Wimbledon 2019: Comfortable win for Angelique Kerber while Garbine Muguruza crashes out

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Angelique Kerber.

Angelique Kerber started the defence of her Wimbledon title with a comfortable victory over Tatjana Maria.

Kicking off the action on Centre Court on day two, the German eased to a 6-4, 6-3 win over her compatriot in front of the watching Duchess of Cambridge in the Royal Box.

Despite not winning a tournament since beating Serena Williams in the final at SW19 last year, Kerber has shown some good recent form, including reaching the final in Eastbourne last week.

And the 31-year-old, who lost her only previous meeting with Maria, avoided becoming the first ladies’ champion to be defeated in the first round the following year since Steffi Graf in 1994.

Kerber said: “I was really nervous, to be honest, because of course going out there as the defending champion, it was really special.

“Walking on the Centre Court, playing there again, I mean, a lot of emotions, a lot of memories.

“But I was enjoying this. I was really enjoying the match. I was enjoying the points and the crowd. It was a really nice match, but of course with a lot of nerves at the beginning.”

World number one Ashleigh Barty eased into the second round courtesy of a 6-4 6-2 victory over Saisai Zheng.

The Australian, who won this year’s French Open, has fond memories of the All England Club after winning the girls’ singles title in 2011.

She is one of the favourites to make it back-to-back grand slams here and laid down an early marker on Court One.

Barty said: “Yeah, I think a very tricky opponent to start off with. I am very happy with the way we were able to work our way into the match.

“It took some time to adjust to conditions and a different court. It’s a beautiful court to play on.”

British number one Johanna Konta battled into the second round with a 7-5 6-2 victory over Romanian qualifier Ana Bogdan.

Former champion Garbine Muguruza was the victim of a big shock as she was beaten in straight sets by Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

The 2015 winner and former world number one, who has fallen down the rankings in the last two years, was beaten 6-4, 6-4.

Ex-US Open champion Sloane Stephens won her first match at the All England Club since 2016, beating Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 6-4 on Court 2.

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Wimbledon 2019: Teenager Cori Gauff stuns Venus Williams on SW19 debut

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Cori Gauff defeated Venus Williams.

Cori Gauff overcame a 24-year age gap to stun Venus Williams on her Wimbledon debut.

The 15-year-old American is the youngest woman to qualify for the tournament in the Open era but she played like a veteran in a superb 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Gauff served superbly, being broken only once, and showed tremendous composure in her first main draw match at a grand slam, making just eight unforced errors compared to 25 for her 39-year-old opponent.

Williams won two of her five Wimbledon singles titles before Gauff was born and this was only the second time she has been beaten in the first round since her debut in 1997.

While Williams has been setting records at one end of the age scale, Gauff has been breaking them at the other, reaching her first junior slam final at the US Open aged just 13.

She won the French Open title last year and, on this evidence, she is more than ready to make a big impression in the senior game.

Gauff was inspired to pick up a racket by the Williams sisters and for Venus it must have been like facing a teenage version of herself as her opponent fired down serves over 110mph and scampered around the court with her long levers.

Gauff is already a terrific athlete and Williams was simply unable to hit through her. What was most impressive, though, was the way she constructed points, playing close to the lines but rarely too close and using angles to open up the court.

A break for 3-2 set her on the way to the first set without facing a break point and, when Williams double-faulted twice in a row, Gauff, who sat an online science exam at 11pm before her final qualifying match, moved 3-2 ahead in the second.

She seemed to feel the occasion for the first time serving at 4-3, double-faulting to hand back the break, but she forced another break of the Williams serve in the next game to leave herself serving for the match.

A tense game saw Williams save three match points before creating one break point, which Gauff saved with a 108mph second serve. When her fourth opportunity came, the teenager took it, then dropped to the court in disbelief.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Wimbledon 2019: Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas bite the dust on opening day

Andy Sims 1/07/2019
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Alexander Zverev.

Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, the supposed next generation of men’s tennis, were shock casualties in the first round at Wimbledon.

Novak Djokovic’s potential path to the final looks even clearer after the young guns, both in the defending champion’s half of the draw, fired blanks.

Sixth seed Zverev went down in four sets to qualifier Jiri Vesely, the world number 124.

The 22-year-old slipped at a crucial moment to give away two match points, and then netted the first as Czech Vesely celebrated a surprise 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 triumph.

Zverev, who has endured a poor year so far, admitted his confidence has taken a battering and alluded to issues off the court.

“When I get to the important moments – and I had five or six break points in the fourth set alone – I can’t take any of those,” he said.

“I’m down one break point myself and he takes it immediately, where I miss an easy volley. I didn’t lose this match on tennis. It’s just my confidence is below zero right now.

“The last two days, I would say (were) very rough for me personally. I’m not going to get into details, but I’m just saying. I have to fix that to play well on the court.”

Around 20 minutes later Tsitsipas, having saved two match points in the fourth set, succumbed to the third as he was turfed out 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (8), 6-3 by Italian Thomas Fabbiano.

Zverev and Tsitsipas are supposedly at the head of the pack attempting to chase down Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. On this evidence the big three are still a long way in the lead.

Tsitsipas said: “We’ve seen players my age, many years ago – I would like to name Rafa, Roger – seemed very mature and professional what they were doing. They had consistency from a young age. They always did well, tournament by tournament, without major drops or inconsistency.

“Something that we as the Next Gen players lack, including myself, is this consistency week by week. It’s a week-by-week problem basically, that we cannot adjust to that.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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