Petra Kvitova Begins Wimbledon Tilt with Commanding Win

"I will still be happy to play".

"Players like Petra (Kvitova), Karolina Pliskova and a few others have an advantage over the others due to their game styles matching so well with grass".

Kvitova, a two time victor at Wimbledon, is coming into SW19 for her third tournament since being stabbed in December during an attempted burglary in her home in Czech Republic.

First she defeated French champion Jelena Ostapenko, then accounted for world No.1 Angelique Kerber. Elina Svitolina - who arrives under an injury cloud and with an agonising French Open defeat still in the mind - and the out-of-sorts Dominika Cibulkova are the higher seeds in her quarter.

While Ostapenko, who faces Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round, arrived in London on a wave of post-Paris euphoria, second seed Halep is still struggling to come to terms with her failure to win her first Grand Slam. She has reached finals in Doha, Dubai and Miami this year, but has not progressed to the showpiece of a grass-court event since winning Eastbourne in 2009. But, come Wimbledon, it could be 18-year-old Cici Bellis' turn to keep the world attuned to her performances.

What certainly hasn't been ideal though is the fact she's been making front-page headlines over her involvement in a collision with another vehicle while driving in Florida.

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Having stepped away from the court as she waits to become a mother in September, Williams, who won Wimbledon in 2015 and 2016, has created a power vacuum at the top that Sharapova was expected to fill when the Russian returned from her doping suspension. She defeated Daria Gavrilova, Lucie Safarova and Kristina Mladenovic on her way to winning Birmingham.

Vinci seemed to lack confidence and surrendered at the second match point when her last forehand flew wide. That's certainly a concern and I'd normally but put off by that. "I will focus day by day and not complicate things".

Mouratoglou reckons Johanna Konta can do well if she channels the support from the home crowd at Wimbledon.

Britain's two leading hopes found themselves the subject of injury scares in the build-up to the Championships.

"It was very special to feel their energy". She won in St Petersburg, finished runner-up in Acapulco and made the semis in Indian Wells on the hardcourts.

"But there are a lot of players who are taking that spot and it is going to be just another tough tournament, even though maybe the major names are not here this year".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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