Kvitova begins Wimbledon tilt with routine victory
Petra Kvitova marked her return to Wimbledon with a routine 6-3 6-4 first-round victory over Johanna Larsson on Centre Court.
The two-time champion has been installed as a surprise favourite for glory at the All England Club, despite this being just her third event since sustaining serious injuries to her left hand when an intruder broke into her apartment and attacked her with a knife last December.
Having made her comeback at the French Open, Kvitova's status as a Wimbledon contender was boosted by her triumph the Aegon Classic last month.
It was not the most dominant performance from the Czech on Monday, but her quality shone through as she advanced to the second round.
The nerves appeared to get the better of Kvitova early on as, after saving two break points, a double-fault gave Larsson an opening break.
Kvitova was unperturbed and a pair of forehand winners gave her three chances to restore parity. She only needed one as Larsson proved just as generous by failing to get a serve in.
The Czech soon began to appear at ease and she moved ahead when a sensational return down line somehow found the corner with Larsson helpless.
After staving off a third break point in game nine with an ace down the middle, Kvitova clinched the first set when Larsson found the net.
A cross-court forehand helped the two-time champion open up a 3-1 lead in the second, but a pair of unforced errors preceded a double-fault as Larsson looked to force her way back in.
The Swede continued to dig in but went long after burying a shot in the net to drop her serve, and Kvitova saw out the win with another ace down the middle.
Kvitova  bt Larsson 6-3 6-4
Kvitova - 31/22
Larsson - 8/10
Kvitova - 7/5
Larsson - 1/4
BREAK POINTS WON
Kvitova - 4/6
Larsson - 2/7
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Kvitova - 56
Larsson - 42
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Kvitova - 76/50
Larsson - 50/54
Kvitova - 70
Larsson - 56