Wimbledon: Ladies' qualifying round one recap

The women’s first round of qualifying had been completed on the second day of play at this year’s Wimbledon Championships. Unlike yesterday, when the play had been affected by the weather, all the men and women’s matches scheduled (safe one, suspended for the late hour) had been played until the end. All the top ten seeds grabbed their victories, with some upsets as seven of the other fourteen seeded players  suffered an early defeat.

Nine of the top ten seeds are still in the competition

First seed Tatjana Maria started her campaign to reach her sixth Wimbledon main draw appearance against Myrtille Georges. The German only needed four breaks of serve throughout two sets to get a quick 6-1, 6-3 victory over the French. It had been the first time since 2015 Australian Open that Maria needed to play qualifications in order to enter the main draw of a major; on her last appearance, at this year's French Open, she had lost in a discussed match against Alizé Cornet, match that ended with a threat of legal actions from the German.

First one to qualify to second round had been fifth seed Maria Sakkari, who signed the only double bagel of the day, storming past Russia’s Polina Leykina in 45 minutes and conceding only three break points in the first game of the second set, all successfully saved. Leykina had played her first and only qualifying match in a major at this year’s French Open, where she also lost in the first round. For Sakkari, it had been her first appearance at Wimbledon, and also her first grass event played in her career.

Second seed Victorija Golubic had been the only one among the top ten seeds who faced trouble; after winning the first set 8-6 at the tie-break, she lost the second 6-3 to her opponent Anastasia Pivovarova, on her first match since May. The Swiss fell behind at the start of the third set too, but eventually rallied back to take the set with a 6-3 scoreline, keeping alive her hopes to reach the third major main draw of the year.

Zhang Kai-lin, the third seed, reached Wimbledon after playing three grass events, including the main draw in Nottingham, where she lost to Monica Puig. She faced two-time Grand Slam doubles champion and doubles specialist Lucie Hradecka, who had reached the final in doubles in Wimbledon in 2012, but never went past the first round in singles. In both sets, Zhang broke the Czech’s serve in the final game to claim the set and the match with a double 7-5 scoreline.

Aleksandra Krunic, Lauren Davis, Tamira Paszek and Kristina Kucova also claimed straight set wins.

Krunic stormed past Netherland's Cindy Burger with a double 6-1; she is looking to improve her last year’s performance when she upset Italy’s Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani before surrendering to Venus Williams in the third round. Lauren Davis overcame Lesley Kerkhove with a double 6-3, and Tamira Paszek, after playing two WTA events on grass in Nottingham and Birmingham, collected a 6-2, 6-1 win against Amandine Hesse. Kucova grabbed her victory against Hiroko Kuwata with a 6-4, 7-6(3) scoreline; this year the Slovakian had made the final qualifying match of all major events, but always failed to enter the main draw. Her last appearance in Wimbledon main draw had been in 2009.

Only one among the first ten seeds to lose in the first round had been Lourdes Dominguez Lino, who surrendered to British wild card Gabriella Taylor in two tight sets; in a battle in which both players struggled to hold the serve, the Spanish lost the first set 5-7, and then saved three match points in the second set tie-break before surrendering on the fourth, losing the tie break with a 10-8 scoreline. Taylor, who turned 18 in March, has already won a qualifying match in Wimbledon in 2014, but has yet to make a WTA main draw appearance. 

Tenth seed Risa Ozaki’s match against another teen British wild card, Freya Christie, has yet to be completed; the Japanese lost the first set 9-7 in the tie-break, and is currently tied with Christie 5-all in the second set.

Anastasia Pivovarova of Russia in action against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland during the 2016 Wimbledon Qualifying Session on June 21, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
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Wild Cards advanced, other seeds struggled

Beside the first ten seeds, the remaining fourteen saw more struggle. Irina Kromacheva needed three sets to overcame Sara Sorribes Tormo, eventually defeating her with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 scoreline. Xan Xinyun lost 6-1, 7-6(4) to Robin Anderson, while fellow Chinese Duang Yingying, down 7-6(4) in the first set against another American, Grace Min, won the following sets 6-3, 6-0 to advance to second round; in 2015 Duang had made into the main draw, where she had upset defending finalist Eugenie Bouchard in the first round.

Rebecca Peterson rallied back to defeat Ipek Soylu 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, while Jana Cepelova easily went past Ivana Jorovic with a double 6-2. 

Other seeds to fall had been Silvia Soler-Espinosa, knocked out by Luksika Kumkhum 6-1, 7-6(6); Klara Koukalova, out with a 6-3, 7-5 scoreline by Stephanie Vogt; Veronica Cepede Royg, defeated by Paula Kania 6-4, 6-1. Richel Hogenkamp rallied back from 6-3 down to Wang Yafan to win the second set 6-4, but she eventually lost the match with a 6-0 in the third set; Jennifer Brady gave up with a double 6-2 to fellow American Julia Boserup. Lowest seed Julia Glushko lost 6-2, 6-3 to Chang Kai-chen.

