It wasn’t that long ago that Czech player Petra Kvitova had to become a force on the grass courts. She is a two-time Wimbledon champion, and her serve and left-handed groundstrokes make her a force to be reckoned with.
But today, the #8 seed and oddsmakers’ favorite was defeated in three sets by Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-4 4-6 6-0. In the two sets she lost, Kvitova did not win over 40% of her first serve points, one of the keys to the match for the Czech player.
Sasnovich had a 66% first serve percentage, winning 102 total points for the match to Kvitova’s 88. This is the first time that Kvitova has ever lost in the first round at Wimbledon.
Kvitova losing really opens up the top quarter of the draw, giving Romanian Simona Halep, the #1 seed and recent French Open Champion, an easier path to the semifinals.
Petra had come into Wimbledon on a high. She had won the Birmingham Open, one of the tuneup grass court events to Wimbledon, playing an aggressive game that resembled what she did when she won at the All-England Club.
‘Winning Wimbledon would feel more special after what happened’ Kvitova said before the tournament, as she was trying to win her a first Grand Slam after a horrible knife accident that left her out of the game for months.
But the dream of winning Wimbledon will fall well short of Kvitova’s expectations. While the player from Belarus definitely had the match of her life, fewer unforced errors would have done Kvitova wonders in her attempt to win Wimbledon for the third time.
It has been a wild Wimbledon so far with the number of seeded players losing in the opening round. Kvitova’s exit, especially with her experience of winning it two times before, is no exception.
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