2016 Wimbledon Junior Champion Anastasia Potapova had a heartbreaking ending to her first ever Grand Slam main draw match as she slipped on the courts, resulting in a retirement from the young Russian. The unfortunate retirement sent Tatjana Maria into the second round of the Wimbledon Championships for just the third time in her career.
Maria overcomes early deficit to win the first set
Potapova made the perfect start to her first ever Wimbledon campaign as the 2016 World’s Junior Champion strolled to a comfortable love service hold in the opening game, forcing Maria to hit a couple of errors with some powerful and consistent groundstrokes. The German then faced some early struggles on her serve as she threw in two double faults in her first service game to gift Potapova the first break of the match, allowing her to take an early lead. However, the Russian failed to hold onto her lead as Maria made an immediate reply with some excellent net play, hitting a couple of volley winners there to return level as soon as possible. Despite Potapova’s toughest efforts to regain the lead in the next game, Maria was able to stand firm and narrowly hold onto her service game despite being extended to deuce for three times in the game.
Maria was able to overpower the formidable Potapova offense as she continued to charge towards the net, and produced some incredible net skills to get her second consecutive break, allowing her to take the lead in the match for the first time. Maria had to then eke out a tough service hold as she saved two break points with the help of unforced errors, eventually closing out the game with a forehand winner. Unable to send any first serves in with her first serve percentage being at a shocking 20 percent after 30 minutes of play, Potapova was broken once more as she lost her fifth straight game, allowing Maria to have the golden opportunity to serve out the set. Despite getting one of the breaks back, the youngster was just too poor on her service as she was broken for the fourth time in the set, allowing Maria to take the first set 6-3 after just 38 minutes of play.
Potapova’s injury gives bittersweet ending to the match
Much of a similar storyline as compared to the first set, Potapova started the second set the best possible way as she played some excellent offensive tennis to get the first break in the opening game. She then managed to consolidate the break easily as she finally found some of her powerful first serves, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. Maria then got herself onto the scoreboard in the second set as she easily held her serve to lessen the deficit, with Potapova’s unforced error count still being a little overwhelming.
After saving two break points at 15-40 down, Potapova, unfortunately, slipped on the ground and hurt her left knee in the process. Despite taking a medical time-out for some treatment, the pain was too unbearable and eventually, the youngster was forced to retire from her first ever Grand Slam match.