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Champion Kvitova battles to opening Wimbledon win

June 26, 2012 -- Updated 2024 GMT (0424 HKT)
World number four Petra Kvitova's 2011 Wimbledon triumph is her only grand slam win.
World number four Petra Kvitova's 2011 Wimbledon triumph is her only grand slam win.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Petra Kvitova starts Wimbledon defense with 6-4 6-4 win over Akgul Amanmuradova
  • Serena Williams beats Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-2 6-4
  • No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka overcomes the USA's Irina Falconi 6-1 6-4
  • No. 19 seed Lucie Safarova beaten 6-3 6-0 by Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands

(CNN) -- Defending champion Petra Kvitova recovered from an early wobble to win 6-4 6-4 in her Wimbledon first-round match against Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova.

Czech fourth seed Kvitova, who beat Maria Sharapova in last year's final, fought back from 4-1 down in the first set against her 96th-ranked opponent on Tuesday.

She proceeded to win the next seven games in succession, clinching the second set after a short rain delay.

It was a gallant effort from Amanmuradova, who had lost all of her four previous first-round matches at the grass-court grand slam.

"I was nervous at the start. On grass you never know what to expect from me," Kvitova said after the win.

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The world No. 4 will next face either Italy's Karin Knapp or Britain's Elena Baltacha for a place in the last 32.

She was joined in the second round by four-time champion Serena Williams, after the American sixth seed beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-2 6-4.

Williams avoided the early exit suffered by her older sister Venus, who lost in the first round on Monday for the first time since her debut in 1997.

Belarus' No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka also made it safely through to the second round.

The Australian Open champion defeated USA's Irina Falconi 6-1 6-4 to set up a meeting against Switzerland's Romina Oprandi.

Ninth seed Marion Bartoli of France, who was runner-up in the tournament five years ago, came through 6-2 6-4 against Australia's Casey Dellacqua. She will play Croatian Mirjana Lucic next.

Nadal powers into men's second round

Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic will not feature in round two after suffering a surprise defeat.

The 19th seed was comprehensively beaten 6-3 6-0 by Dutch debutant Kiki Bertens, and the 25-year-old has now fallen at the first hurdle for the fourth time in seven attempts in London.

The 20-year-old Bertens, playing only her second grand slam after losing in the first round at the French Open, will next face Roland Garros quarterfinalist Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.

British teenager Laura Robson gave the home fans hope of a further upset before going down 2-6 6-4 6-4 to Italy's No. 24 seed Francesca Schiavone. The 2009 quarterfinalist earned a second-round meeting with Czech No. 148 Kristyna Pliskova, who lost in her debut appearance last year but this time upset Slovenia's 46th-ranked Polona Hercog 6-2 6-2.

Russian 12th seed Vera Zvonareva beat Germany's Mona Barthel 2-6 7-6 6-4, and the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up will next play Spanish debutant Silvia Soler-Espinosa.

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