Petra Kvitova, two-time past champion at the All-England Club made her way into the second round of 2023 Wimbledon on Wednesday. The ninth seed took two hours and seven minutes to get past Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1. The clash between Paolini and Kvitova was the second straight year that the two were facing off in the first round of the Championships.
Unlike last year, however, Kvitova did well despite initial rustiness to clinch the opening set. In the second set, Kvitova saved a set point on her serve in the 10th game but in the tie-break, it was Paolini who carried the momentum through.
The deciding set was, however, one-sided as Kvitova looked to have finally regrouped after conceding the second set. Paolini won just her opening service game of the set before Kvitova won the next five games to pocket the match.
Wimbledon: Petra Kvitova's on the look-out for her third crown at AEC
Kvitova won 76% of her first-serve points to Paolini’s 67%. The left-hander also did well to win 61% of her second-serve points to her opponent’s 56%.
Kvitova outnumbered Paolini’s winners by more than three times – 37 to the latter’s 11. She also had 38 unforced errors to her opponent’s 21. This was the 33-year-old’s sixth consecutive victory on grass this year, going back to her win at the Bett1 Open in Berlin.
In the second round, she’ll play either Aliaksandra Sasnovich or Nuria Parrizas Diaz. The two are yet to play their first-round after yet another rain delay forced their matches to get rescheduled again to Thursday. Kvitova’s fellow countrywomen, Barbora Krejcikova and Karolina Pliskova’s fortunes differed in their respective first-round matches.
Krejcikova, the 10th seed, advanced to the second round at Wimbledon with a 6-2, 7-5 triumph over local wildcard, Heather Watson. Meanwhile, Serbian qualifier Nina Stevanovic ousted 2021 Wimbledon finalist and 18th seed Karolina Pliskova, 6-2, 6-3 in their opening-round meeting.
Photo Credit: Petra Kvitova Twitter
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