Muguruza, Sabalenka advance at Wimbledon; Stephens upsets Kvitova

London, Jun 28 (EFE).- Spanish No. 11 seed Garbiñe Muguruza and second-seeded Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka advanced to the second round of Wimbledon with straight-set wins on Monday.

But Czech two-time champion Petra Kvitova was bounced out of the tournament by American Sloane Stephens.

Muguruza, winner of the 2017 event, was among the first players to take the court at the start of the latest edition of tennis’ grass-court major and wasted little time asserting her superiority over France’s Fiona Ferro in a 6-0, 6-1 victory.

Ferro had a nightmarish day on serve, not holding her service a single time over the course of the 50-minute match and winning just one of her 24 second-serve points.

The big-hitting Sabalenka also dominated play against Romania’s Monica Niculescu, striking 48 winners to her opponent’s eight en route to a 6-1, 6-4 victory.

The Romanian put a high 86 percent of her first serves in play but was only able to win 39 percent of those points against the Belarusian, who dominated the contest with her power off both forehand and backhand.

The 10th-seeded Kvitova, for her part, stumbled to another disappointing result at the All England Club, the scene of the greatest triumphs of her tennis career.

After reaching at least the Wimbledon quarterfinals five times in a row and winning the event in 2011 and 2014, the 31-year-old Czech player has only advanced to the fourth round once in her last six appearances.

On Monday, she was matched up against one of the tournament’s most talented unseeded players and lost the first set due mainly to a low 41 percent first-serve percentage.

Her first serve improved in the second set, but her failure to convert any of her four break points in that set proved to be her downfall in a 6-3, 6-4 loss to the 73rd-ranked Stephens, who is trying to rediscover the level that took her to the 2017 US Open title and a career-high ranking of No. 3 the following year.

Most of the matches on the roof-less outer courts were postponed until Tuesday due to rain, although American No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin defeated China’s Xinyu Wang 6-4, 6-2 and Polish No. 7 seed Iga Swiatek topped Chinese Taipei’s Su-Wei Hsieh 6-4, 6-4. EFE


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