All the other seeded players had successfully made into the second round.

Luxembourg's Mandy Minella, who had won her first WTA singles title this year in Bol, came back from 3-6, 3-5 down to defeat Ana Bogdan with a 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-1 scoreline; Marina Erakovic found little struggle with a quick 6-4, 6-3 against Paula Cristina Goncalves. Maryna Zanevska stormed past Alize Lim with a 6-2, 6-1 scoreline.

Along with Gabriella Taylor, other wild cards achieved successful victories. Australia’s Ashleigh Barty continued her comeback run, started with two satisfying campaigns in Nottingham and Birmingham, with a win against Lu Jiajing with a 7-6(3), 6-3 scoreline. Another British teen, Harriet Dart, claimed her second round place with a straight set win against Liu Fanghzou, ended with a 7-6(2), 6-3 scoreline. Katie Boulter wasted two match points in the tenth game of the second set, but eventually claimed the win against Yang Zhaoxuan in two tiebreaks, with a final 7-6(6), 7-6(7) scoreline; she needed to save two set points in the second tie-break. Lisa Whybourn got rid of France’s Claire Feuerstein in two close sets, ending with a 7-6(2), 7-5 result. 

The only wild cards to fall had been 18-year-old Maia Lumsden, who failed to hold her advantage against Tereza Smitkova, losing 6-2, 2-6, 2-6, and Katy Dunne, who also failed to consolidate her lead, falling 6-3, 4-6, 1-6 to Barbara Haas.

Taylor Townsend in action against Olga Savchuk of Ukraine during the 2016 Wimbledon Qualifying Session on June 21, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
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Other matches results

All the other matches had also been completed today.

Elise Mertens had been coming from an interesting grass-court warm-up: she has reached the quarterfinals in s-Hertogenbosch, defeating seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard on her run, and then reached the round of 16 in Mallorca, both times entering the competition as a qualifier. She won her debut match at Wimbledon with a double 6-4 against Elitsa Kostova. Americans Taylor Townsend, Jessica Pegula and Vania King also advanced to second round; Townsend defeated Olga Savchuck with a double 6-4, while Pegula conceded only two games to Ysaline Bonaventure, ending the match with a double 6-1. King needed three sets to get rid of Alla Kudryavsteva, with an ending 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 scoreline. Fellow Americans Sachia Vickery and Asia Muhammad both got defeated; the first surrendered 2-6, 7-6(4), 3-6 to An-Sophie Mestach, while the second fell 7-6(3), 6-1 to Andrea Hlavackova, also in a good grass form.

The events played in Eastbourne, Nottingham and Ilkley helped Michelle Larcher de Brito, who entered the draw with a protected ranking and won in straight sets against Barbora Krejcikova, with an ending 6-3, 7-6(6) scoreline.

Rising star Ons Jabeur lost with a double 6-3 against Ekaterina Alexandrova, while Urszula Radwanska will continue her campaign to reach the main draw after a 6-4, 7-6(2) win on Petra Martic. Veteran Virginie Razzano won 7-5, 7-6(7) against Michaella Krajicek.

Among the remaining matches, Amra Sadikovic defeated Océane Dodin 6-4, 7-5, and Alexandra Panova got rid of doubles specialis Miyu Kato with a 6-3, 6-2 score. Sherazad Reix won her debut match at Wimbledon with a comeback against Sesil Karatantcheva, with an ending scoreline of 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4. Barbora Stefkova defeated Tereza Mrdeza, who got a protected ranking, 6-3, 6-2. Jovana Jaksic defeated Mayo Hibi 6-1, 6-4, leaving Misa Eguchi, who defeated Isabella Shinikova 6-4, 6-1, as currently the only Japanese player who reached second round. Andreea Mitu grabbed a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Anne Schafer.

Tereza Martinkova signed the only retirement of the day, granting her opponent Zhu Lin, who was up 4-0, a pass for the second round.

Vania King of the USA in action against Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia during the 2016 Wimbledon Qualifying Session on June 21, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
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Tomorrow’s schedule

All the second round matches are scheduled to be played tomorrow. Among the most interesting ones, we will see first seed Tatjana Maria taking on An-Sophie Mestach, and second seed Viktorija Golubic facing fellow Swiss Amra Sadikovic. Aleksandra Krunic will face Elise Mertens, while Taylor Towsend will battle against Yingying Duan; the winners of both matches will then meet for a place in the main draw.

Michelle Larcher de Brito will meet Maryna Zanevska, and Ashleigh Barty will try to continue her run against Luksika Kumkhum. Jessica Pegula and Julia Boserup will set an all-American battle to reach the final round; the winner could potentially meet another American, sixth seed Lauren Davis, if she will win against Barbara Haas.

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