Wimbledon Day 2: Top seed Kerber scrapes past Falconi, Federer and Djokovic safely through

World number one Angelique Kerber stuttered into the second round on day two at Wimbledon, as the German overcame a tough battle against American qualifier Irina Falconi.

The German suffered a shock first round exit at last month’s French Open and she just about avoided another early exit at SW19, after having to dig deep to secure a 6-4 6-4 win against the world number 104.

Angelique Kerber is chasing a third grand slam title at Wimbledon
image: hindustantimes.com

Second seed Karolina Pliskova followed up on her Aegon International win at Eastbourne last week, as she breezed past Evgeniya Rodina in her Wimbledon opener.

It was a dominant performance from the Czech as he hit down nine aces in a comfortable 6-1 6-4 victory over her Russian opponent to keep hopes of a first grand slam title on track.

2015 Wimbledon finalist Garbine Murguruza also comfortably sealed her spot in the second round, as the Spaniard wasted little time in brushing aside Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 6-4 in just over an hour.

However, Anatasia Pavlyuchenkova‘s tournament is over after Australian Arina Rodionova came from behind to shock the 16th seed for her first victory at a grand slam tournament.

Pavlyuchenkova is the highest-ranked woman to be dumped out of the tournament so far, as qualifier Rodionova came from behind in a three-set thriller to record a shock 3-6 7-6 (8/6) 9-7 win against the Russian.

However there was better news for Pavlyuchenkova’s compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova, as the seventh seed cruised to a 6-3 6-2 victory over Ons Jabeur of Tunisia to reach the second round.

There was no upset for Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, as the ninth seed overcame a first set tie-break, before winning six games in a row in the second set to dump out Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 7-6 (7/3) 6-0.

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki also avoided an early exit at Wimbledon, as the fifth seed held off the challenge of Hungary’s Timea Babos 4-6 6-4 6-1 to keep hopes of a first major title alive.

It was a “Happy 4th of July” for American big hitter Coco Vandeweghe, as she overcame the tough test of German Mona Barthel 7-5 6-2 to book her place in the second round.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands joins her compatriot Vandeweghe in the next round, as the 32-year-old overcame a slow start to snatch a 1-6 6-2 6-3 win against Poland’s Magda Linette.

Christine McHale also celebrated America’s Independence Day with a hard-fought win over tournament debutant Katie Boutlter, as the 25-year-old came from a set down to bag a 3-6 7-5 6-3 win against the Briton.

France’s Kristina Mladenovic eased into the second round as the 12th seed defeated compatriot Pauline Parmentier 6-1 6-3, while French Open semi-finalist Timea Bacsinszky is also through after edging out Moncia Puig 6-1 3-6 6-0.

In men’s action, Australian Open champion Roger Federer barely broke sweat in his first outing on Centre Court to reach the second round, after Alexandr Dolgopolov retired with an ankle injury.

The Swiss man is chasing a record eighth title at Wimbledon and he looked good in his short time on court on Tuesday, as he led 6-3 3-0 when his Ukrainian opponent quit due to an ankle injury after 43 minutes.

Three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic was also handed an easy start to his Wimbledon tournament, as he kept hopes of a 13th grand slam title alive after Slovak opponent Martin Klizan retired through injury.

Klizan had been struggling with a left calf injury over the past couple of months and it was clear the 27-year-old could not continue early in the second set to hand Djokovic a 6-3 3-0 win and a place in the next round.

There was a much tougher test for last year’s runner-up Milos Raonic, as the Canadian saw off the threat of spirited German Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 7-5 (7-5) 6-2 7-6 (7-4)  in his opening match.

There were no problems for Austria’s Dominic Thiem, as he began his quest for a first grand slam title with a convincing 6-4 6-4 6-3 straight sets win against Vasek Pospisil of Canada.

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro held off a fight back from Australian opponent Thanasi Kokkinakis, as the Argentine overcame an ankle injury to secure a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 win against the 21-year-old.

Former Wimbledon finalist Thomas Berdych also needed four sets to overcome the test of Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, as the 11th seed emerged a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 winner to advance.

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov overcame a first set tie-break to get his tournament off to a winning start, as the 13th seed eventually proved too strong for Diego Schwartzman with a 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 6-2 win against the Argentine.

Two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Richard Gasquet crashed out of Wimbledon at the first hurdle, as Spain’s David Ferrer got the better of the 31-year-old in four sets securing a 6-3 6-4 5-7 6-2 win to advance.

Fellow Frenchman Nicholas Mahut is also out after Mikhail Youzhny bagged a comfortable 6-2 7-5 6-4 straight sets win, but there was better news for 15th seed Gaels Monfils, who brushed aside German Daniel Brands 6-3 7-5 6-4 to book his spot int he second round.

Tenth seed Alexander Zverev got over his first hurdle with relative in ease in a 6-4 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 straight sets win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy, while older brother Mischa Zverev also enjoyed an easy 6-4 6-3 6-4 win against Bernard Tomic.

Jordan Thompson – who stunned Andy Murray at Queens a few weeks ago – proved no match for Albert Ramos-Vinolas, as the Spaniard held off a late comeback by the Aussie to seal a 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7/4) win to advance.

However, fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez is out after retiring due to injury against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who came from behind to beat the Queens champion 5-7 6-1 6-1 4-3.

Novak Djokovic has not won a grand slam since the 2016 French Open
image: indianexpress.com

American John Isner overcame the test of compatriot Taylor Fritz 6-4 7-6 (7/3) 6-3, while another American Jack Sock is also into the second round after a hard-fought 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 victory against Chile’s Christian Garin.

Kyle Edmund emerged victorious in an all-British battle against Alex Ward, as the 22-year-old had to come from behind to clinch a 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-1 win for his first Wimbledon victory.

However, James Ward could not join Edmund in the second round as the 30-year-old proved no match for Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis,  who clinched a 6-4 6-3 6-3 straight sets win against the Londoner.

You can check out more results from day two of the action at Wimbledon at this link.

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