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Two-Time Winner Petra Kvitova Knocked Out Of Wimbledon In First Round

By Fitzgerald Cecilio
on Jul 04, 2018 08:13 AM EDT
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Two-time Wimbledon champion and No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova suffered an early exit at All England Club.

Kvitova lost to by unheralded Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0, in the first round on Tuesday.

Surprising Loss

The loss came as a surprise as the 28-year-old is the bookmakers' favorite to win the Venus Rosewater Dish for the third time in her career. Kvitova became the favorite after she had captured five titles this year, including the pre-Wimbledon event at Birmingham. This year, she leads the WTA Tour in match victories with 38.

According to Kvitova, her desire to win a third Wimbledon title resulted in too much pressure on herself to deliver. Kvitova won the event in 2011 and 2014, but her attempt to win a third was derailed by the world No. 50 Sasnovich in the match that lasted two hours and 15 minutes.

"I'm sad. I wanted to win very badly, maybe too much. The nerves were there again. I just tried to kind of fight with myself," Kvitova said. "Probably I was the biggest opponent I could have. I didn't really have a clear mind. I was thinking a little bit too much."

Since her return to the WTA Tour after a stabbing incident in 2016 that left severe cuts to four fingers on her playing hand, Kvitova has yet to make it past the quarterfinals of a major event.

Sasnovich Grabs First Grass Court Win of Season

Sasnovich, meanwhile, will next face American Taylor Townsend in the second round. Earlier, Townsend eliminated Pauline Parmentier, 6-2, 6-4, in their first-round clash.

"It was good but I can play better. Probably I deserved it today," Sasnovich said as she notched her first grass court win in style after her big win over Kvitova. "I was just warming up when the score was 5-0 in the final set. I could have played one more match."

In the final set, Sasnovich was almost flawless as she committed just two unforced errors. Sasnovich netted 11 of the last 12 points of the match, including back-to-back aces to finish off Kvitova.

7 Top 10 Seeds Lost In First Round

Kvitova was one of seven top 10 seeds who got eliminated in the first round. On Monday, No. 4 seed and reigning US Open titlist Sloane Stephens lost to Donna Vekic. No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina lost to Tatjana Maria while No. 6 seed Caroline Garcia was eliminated by Belinda Bencic.

On the men's side, among the casualties were No. 6 seed Grigor Dimitrov, No. 7 seed Dominic Thiem and No. 10 seed David Goffin. Dimitrov and Goffin lost to Stan Wawrinka and Matthew Ebden respectively, while Thiem retired against veteran campaigner Marcos Baghdatis.

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