24-year-old Kazakhstan native has a bright future ahead of her and her Golden Set is further proof that she is destined for great things.


John Ohail


July 05, 2012

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