Johanna Konta and Kyle Edmund survived a day of shocks at Wimbledon to make it four British players through to the second round.
Of the 12 home hopes that began the tournament, Konta, Edmund and Katie Boulter triumphed on day two to join Katie Swan, who takes on Mihaela Buzarnescu in the second round on Wednesday.
Konta did not have things all her own way against Natalia Vikhlyantseva, saving two set points in the second set and then seeing five match points slip away before she finally clinched a 7-5 7-6 (8/6) victory.
Seeds scattered.July 3, 2018
But Konta could feel very satisfied when she surveyed the destruction of the women’s draw, with four of the top eight seeds failing to make it through the first round.
The biggest shock came with the exit of eighth seed Petra Kvitova, who went into the tournament as the favourite to win her third Wimbledon title but fell 6-4 4-6 6-0 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Kvitova said: “The nerves were there again. I just tried to kind of fight with myself. Probably I wanted it too much again. I just made a joke that probably I’m going to skip the grand slams for the next years.”
Sloane Stephens and Elina Svitolina lost on Monday, while sixth seed Caroline Garcia was beaten 7-6 (7/2) 6-3 by Belinda Bencic before the day ended with Maria Sharapova’s 6-7 (3/7) 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 loss to Vitalia Diatchenko.
A day of shocks continues...July 3, 2018
It was a mixed day for Britain, the standout win coming from Boulter, who claimed her first victory at the All England Club, beating Veronica Cepede Royg 6-4 5-7 6-4.
The 21-year-old said: “I’m ecstatic, honestly. It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life. I’m so happy that I could finally achieve one of my many goals I’ve been trying to pursue.”
Edmund is seeded for the first time at Wimbledon and showed the confidence he has gained from a brilliant season in a comfortable 6-2 6-3 7-5 victory over Alex Bolt, just the second match he has won here.
Alongside the three victories, there were losses for Heather Watson, whose ranking will drop outside the top 130, Naomi Broady, Katy Dunne, Gabi Taylor, and Jay Clarke.
The latter four all produced creditable performances, with Clarke distraught to lose to Ernests Gulbis in five sets, Taylor going down in three to Eugenie Bouchard, Dunne having set points to take Jelena Ostapenko to a decider and Broady losing 6-2 7-5 to reigning champion Garbine Muguruza.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both eased through their opening matches but the men were not immune to shocks, with seventh seed and French Open finalist Dominic Thiem retiring two sets down to Marcos Baghdatis.
The women take centre stage on Wednesday, with Karolina Pliskova, Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams joining Roger Federer on Centre Court and Venus Williams and Carolin Wozniacki on Court One.
- Press Association