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Tsitsipas and Kvitova fall as Wimbledon returns after fallow year

After having to wait an extra-year between Wimbledon championships, rain kept the lucky ticket-holde...


Tsitsipas and Kvitova fall as...

Sport

Tsitsipas and Kvitova fall as Wimbledon returns after fallow year


After having to wait an extra-year between Wimbledon championships, rain kept the lucky ticket-holders waiting a little longer on the first Monday.

Stefanos Tsitsipas would have been left hoping for an even longer lead-in time, as he became the biggest casualty on the opening day.

The French Open finalist - seeded 3rd - blamed a lack of preparation on grass as he lost in straight sets to the world no.57 Frances Tiafoe.

"The transition from clay to grass, in my opinion, is probably the most difficult one, if not the biggest challenge in our sport," Tsitsipas said, "I just wasn't able to adapt.

"I obviously didn't want it to be like this, to get to the point where I'm completely out of control."

The Greek hadn't played since losing to Novak Djokovic in the final at Roland-Garros earlier this month.

"There wasn't that same fighting spirit that I usually put out on the court. I would like to see a different me next time," he added.

"There have been times that I was much more motivated than this. But that's no reason for me not to play well.”

Djokovic was given a scare before booking a place in round 2.

The top seed and defending champion lost the first set of his first round match to the wild card Jack Draper, ranked 253 in the world.

Djokovic rattled off the next three sets for the loss of just five games, and next he'll play the man he beat in the 2018 Wimbledon final, Kevin Anderson.

Eighth seed Roberto Bautista-Agut needed four sets before prevailing against the Aussie, John Millman. Bautista-Agut is a potential fourth round opponent for Andy Murray.

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova was the biggest casualty on the opening day of the women's singles.

The Czech was beaten 3-6, 4-6 by Sloane Stephens.

"It was tough first round, for sure. I felt that I do have a kind of ability to win the match," Kvitova said, "I just didn't find the best for me today.

"It was really tough. I just didn't play the best. I think that she played really solid. She was just better today.

"I have to say that she served very well. I didn't really know that she's playing that well on the grass, to be honest... She really surprised me kind of. She didn't miss at all, I would say. She was moving very well.

"It was tough for me to get to the final shots as well. My game, which I love to open the court a little bit more.

"But I just couldn't make it. I just felt like little bit under pressure as well. She played pretty long balls as well, very deep. It was a bit difficult for me to find something.

"With the nerves, and not really great movement from my side, it was just a bit difficult."

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka had the honour of becoming the first person in either draw to reach the second round.

The Belarussian beat Romania's Monica Niculescu 6-1, 6-4 and Sabalenka will play Katie Boulter next.

Fourth seed Sofia Kenin required just north of an hour to see off the challenge of Xin Wang.

While 2020 French Open champion - Iga Swiatek - overcame the tricky prospect that is Hsieh Su-Wei in straight sets.

But perhaps the most impressive winner of the day was the 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza. The Spaniard accounted for Fiona Ferro inside of 50-minutes, and she'll play the Dutch qualifier Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove next.

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Read more about

Andy Murray Aryna Sabalenka Iga Swiatek Novak Djokovic Petra Kvitova Roberto Bautista Agut Sofia Kenin Stefanos Tsitsipas Tennis Wimbledon

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