Fresh off her fifth grass-court title at the Rothesay International Eastbourne, Petra Kvitova recovered from a set down to beat Jasmine Paolini in the first round of Wimbledon, 2-6 6-4 6-2.
Never before had Paolini managed to win a set against Kvitova in their previous two career meetings, but today the Italian produced a major scare as she eased past the Czech in the first set.
In the first five games, neither player earned a break point, but then Paolini earned three consecutive with a 40-0 lead at 3-2 and converted the third to go 4-2 up. The Italian comfortably consolidated the lead and breezed through the first set by breaking Kvitova’s serve once more.
The second set was tight, as Kvitova allowed her opponent to recover from 1-3 to 3-3 and never really looked dominant. In the seventh game, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion Kvitova earned back her lead and narrowly managed to force the third set, which she relatively dominated and progressed into the third round.
The world No.26 Kvitova, wearing the Nike London Slam Dress, is one of five former champions in the draw. This was her 45th Wimbledon match, only Serena Williams and Angelique Keber have played more.