Defending champion Garbine Muguruza and top seed Simona Halep made strong starts at this year’s Wimbledon, while 2004 titlist Maria Sharapova and two-time winner Petra Kvitova bowed out on Day 2.
Third seed Garbine Muguruza had no trouble dispatching British Naomy Broady in the first round. Even though the 6-2 7-5 score suggests the Spaniard didn’t have an easy ride, she actually faced only one break point (an unconverted one). The encounter lasted almost an hour and a half because Muguruza wasn’t so readily using her own chances.
Romanian world number one Simona Halep cruised into the second round with a 6-2 6-4 win over Japan’s Kurumi Nara on Centre Court.
Returning to the tournament after a three-year absence, seed No.24 Maria Sharapova fell to compatriot Vitalia Diatchenko, who lost the first set and trailed 2-5 in the second, twice being two points away from defeat. The world No.132 qualifier rallied to win the second set in a tiebreak and always caught up with her high-profile opponent in the third set to edge a 6-7(3) 7-6(3) 6-4 victory in three hours and eight minutes. Sharapova has played Wimbledon 14 times and this is the first time she’s leaving the tournament in the first round, while Diatchenko is making her debut in the second round of this Grand Slam.
As for Petra Kvitova, the eighth seed not only surprisingly lost in the first round, but her opponent Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, ranked 50th in the world, served her a bagel in the third set, 6-4 4-6 6-0! After the match, the Czech grasscourt expert said that she didn’t feel well and was fighting with herself and with her nerves.
Another big casualty on Day 2 was sixth seed Caroline Garcia of France, who lost to Belinda Bencic 7-6(2) 6-3. The Swiss credited her tactics and smart play, rather than quality of her strokes alone.