Defending champion Petra Kvitova reached the second round of Wimbledon yesterday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, but only after surviving an early struggle.
The Czech, who became the first woman born in the 1990s to win a major when she beat Maria Sharapova in last year’s final, fought back from 3-0 and 4-1 down in the first set before seeing off Amanmuradova, who has now lost all her five first round appearances here.
Once Kvitova had reeled off seven successive games to take the first set and lead 2-0 in the second, the 22-year-old was comfortably in control, managing to shrug off a brief rain delay at 40-40 at 5-3 in the second set.
“It’s unbelievable to come back as defending champion,” said Kvitova, who started her 2011 title-winning campaign out on Court 15. “I was nervous at the start. On grass you never know what to expect from me.”
World number four Kvitova will now face either Italy’s Karin Knapp or Elena Baltacha for a place in the last 32.
Schiavone survives scare
Meanwhile, the 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone was given an early scare by Britain’s Laura Robson but overcame her opponent with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win.
The teenager saved four match points before her hopes were ended by the experienced Schiavone, who fought back from a set down, clinging to a break in the second and surviving a late rally in the third to make the second round.
In other matches, Russian 12th-seed Vera Zvonareva overcame Germany’s Mona Barthel 2-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 while Yaroslava Shvedova beat Chanelle Scheepers 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5).
Struggling Tomic crashes out
In the men’s singles, Bernard Tomic was sent packing as the Australian teenager’s slump continued with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 defeat against Belgian wild-card David Goffin.
Tomic, the 20th seed, arrived at the All England Club, where he was a quarter-finalist last year, in the midst of a woeful run which had seen him fail to get past the second round in 11 of his last 12 tournaments. The 19-year-old’s misery showed no signs of relenting on Court Two as Tomic failed to emulate last year’s impressive run.
Also through to round two were Nicolas Almagro who beat Olivier Rochus 6-7 (4/7), 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-4 and American Mardy Fish who ousted Spaniard Rubén Ramírez Hidalgo 7-6 (7/3), 7-5, 7-6 (7/1).
Published In The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2012.
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