Serena Williams got through her first Wimbledon first round beating Italian qualifier Guila Gatto-Monticone 6-2, 7-5.
“I think right now I have to have every match count like 10 matches, because I haven’t had a ton of matches this year,” Serena said.
“I learned a lot from that match, just going to keep the momentum going.”
Serena served for the match in the second but was broken. And then at 5-all the Italian began to make a match of it and nearly forced the tiebreaker.
“I think this is the 13th match for the whole year for me,” Serena said. “I felt really good to get there. It’s also Wimbledon. It’s Centre Court. It’s like such a big moment for me.
“She started playing really well. She started getting a ton of momentum. To try to keep, you know, the edge with myself was really important. She had already broken me when I served for the match so I wanted to make sure I was able to stay in the match.
“I think that was just something that I was really excited about. It’s Serena, I always get excited.”
The 7-time champion has now won 21 of her last 22 matches at Wimbledon. And now faces 18-year-old Slovenian Kaja Juvan.
Ash Barty made a strong debut as a world No. 1 cruising past Saisai Zheng 6-4, 6-2.
Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova played her match after a forearm injury in Paris has kept her off tour for a month and she did well beating Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-2.
Fifteen years ago Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon stunning Serena. Today, now 31, Sharapova retired down 5-0 in the third to Pauline Parmentier due to a left forearm tendon issue. Sharapova led by a set and 5-2 but couldn’t close out the Frenchwoman.
“I’ve had a history of a tendon in my left forearm flaring up,” Sharapova said. “It happened today in the second set. It’s very rare that I withdraw from a match in the middle of the match. That certainly means that it’s painful.
“With the shoulder, I mean, it’s something that I’ve had for a long time. I thought the last five months I handled well because I knew I was doing the right thing. I was struggling in the Australian, St. Petersburg. I was finishing a match, and I was just not looking at my match, feeling happy winning or playing well. I was just thinking what I was going to do later after, in a few weeks, for my shoulder.”
Angelique Kerber opened her title defense edging the awkward Tatjana Maria 6-4, 6-3.
“It’s the first time I’ve come back as the defending champion,” Kerber said. “I’m trying to enjoying it, as well, to enjoy the moments on court but as well even more off-site.
“I was really nervous, to be honest, because of course to going out there as the defending champion, it was really special. Walking on the Centre Court playing there again, I mean, a lot of emotions, a lot of memories.
“But I was enjoying this. I was really enjoying the match. I was enjoying the points and the crowd. It was a really, yeah, nice match, but of course with a lot of nerves at the beginning.”
Former champion Garbine Muguruza continued her struggles falling to Brazilian qualifier Beatrice Hadad-Maia.
British favorite Johanna Konta was a winner and so too were Kiki Bertens, Elise Mertens, 2018 semifinalist Julia Goerges and 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova.
Anisimova, though, is not the youngest start of the tournament. That label goes to 15-year-old Coco Gauff who returns tomorrow to take on former semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova.
Also on Wednesday, Karolina Pliskova looks to continue her streak. Simona Halep will test that injured leg and Caroline Wozniacki is also in action.
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