All the key facts and talking points as first-round action continues at the third Grand Slam of the year.
Alex Macpherson
July 2, 2018

LEARNING

Garbiñe Muguruza gets her quest for a first Grand Slam title defence under way on Centre Court against Naomi Broady - whom she last played in the rather different environs of the ITF $25,000 event in Wrexham in 2011. Then, a 17-year-old Muguruza defeated the Briton 7-5, 6-2. The only defending Wimbledon champion in the Open Era to make a first-round exit was Stefanie Graf, who fell to Lori McNeil in 1994; Muguruza is 19-3 overall in Slam first rounds, with her last opening loss coming at the 2014 US Open to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

No.1 seed Simona Halep is bidding to become only the third woman this millennium to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same year, following Serena Williams in 2002 and 2015. The only players in the Open Era to have won their maiden Slam in Paris and followed it up with their second in London the same year are Evonne Goolagong Cawley (1971) and Chris Evert (1974); the only players this millennium to have followed a first Slam crown at Roland Garros with a second-week showing at Wimbledon are Justine Henin (2003) and Jelena Ostapenko (2017). 

No.11 seed Angelique Kerber and qualifier Vera Zvonareva will play the third Grand Slam first-round encounter between former major finalists this year, following Jelena Ostapenko's defeat of Francesca Schiavone at the Australian Open and Garbiñe Muguruza's win over Svetlana Kuznetsova at Roland Garros. However, it is the first time in the Open Era that two former Wimbledon finalists have squared off in the opening round at SW19.

For the second year in a row, the reigning junior champion has made the most of being awarded a qualifying wildcard to navigate through to the main draw. 18-year-old Claire Liu, following in Anastasia Potapova's 2017 footsteps, is the youngest player in this year's main draw - and faces Ana Konjuh, who was herself the youngest main draw competitor on her first two Wimbledon appearances in 2014 and 2015.

Claire Liu - Wimbledon 2017 - Getty
2017 Wimbledon girls' champion Claire Liu with runner-up Ann Li (Getty)

Two seeded players will bid to win their first Wimbledon main draw match today: No.15 Elise Mertens, who lost to Venus Williams on her main draw debut last year, and No.17 Ashleigh Barty. Two of the Australian's five WTA finals have come on grass, including a title run in Nottingham two weeks ago, but she has not yet lived up to her prowess on the surface in SW19 - falling in the first round to Roberta Vinci in 2012 and to Elina Svitolina in 2017, and losing in qualifying in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Barty starts off against Stefanie Voegele, whom she beat 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of Nottingham to take her head-to-head to 2-1 against the Swiss. 

The longest-running rivalry to resume today will be between Samantha Stosur and Peng Shuai, who first played each other in the 2006 Prague semifinals. The Australian won that match 6-1, 6-3 - and went on to take eight of their nine encounters to date, with Peng's sole win coming in the Taipei City quarterfinals last year. The Chinese player, who has been recovering from various injuries this year, comes into Wimbledon with just a 1-8 record in WTA main draws this year.

No.24 seed Maria Sharapova's last first-round loss at a Grand Slam was at the 2010 Australian Open, to compatriot Maria Kirilenko. Since then, Sharapova is 34-3 against her fellow Russians, losing only to Elena Vesnina (Beijing 2010), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Paris 2014) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (Madrid 2015). Today, she faces another Russian in qualifier Vitalia Diatchenko, whom she defeated 6-3, 6-1 in the second round of Roland Garros in 2015.

Dominika Cibulkova, Agnes Szavay, Alizé Cornet - Tokyo 2008 - Getty
Dominika Cibulkova chats with Alizé Cornet (with Agnes Szavay) at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in 2008, the year the pair played for the first time; today, they square off for the 10th time (Getty)

Alizé Cornet will play her 47th consecutive Grand Slam main draw today - a streak the Frenchwoman began at the 2007 Australian Open, and a record among active players. Cornet will face Dominika Cibulkova, whom she has played nine times (starting in the 2008 Amelia Island semifinals, won by the Slovak 6-2, 2-6, 6-4) and beaten on three occasions; it will be the pair's first grass encounter. Cibulkova was the victor in their two most recent matches, in Cincinnati and New Haven last year.

No.28 seed Anett Kontaveit's stellar clay season has not yet carried over to grass: the Estonian is 0-2 in her warm-ups, losing to Veronika Kudermetova in 's-Hertogenbosch and Tatjana Maria in Mallorca. Today, she bids to rectify this against Denisa Allertova - to whom she lost their only previous meeting 6-3, 6-4, in the second round of Linz in 2016.

No.27 seed Carla Suárez Navarro's only previous encounter with Carina Witthoeft was also in the first round of a major - as the No.17 seed at the 2015 Australian Open, the Spaniard was upset 6-3, 6-1 by Witthoeft.

For the third time in as many encounters, No.30 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will face Hsieh Su-Wei in the first round of a British grass tournament. The Russian was the victor in both previous matches - via retirement in Eastbourne 2012, and 7-5, 1-6, 6-1 at Wimbledon 2016.

Wang Qiang and Zheng Saisai will play the first all-Chinese match in a Wimbledon main draw today - the fourth overall in any Grand Slam, and first since Peng Shuai's defeat of Zheng Jie in the first round of the 2014 US Open. Wang leads the head-to-head 2-1, winning their two most recent encounters in Kuala Lumpur and Madrid last year.

TRENDING

Wimby starts today! 🌱🎾💚

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READING

The first day of Wimbledon saw wildcards Harriet Dart and Katie Swan impress - the former by taking No.7 seed Karolina Pliskova to three sets, the latter by scoring her first Slam victory over Irina-Camelia Begu. They're part of a rising cohort of young British players seeking to be much more than plucky wildcards, reports Sean Ingle for The Guardian.

Between Donna Vekic's grass-court prowess and Sloane Stephens' pattern of following big wins with early exits, Wimbledon's first big upset was also "the least surprising", writes Steve Tignor for Tennis.com.

Sachia Vickery is having a career-best year in terms of results - and that means a career-best year in terms of finances, something that his hitherto been a challenge for the American, reports Jerry Bembry for The Undefeated.

ORDER OF PLAY

Check out all of Day 2's scheduled women's matches on the WTA website here.

For full Order of Play and to watch live streaming, visit Wimbledon's official site.