No.1 seed Iga Swiatek's streak remains alive. On her Porsche Tennis Grand Prix debut, she raced past qualifier Eva Lys 6-1, 6-1 in 1 hour and 2 minutes to notch her 20th straight match victory and 26th set in a row.
Swiatek's set-winning streak is the longest since Serena Williams's 28 in a row between the 2012 US Open and 2013 Australian Open. Thirteen of Swiatek's sets have been won either 6-0 or 6-1, and she has lost just seven games in her past four matches.
Her match-winning streak is the eight-longest this century, and she is three matches away from tying Naomi Osaka in seventh place.
Swiatek's last loss came to Jelena Ostapenko in the second round of Dubai in February; since then she has won three consecutive WTA 1000 events in Doha, Indian Wells and Miami, followed by spearheading a successful Billie Jean King Cup campaign for Poland against Romania. The 20-year-old last dropped a set in the fourth round of Indian Wells to Angelique Kerber.
Match management: The scoreline underlines Swiatek's dominance both generally and against Lys - but belies the spirit shown by the battling No.342-ranked German, playing her first ever WTA main draw.
Swiatek landed 18 winners to Lys's three, and dropped just nine points behind her first serve. At times, her forehand was unplayable, and her speed and anticipation meant that Lys struggled to find a way to get the ball past her. The home player's initial strategy of attempting pure first-strike tennis also resulted in a slew of unforced errors to start the match.
Lys showed her best tennis when almost down and out. She faced a point to lose each set 6-0, but engaged in her grittiest rallies to escape those games and get herself on the scoreboard. In the second set, this even involved a last-ditch break of the Swiatek serve.
But Swiatek would not be denied, and ultimately sealed the match with a delightfully finessed drop shot to reach the quarterfinals.
Pliskova overcomes Kvitova in battle of former champions
In an all-Czech first round between two former Stuttgart champions, No.6 seed Karolina Pliskova came from 4-1 down in the third set to edge out Petra Kvitova 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5), the was the pair's first meeting since the 2018 WTA Finals. Having lost their first three tilts, Pliskova has now won two in a row.
2018 winner Pliskova is playing her fourth tournament since returning from a fractured wrist sustained in the off-season, and notched just her second win in those events. She played a more conservative game than 2019 winner Kvitova, tallying 28 winners to Kvitova's 46 but also only 21 unforced errors compared to 41.
But Pliskova was also both bold and more accurate in the bigger moments. At 5-5 in the deciding tiebreak, she slammed her 13th ace of the day past Kvitova, and duly wrapped up the win to set up a second-round clash with Liudmila Samsonova.