Tennis fans have been left behind Simona Halep at Wimbledon on Tuesday despite the 2019 champion easily advancing to the second round.
Halep annihilated Czech opponent Karolína Muchová 6-3 6-2 in a stunning statement to her fanciest rivals at the All England Club.
‘SHOULD BE PROHIBITED’: Nick Kyrgios’ ‘disgusting’ act stuns Wimbledon
‘NO WORDS’: Tennis fans upset by Cilic and Berrettini news
But despite the comfortable win, fans remained furious that Halep had not had the honor of the opening game on center court.
Wimbledon tradition dictates that the reigning men’s and women’s champions open play on center court the following year.
However, 2021 champion Ash Barty has since retired, leaving Wimbledon organizers with a dilemma over which player would receive the honor in her place.
They eventually opted for world No. 1 Iga Swiatekdespite popular opinion that he should have gone to Halep.
Barty herself reportedly even suggested to Wimbledon organizers that Halep be given the honour, but they opted for world No. 1 instead.
After winning the Wimbledon title in 2019, Halep was denied the chance to open center court in 2020 when the tournament was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
She would have received the honor in 2021 but missed the grass-court grand slam due to injury, with Barty taking her place.
So with Barty gone, many felt the honor should have gone to Halep and not Swiatek.
Fans took to social media on Tuesday to denounce the fact that Halep was playing on Court 1 rather than the main arena.
Iga Swiatek opens center court in style
Swiatek quickly continued where Barty left off.delivering a clinic on center court at Wimbledon to knock out Croatian Jana Fett 6-0 6-3 in a worrying opener.
Taking the traditional center court opening spot on Tuesday, Swiatek also assumed the honor of replacing the now-retired Barty in superb, record-breaking style.
The world No. 1’s 36th consecutive victory is the most of any player this century after leaving a tie with Venus Williams’ longest streak of 35.
Serena Williams has 23 Grand Slam crowns, but her longest winning streak is just 34 in 2013.
“Always when I see Serena or Venus, they look like…legends,” Swiatek said.
“I don’t consider myself a legend. They seem to be the ones, they are the best of all time in tennis.”
But on the longest women’s streak since Martina Hingis won 37 straight in 1997, even Swiatek calls her consistency on all three surfaces “incredible”.
“It shows how hard we worked for every game,” said the 21-year-old.
“I’m quite happy that I was able to show consistency because that was always my goal.
“I didn’t know it would be possible for me to be so consistent and win tournaments. But I’m really happy and trying to use it in the best way possible.”
The Polish star said it had been a privilege to be given the role of Barty following the Aussie’s retirement in March and she certainly immediately felt at home on the pitch the Aussie had owned for the year last in her last triumph over Karolina Pliskova.
Swiatek took 33 minutes to give the Croatian a 33-minute “bagel” in the opening set of her first match since winning the French Open.
Fett at least briefly threatened a comeback as she led 3-1 before Swiatek escaped the sticky situation and landed five games in a row to continue the streak that dates back to February, even before Barty announced his shock retirement.
with the AAP
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest stories from Australia and around the world.