Belarus second seed Aryna Sabalenka had the honour of being the first winner at Wimbledon in two years when she downed Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu 6-1, 6-4 under the roof of Court One while former US Open champion Sloane Stephens knocked out Czech 10th seed Petra Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 champion, 6-3, 6-4 in the biggest upset of the women’s draw on the first day.
Sabalenka fired 48 winners past Niculescu in what was only her second main-draw win at Wimbledon.
“I was nervous a little bit because I haven’t played on the show courts at Wimbledon,” said Sabalenka who has yet to make the last-eight of a major.
Later, seventh seed Iga Swiatek passed the Hsieh Su-Wei test, beating her 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes.
Garbine Muguruza, the 2017 winner, needed just under an hour to see off France’s Fiona Ferro 6-0, 6-1.
Another Grand Slam champion, Sofia Kenin, also advanced, with the fourth seed getting past Chinese qualifier Wang Xinyu, 6-4, 6-2,
Sloane Stephens (USA) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x10) 6-3, 6-4
Lauren Davis (USA) bt Jodie Burrage (GBR) 6-2, 6-1
Madison Keys (USA x23) bt Katie Swan (GBR) 6-3, 6-4
Viktorija Golubic (SUI) bt Veronika Kudermetova (RUS x29) 3-6, 6-1, 11-9
Danielle Collins (USA) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Sofia Kenin (USA x4) bt Wang Xinyu (CHN) 6-4, 6-2
Iga Swiatek (POL x7) bt Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) 6-4, 6-4
Lesley Kerkhove (NED) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 6-3, 6-3
Garbine Muguruza (ESP x11) bt Fiona Ferro (FRA) 6-0, 6-1
Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS x32) bt Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-1, 6-3
María Camila Osorio (COL) bt Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 1-6, 6-0, 6-4
Katie Boulter (GBR) bt Danielle Lao (USA) 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 6-4
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x2) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM) 6-1, 6-4
With AFP Inputs