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Tennis: Kvitova suffers shock first-round Wimbledon exit

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  • Post category:Sports / Tennis
  • Post last modified:03/07/2018
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LONDON: Petra Kvitova crashed out of Wimbledon in the first round today as the two-time champion was stunned 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 by unheralded Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Kvitova was the bookmakers’ favorite for the women’s title at the All England Club after an impressive return to form this year. The 28-year-old Czech had won five titles in 2018, including the grass-court tournament at Birmingham last weekend, while amassing a WTA Tour-leading 38 match victories. But Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, had insisted before the tournament that she wasn’t the top contender after suffering a hamstring problem that forced her to pull out of Eastbourne last week.

That lack of confidence was reflected in the eighth seed’s disappointing performance on Court One and world number 50 Sasnovich took full advantage. It was another Grand Slam setback for Kvitova, who has gone out before the quarter-finals in five of her six appearances at the majors since returning to action following the horrific stabbing that derailed her career in 2016. The knife attack had Kvitova’s home left severe lacerations to all four fingers on her playing hand. Sasnovich’s reward for the best result of her career is a second-round clash with American Taylor Townsend.

A piece published earlier:  World number one Rafael Nadal breezed into the Wimbledon second round Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win over Israel’s Dudi Sela as the Spaniard returned to action for the first time since claiming his 11th French Open title. Nadal, the Wimbledon champion in 2008 and 2010, also managed to avoid falling victim to a player ranked outside the world top 100 for what would have been the fifth time in his last six visits to the All England Club. “It’s great always to play here in Wimbledon, especially on Centre Court,” said Nadal after seeing off world number 127 Sela. “I’m just happy to be through of course and yes, this match gives me positive feelings. There’s still room to improve but after a while without playing on grass, of course, it’s very important to start with a straight-sets victory.” Nadal, the 17-time major winner, has not got past the fourth round since finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2011. Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro made it nine first-round wins in nine appearances at the tournament, breezing past Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Del Potro, who made the semi-finals in 2013, next faces Feliciano Lopez of Spain who on Tuesday set a record of playing 66 consecutive Grand Slams when he eased past Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Left-handed Lopez made his debut at the majors at the 2001 French Open. (Published on 3rd July 2018) 

Syed Aun

Syed Aun studied Media before starting to contribute to writing mostly on sports and local (Pakistani) politics.