Muguruza battles through, Venus cruises and injured Ivanovic exits


Garbine Muguruza had far from the easy start many expected as she was forced to dig deep to cast aside Camila Giorgi in the opening round at Wimbledon.

Twenty three days since winning her maiden grand slam at the French Open, Muguruza started well against her Italian opponent but was pegged back and needed a decider to secure her progression 6-2 5-7 6-4.

Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber enjoyed a quicker route into round two as she cruised past Laura Robson 6-2 6-2, the German registering her first grand-slam win since her triumph in Melbourne after losing to Kiki Bertens in the first round at Roland Garros.

Like Muguruza, five-time Wimbledon winner Venus Williams was also made to battle against Donna Vekic before completing a straight-sets win, while Simona Halep racked up win number 20 of 2016 against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Things were not so rosy for Ana Ivanovic and Irina-Camelia Begu, though, as they became the first seeds eliminated from the women's draw at this year's tournament.



Second seed Muguruza was far from the fluent best that saw her reach the final against Serena Williams 12 months ago, but the Spaniard slowly grew into her clash with Giorgi.

Her serve worked well throughout but it was not until the deciding set that her powerful groundstrokes began to make an impact.

Muguruza was erratic at times as shown by her 30 winners and as many unforced errors, but she withstood the challenge of her Italian opponent to reach round two.

However, the Spaniard's good mood will have dipped somewhat after her football compatriots were eliminated at Euro 2016 by Italy soon after.



It has been an inconsistent year for Ivanovic and her troubles continued as she was dumped out by debutant Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 7-5.

Ivanovic has only won 15 of her 28 matches in 2016, the latest of her 13 losses coming against the world number 223, who tasted success on her first grand slam main draw appearance.

A wrist injury hampered Ivanovic throughout the match, though, something she felt caused her problems on Court 12.

"For two weeks I have struggled with my right wrist," she said. "It was very hard to accelerate on my forehand. I tried to do everything possible to be fit and recover and tape it and so on. 

 "It was a little bit sore.  I feel like it caused me a lot of miss hits.  My forehand was hard to control her fast shots."



While most of the attention may be on Serena Williams in the women's draw, it was her older sister Venus who was first in action and she showed why she is a five-time champion against Donna Vekic.

Twice Vekic broke the eighth seed in the opening set, but back came Venus and with a 1-0 lead she never looked back.

The second was much more straightforward for Williams, staving off a break point in the eighth game before converting her second chance immediately afterwards.

Williams, who tied Amy Frazier for the most Open-Era slam main-draw appearances on 71, then served out for the match, her progress sealed at the second attempt for a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.



Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands have had great success together in the doubles game, the pair lifting the Australian and French Open titles in 2015.

They will partner again at Wimbledon this year as the seventh seeds, but they first had the little matter of a match against each other in the singles' draw.

Unsurprisingly it was a close contest with two tie-breaks leading to a decider. Ultimately it was Safarova celebrating a place in round two, though, as she completed a 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 win.