LONDON, Great Britain - No.7 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova made it through fading light to defeat qualifier Ons Jabeur, 6-3, 6-2, and reach the second round at Wimbledon.
Jabeur made a little history when she made it through qualifying last week, becoming the first Arab woman to feature in the Wimbledon ladies' singles draw.
The Tunisian No.1 was undoubtedly eager for the upset against Kuznetsova, who has only made it to the second week once in her last seven appearances at the All England Club.
But the Russian is in the midst of a career renaissance, reaching the final of the BNP Paribas Open and the semifinals of the Mutua Madrid Open; that experience showed as she nabbed the only break of the opening set.
A former World No.2, Kuznetsova made it through the match without dropping serve, hitting 12 winners to nine unforced errors to advance in 64 minutes.
As light dimmed around the grounds, the pair nonetheless converged for one last cat and mouse point, with Kuznetsova finally getting the best of Jabeur at net.
Up next for the two-time major champion is fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who knocked out a resurgent Alison Van Uytvanck, 6-3, 6-1.
Earlier in the day, Kuznetsova's doubles partner, No.12 seed Kristina Mladenovic, eased past fellow Frenchwoman and Fed Cup teammate Pauline Parmentier, 6-1, 6-3.
Mladenovic has enjoyed a career-best season, reaching back-to-back finals at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and the Mutua Madrid Open - defeating Kuznetsova in the semifinals of the latter - and aims to reach the second week of Wimbledon for the first time in her young career.
Standing between the St. Petersburg champion and a spot in the third round is American Alison Riske, a grass court expert who ended Sloane Stephens' comeback in straight sets. Stephens was playing her first match of the season after missing a year of action due a foot injury.
Visit www.wimbledon.com to watch live streaming via ‘The Wimbledon Channel’.