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Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova cruise through in Birmingham Classic tennis tournament

Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova kicked off their grass court seasons on Tuesday with comfortable victories in the first round of the Birmingham Classic tennis tournament.

tennis Updated: Jun 20, 2018 09:41 IST
Garbine Muguruza,Petra Kvitova,Birmingham Classic
Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning her first round match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Birmingham.(Action Images via Reuters)

Garbine Muguruza enjoyed a comfortable return to a grass court at the Birmingham Classic as she gears up to defend her Wimbledon title.

The Spaniard, who will be looking to defend her most recent grand slam crownin the coming weeks, was at ease in her opener againstAnastasia Pavlyuchenkova, dropping just three games in a 6-1, 6-2 success.

Muguruza may well hope for a tougher test next time out, againstBarbora Strycova, having cruised through this clash inside an hour without facing a break point.

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And she wasnot the only Wimbledon winner to progress, with two-time champion Petra Kvitova also comfortable in a 6-3 6-4 defeat ofBritish favourite Johanna Konta.

Despite the comprehensive triumph, Kvitova felt she was tested by Konta and was pleased for the workout.

“We can expect some tough matches from the first round, which I think isgoodbecause you have to really show a great performance from the beginning,” she said.

Second seedElina Svitolina was worked rather more by Donna Vekic, who battled back from 6-1, 3-1 down to level before falling short in a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 loss.

Svitolinahas not lost a first-round match since Madrid in 2017 andis now on20 wins in a row in tournament openers, havingended the match by clinching five successive games.

Nottingham Open champion Ashleigh Bartyovercame OceaneDodin in straight sets but eighth seed Coco Vandeweghelost to Petra Martic.

Alize Cornet and Julia Goerges are also through to the second round, beatingEkaterina Makarova and Maria Sakkari respectively.

At the Mallorca Open, top seed and 2016 champion Carolina Garcia required three sets to defeat Hsieh Su-Wei, while the same was true of Victoria Azarenkaversus Stefanie Voegele and19-year-old Sofia Kenin againstKateryna Kozlova.

Defending champion Anastasija Sevastovasaw off SvetlanaKuznetsova, but Angelique Kerber’s clash with Alison Riske was halted at 1-1 in the third set due to fading light.

First Published: Jun 20, 2018 07:43 IST