Petra Kvitova, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal advance at Wimbledon
It looked all too easy for the champions at the All England Club. It was another story, though, for one of last year’s finalists and for one of the highest seeded women in the draw.
Defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova and former men’s winners Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray all won their first-round matches at Wimbledon on Tuesday in straight sets.
The big names imposed themselves on Day 2 of the grass-court Grand Slam as London basked in warm, sunny conditions.
But, late in the day, there were two major casualties in the women’s field.
First, Eugenie Bouchard, who was runner-up at Wimbledon last year, fell in the opening round, losing 7-6 (3), 6-4 to Duan Ying-Ying — a 117th-ranked Chinese qualifier who was playing at Wimbledon for the first time and had never before won a Grand Slam match.
Bouchard seemed to be the new star of women’s tennis last year when she reached at least the semifinals at the first three Grand Slam tournaments. She made a stirring run to the Wimbledon final, where she lost to Kvitova.
This year, the 21-year-old Canadian lost 10 of 11 matches in one stretch and also went out in the first round at the French Open.
Bouchard, who served 10 double-faults on Tuesday, said she was still hampered by the abdominal injury that forced her to retire from last week’s grass-court tournament in Eastbourne. She said she had been advised not to play at Wimbledon, but decided she couldn’t pass up the chance.
“I felt very unprepared for this match,” Bouchard said. “I hadn’t practiced that much. My timing was off. … It’s not an excuse because I chose to play.”
A few minutes after Bouchard’s defeat, the player she beat in last year’s semifinals also was eliminated.
No. 3 Simona Halep became the highest seeded player eliminated so far, tumbling 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to 106th-ranked Jana Cepelova of Slovakia. The Romanian, who also reached the French Open final last year, was treated for blisters on her left foot at the end of the first set. Halep, who is not considered a grass-court specialist, hurt her chances with seven double-faults and 34 unforced errors.
In keeping with Wimbledon tradition, Kvitova had the honor of playing the first match on Centre Court on the second day as the reigning women’s champion.
The second-seeded Czech wasted no time in reasserting her dominance on her favorite court, overpowering Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-0 in just 35 minutes.
Kvitova won 28 of 29 points on serve, with the only blemish coming when she double-faulted on the first point of the final game, hitting a 93 mph (150 kph) second serve just wide.
Federer, the seven-time men’s champion, followed Kvitova on Centre Court and needed just 68 minutes to dispatch 88th-ranked Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.
The second-seeded Federer, bidding to become the first man to win eight Wimbledon titles, broke five times and never faced a break point.
“I must say I’m very happy, always, to win like that,” he said.
Nadal, a two-time champion, coasted to a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil on Court 1. He hopped in the air and pumped his fist after completing the victory.
“Here the feeling in Wimbledon is so special, and playing on grass, too,” Nadal said. “So always is very emotional when you hit some good shots in this beautiful club.”
Murray, the 2013 winner, faced a stiffer test against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. But the third-seeded Briton rewarded his adoring home fans on Centre Court with a 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-4 win in a little over two hours.
Kukushkin was two points from evening the match, serving for the second set at 6-5, 30-love. But Murray won seven straight points to break serve and go up 3-0 in the tiebreaker. He finished with 14 aces and half as many errors (17) as his opponent.
Other men’s winners Tuesday included No. 12 Gilles Simon, No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 15 Feliciano Lopez, No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 22 Viktor Troicki, No. 23 Ivo Karlovic, No. 25 Andreas Seppi and No. 30 Fabio Fognini.
Jack Sock, the 13th-seeded American, was knocked out by Sam Groth of Australia, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Among the women, No. 13 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 17 Elina Svitolina, No. 20 Garbine Muguruza, No. 26 Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 28 Jelena Jankovic advanced to the second round.
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