The top women seeds were prepared for opening day on Monday at Wimbledon, where 14 of the 16 seeds in action moved into the second round, with only two lower-seeded upsets.
Fighting off an early exit was No. 2 seed and last year’s runner-up Garbine Muguruza, who overcame a difficult draw to eventually best Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
“I think Wimbledon is a very tricky tournament, because the grass sometimes, it can give you surprise,” said Muguruza, who will next face Jana Cepelova. “I think all the matches are quite more equal. I think I had a very tough match today…I think it’s good to start the tournament, it’s good to get into the grass court. I’m very happy about this match. Sometimes you don’t win every match beautifully, but you just got to be there and fight for the match.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 4 Angelique Kerber easily over Brit Laura Robson 6-2, 6-2, No. 5 Simona Halep rolling over Slovak Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4, 6-1, No. 8 Venus Williams turning back a tough Donna Vekic of Croatia 7-6(3), 6-4, and newly-minted Top 10er and No. 9 seed Madison Keys blowing past German Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-1.
“I was a little bit nervous before the match actually, because I know Laura is a great player,” Kerber told the BBC after the match regarding the Brit wildcard. “I knew I just had to play really good tennis to beat her, and opening round is always tough…I love to play on the grass and here at Wimbledon.”
Up next for Kerber is the American Varvara Lepchenko, who outlasted Teliana Pereira 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-2.
Halep did one better on a first-round loss last year, and says she hopes to keep her Achilles pain at bay.
“I feel the grass. I feel the court. I feel the atmosphere here. So I’m happy that I could win today. I’m looking forward for the next round, and maybe I will play better after two days,” she said. “I moved better. I was everywhere, I can say. She had only four winners, so means that I was pretty good on my legs…This Achilles is very strange. Sometimes it’s hurting me; sometimes not. I hope to be okay.”
Lower-seeded winners into the second round were No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro over China’s Zhang Shuai in three, No. 14 Samantha Stosur, No. 15 Karolina Pliskova in three over Yanina Wickmayer 6-2, 0-6, 8-6, No. 17 Elina Svitolina, No. 20 Sara Errani, No. 22 Jelena Jankovic, No. 26 Kiki Bertens, No. 28 Lucie Safarova fighting off a match point against pal Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-5 in the third, and No. 29 Darya Kasatkina.
The No. 14 Stosur will meet a challenge in the second round when she faces big-serving German Sabine Lisicki, who defeated American Shelby Rogers 6-1, 6-3.
Orchestrating upsets were Russian ginger qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova beating injured former No. 1 and 23 seed Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 7-5, and German Carina Witthoeft ousting No. 25 Irina Begu 6-1, 6-4.
“It was very tough. I mean, since two weeks I struggle with my right wrist,” Ivanovic said. “It was very hard to accelerate on my forehand. I tried to do everything possible to be fit and recover and tape it and so on. It was a little bit sore. I feel like it caused me a lot of miss-hits…I thought she played really well and served very good. Especially in the first set, she was not missing many first serves.”
Highlights of Tuesday play at the All England Club are (1) Serena Williams vs. Swiss Amra Sadikovic, (13) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, (6) Roberta Vinci vs. Alison Riske in an upset alert, and (7) Belinda bencic vs. fast-court upset specialist Tsvetana Pironkova.
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