The first day of Wimbledon waved goodbye to fourth seed Sloane Stephens and fifth seed Elina Svitolina, while other top seeds in action advanced to the second round.
Early in the day on Court 1, the US Open champion and Roland Garros runner-up Stephens was defeated by always-dangerous Donna Vekic, 6-1 6-3 in one hour and 11 minutes. The world No.55 Croat scored her first Top 5 win, having gotten accustomed to grass after playing as many as three tournaments on the surface in the lead-up to Wimbledon.
Closing Monday’s schedule, German world No.57 Tatjana Maria, one of six mothers in the draw, upset Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 7-6(3) 4-6 6-1. Maria is one of only five women who have won a grasscourt title this season, having lifted the Mallorca Open champion’s trophy a week before Wimbledon.
Both the Williams sisters were in action on Day 1 and both advanced — mom Serena, controversially seeded No.25, beat Dutch Arantxa Rus 7-5 6-3 in gusty conditions on Court 1, wearing a white long-sleeved Nike dress, while ninth-seeded Venus rallied to defeat Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-7(3) 6-2 6-1, sporting an arm sleeve and her Core Crescendo Dress that I presented in my unveiling of EleVen’s Wimbledon looks.
Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, seeded second this fortnight, needed less than an hour to move into the second round with a 6-0 6-3 win over American Varvara Lepchenko.
The 2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland saved six match points before advancing past Romania’s Elena-Gabriela Ruse. American seed No.16 Coco Vandeweghe played more than three hours before suffering an upset to Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic, 6-7(3) 6-3 8-6.
Belarusian Victoria Azarenka recorded a straight-set 7-6(4) 6-3 victory over Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova, while her compatriot Aryna Sabalenka, who came to London right after playing the Eastbourne final, lost to Romanian seed No.29 Mihaela Buzarnescu, whose Wimbledon warm-up period was just as impressive with one third round, one quarterfinal and one semifinal finish.