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Former champ Kvitova makes early exit; Nadal in 2nd round of Wimbledon

AFP/London
Filed on July 3, 2018
Former champ Kvitova makes early exit; Nadal in 2nd round of Wimbledon
Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova reacts during the match against Belarus' Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

(AFP)

Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro made it nine first round wins in nine appearances at the tournament, breezing past Germany's Peter Gojowczyk 6-3, 6-4, 6-3


Twice former champion Petra Kvitova slumped out of Wimbledon in the first round on Tuesday, beaten by inspired world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4 4-6 6-0.

Eighth seed Kvitova, who withdrew from the Eastbourne tournament last week with a hamstring injury, appeared to be moving well but looked pale and drawn particularly in the first set.

Kvitova, 28, has worked hard this year, winning five titles. The Czech, Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, won back to back tournaments in Prague and Madrid, and successfully defended her title on grass in Birmingham last month.

Sasnovich, 24, kept her cool throughout the two hour 14 minute match. She went for her shots, served with pace and variety and played big points apparently without nerves.

That was until the 10th game of the second set, when, serving to stay in the set, she started to feel the pressure.

World number one Rafael Nadal breezed into the second round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win over Israel's Dudi Sela as the Spaniard returned to action for the first time since claiming his 11th French Open title.

Nadal, the Wimbledon champion in 2008 and 2010, also managed to avoid falling victim to a player ranked outside the world top 100 for what would have been the fifth time in his last six visits to the All England Club.

"It's great always to play here in Wimbledon, especially on Centre Court," said Nadal after seeing off world number 127 Sela.

"I'm just happy to be through of course and yes, this match gives me positive feelings. There's still room to improve but after a while without playing on grass, of course it's very important to start with a straight sets victory."

Nadal, the 17-time major winner, has not got past the fourth round since finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2011.

Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro made it nine first round wins in nine appearances at the tournament, breezing past Germany's Peter Gojowczyk 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

Del Potro, who made the semi-finals in 2013, next faces Feliciano Lopez of Spain who on Tuesday set a record of playing 66 consecutive Grand Slams when he eased past Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Left-handed Lopez made his debut at the majors at the 2001 French Open.

On Tuesday, the 36-year-old broke the record for straight Slams which was previously held by Roger Federer. "When I was about to break the record, I thought, wow, I'm going to beat Federer at something!" joked the 70th-ranked Lopez who has lost all 13 matches he has played against Federer in his career.

German fourth seed Alexander Zverev eased past world number 748 James Duckworth of Australia 7-5, 6-2, 6-0.

Zverev, who made the last 16 in 2017, goes on to face Taylor Fritz of the United States.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza opened her title defence with a 6-2, 7-5 win over British wild card Naomi Broady.

Muguruza is bidding to reach her third Wimbledon final after winning last year's title match against Venus Williams and losing the 2015 showpiece against Serena Williams.

The two-time Grand Slam champion needed 88 minutes to see off world number 138 Broady on Centre Court. "I'm back, it's always good, I'm thinking to win and actually enjoy this time more," Muguruza said. Third seed Muguruza, 24, next faces Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck.

Australia's Nick Kyrgios, who famously stunned Nadal at the tournament in 2014, marked his 50th match at the majors with a 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

Kyrgios, seeded 15, hammered down 42 aces and unleashed 78 winners.

Eugenie Bouchard, the runner-up in 2014 before her career went into a tailspin, reached the second round with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 victory over British wild card Gabriella Taylor. Bouchard, now ranked 188 in the world, will face fellow former Wimbledon junior champion Ashleigh Barty for a spot in the last 32.

Belgium's David Goffin, the 10th seed, slumped to a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 loss to Australia's Matthew Ebden, playing the tournament for the first time in three years.

Elsewhere, Angelique Kerber, a former US Open and Australian Open champion, saw off fellow former Wimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 6-3

Ex-world number two Zvonareva, one of a number of tennis mums at the tournament and now ranked 142, came through qualifying to make the main draw for the first time since 2014. 

RESULTS

(x denotes seeded player):

Men (1st round)

Radu Albot (MDA) bt Pablo Carreno-Busta (ESP x20) 3-6, 6-0, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-1; Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x7) 6-4, 7-5, 2-0 - retired; Frances Tiafoe (USA) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP x30) 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-3; Kyle Edmund (GBR x21) bt Alex Bolt (AUS) 6-2, 6-3, 7-5; Bradley Klahn (USA) bt Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 2-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2, 6-2; Nick Kyrgios (AUS x15) bt Denis Istomin (UZB) 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (5/7), 6-3; Robin Haase (NED) bt Marius Copil (ROU) 7-6 (7/0), 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4); Bernard Tomic (AUS) bt Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7/2); Kei Nishikori (JPN x24) bt Christian Harrison (USA) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2; Damir Dzumhur (BIH x27) bt Maximilian Marterer (GER) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4; Ernests Gulbis (LAT) bt Jay Clarke (GBR) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-4;Taylor Fritz (USA) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2; Alexander Zverev (GER x4) bt James Duckworth (AUS) 7-5, 6-2, 6-0; Juan Marti­n Del Potro (ARG x5) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3; Feliciano Lopez (ESP) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2; Stephane Robert (FRA) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 6-1; Matthew Ebden (AUS) bt David Goffin (BEL x10) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4; Diego Schwartzman (ARG x14) bt Mirza Basic (BIH) 6-3, 6-2, 6-1; Jir­ Vesela (CZE) bt Florian Mayer (GER) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-1; Simone Bolelli (ITA) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (8/6), 6-1; Fabio Fognini (ITA x19) bt Taro Daniel (JPN) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3; Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Dudi Sela (ISR) 6-3, 6-3, 6-2

Women (1st round)

Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) bt Ana Bogdan (ROM) 6-1, 3-6, 8-6; Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x30) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; Johanna Konta (GBR x22) bt Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 7-5, 7-6 (9/7); Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) bt Alize Cornet (FRA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-1; Daria Gavrilova (AUS x26) bt Caroline Dolehide (USA) 6-2, 6-3; Samantha Stosur (AUS) bt Peng Shuai (CHN) 6-4, 7-5; Taylor Townsend (USA) bt Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6-2, 6-4; Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x8) 6-4, 4-6, 6-0; Garbine Muguruza (ESP x3) bt Naomi Broady (GBR) 6-2, 7-5; Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-2, 6-2; Jennifer Brady (USA) bt Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 6-2, 6-7 (4/7), 6-2; Anett Kontaveit (EST x28) bt Denisa Allertova (CZE) 6-2, 6-2; Ashleigh Barty (AUS x17) bt Stefanie Vogele (SUI) 7-5, 6-3; Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) bt Gabriella Taylor (GBR) 6-0, 4-6, 6-3; Angelique Kerber (GER x11) bt Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 7-5, 6-3; Claire Liu (USA) bt Ana Konjuh (CRO) 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3; Vera Lapko (BLR) bt Christina McHale (USA) 5-7, 7-5, 7-5





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