World No. 1 Angie Kerber and No. 3 Karolina Pliskova held up their end in the race for No. 1 during this Wimbledon, moving into the second round with wins on Tuesday.
Kerber defeated American qualifier Irina Falconi 6-4, 6-4, and Pliskova out-hit Russian Evgeniya Rodina 6-1, 6-4.
“Playing first rounds in grand slams are always tough, especially with my first-round match that I lost in Paris,” said Kerber, who had more unforced errors than winners. “I was actually just thinking about point-by-point, trying to finding my rhythm during the whole match.”
Also among Top 10-seeded winners were No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki outlasting Hungary’s Timea Babos 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova beating Tunisian qualifier Ons Jabeur 6-3, 6-2, and No. 9 Aggie Radwanska breaking the will of former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic 7-6(3), 6-0.
Lower-seeded winners were No. 12 Kristina Mladenovic, No. 14 Garbine Muguruza, No. 19 Timea Bacsinszky who topped Monica Puig 6-0 in the third, No. 24 CoCo Vandeweghe, No. 29 Daria Kasatkina, and No. 32 Lucie Safarova.
“I had to make sure I had an American flag t-shirt, the only one that I brought,” Vandeweghe said of marking the July 4 holiday for Americans. “I was talking about, ‘What’s the most American thing we can do today to celebrate the fourth?’ Unfortunately, couldn’t find any fireworks online or sparklers or anything like that. I think it’s for the patriotic bunch that are here, it’s special for us.”
The former finalist Muguruza said her opener was anything but easy-going.
“Well, it didn’t look that easy from inside, honestly,” Muguruza said. “But I’m happy. I was just nervous to play first round. You never know how it’s going to go. Pretty happy with my performance. Didn’t play my best tennis. But I wasn’t thinking that today I was going to play either. But happy these tough matches — I’m handling well.”
There were five upsets among the lower seeds as Aussie Arina Rodionova outlasted No. 16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6, 7-6(6), 9-7, Croat Petra Martic upended No. 20 Daria Gavrilova 6-4, 2-6, 10-8, Romanian Sorana Cirstea toppled No. 23 Kiki Bertens 7-6(4), 7-5, Varvara Lepchenko beat No. 28 seed and fellow American Lauren Davis 6-4, 7-5, and Swiss Viktorija Golubic defeated No. 30 Zhang Shuai 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-1.
Matches to look for Wednesday are (6) Johanna Konta vs. Donna Vekic, (15) Elena Vesnina vs. former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, (17) Madison Keys vs. Camila Giorgi, (25) Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Shuai Peng, and (11) Petra Kvitova vs. Madison Brengle.
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