According to tournament organizers and the ITF, Shvedova is just the second known player in the Open Era to achieve a so-called "golden set" by winning 24 straight points. The 10th-seeded Errani then won the first point of the second set to halt the streak, breaking Shvedova in that game before taking a 2-0 lead.
While Shvedova's win was surprising in itself, her dominating start made it even more remarkable. Shvedova, a wild-card entry, hit four aces and 14 winners overall in winning 24 straight points to wrap up the first set in just 15 minutes Saturday, despite Errani making just one unforced error in those six games.
"She was impossible to play against," Errani said. "I don't even feel like I played a disastrous match. She was hitting winners from every part of the court."
No woman had ever won a set without dropping a point on the professional circuit before, although Shvedova was ironically the one who had come closest. She held the previous WTA record by winning the first 23 points in the first set against Amy Frazier in 2006, before losing that match 1-6, 6-0, 6-0 in the second round in Memphis.
The only previously known player to record a "golden set" was Bill Scanlon against Brazilian player Marcos Hocevar in the first round of the Gold Coast Classic in Delray Beach in 1985. Scanlon won that match 6-2, 6-0.
Shvedova will next come up against Serena Williams, who won a tough three-setter against Zheng Jie.
"'Hopefully I'll be able to win a point in the set," Williams said. "That will be my first goal, and then I'll go from there."