WIMBLEDON – Defending Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, second seed Victoria Azarenka and four-time former champion Serena Williams all moved into the second round at the All England Club with straight set victories on Tuesday.
The Czech Kvitova started out slowly, coming back from a 1-4 first set deficit to defeat Uzbek Akgul Amanmuradova 6-4, 6-4 in a rain-interrupted match.
“I was nervous,” said Kvitova about the start of the match. “It was first time for me to be as the defending champion of the Grand Slam. You know, it was huge honor to come to the Centre Court.
“Of course I would like to make everyone happy, but it’s not that easy. Yeah, it was lot of firsts for me today, but I’m happy that I stayed calm inside and not to be panic in the important points.”
Kvitova hit 24 winners and six aces in match.
Serena Williams playing on the same court, Court 2, which saw her sister Venus lose on Monday, stopped Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 6-4.
Williams broke the 62nd ranked Czech three times to dominate the first set and then traded breaks in the second set.
Williams let out a cry of relief at the end of the match.
“Definitely a little relief, said Williams, “and, you know, I think I was letting out a lot of cries. I was happy to get through that.
Williams spoke about her sister Venus who is suffering from an auto-immune disorder: “I don’t think I could have what she has and continue to be the way she is and to be so tough and continue everything she’s been doing.”
Williams was asked about how she has transcended the sport into celebrity-dom with 2.7 million twitter followers. “I think just being involved in a sport that’s traditionally white and being a black girl and coming out and doing so awesome in general is gonna open eyes of watchers that don’t normally watch tennis or has never even thought to watch tennis. So I think that has a lot to do with it” Williams said.
“I also think that ‑‑ I mean, I think I have a pretty outgoing personality. Maybe not today, but normally I’m pretty upbeat and funny. I don’t know. I think I’m really an outgoing individual, and I’m not afraid to wear my emotions on my sleeve or speak my mind on a lot of different things or just be myself.”
No. 2 Azarenka had to deal with some serving woes to get past American Irina Falconi 6-1, 6-4. The Belarusian double faulted nine times during the match.
Azarenka ran off a 6-1, 4-1 lead and the American made her way back to 4-4, but Azarenka held on to win.