She shot to fame when she became the first player in tennis history to take the men’s and women’s singles titles at Wimbledon, and Diede de Groot could become the first woman to win the same event twice in a row after powering to a 6-1, 6-2 win over Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in the third round of the U.S. Open on Sunday.
De Groot, who also won the singles title at the All England Club in 2016, was unaware of Flipkens’ earlier win over Abigail Spears of the United States. When informed, she joked to reporters that she might hang it up for a couple of months and focus on a new achievement.
The 29-year-old is yet to lose a match in 2017, even taking a rest day earlier this month. She is the top seed in the doubles tournament, too, having earned the No. 1 seed in the singles on Friday after Agnieszka Radwanska withdrew on Thursday.
De Groot has played in the previous three U.S. Opens.
Flipkens, who is bidding to become the first Belgian since Kim Clijsters to win the U.S. Open in both singles and doubles, has never defeated de Groot, but the Belgian did force de Groot to save a match point during the 2015 Wimbledon semi-finals. De Groot came back to win that match 6-4, 6-3.
Two of Wimbledon’s greatest rivals progress in the French Open