Wimbledon 2018: Former champion Petra Kvitova suffers first round loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich
Tournament favourite and two-time winner Petra Kvitova has crashed out of the tournament in the first round after losing to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
London: Petra Kvitova crashed out of Wimbledon in the first round on Tuesday as the two-time champion was stunned 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 by unheralded Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Kvitova was the bookmakers' favourite for the women's title at the All England Club after an impressive return to form this year. The 28-year-old Czech had won five titles in 2018, including the grass-court tournament at Birmingham last weekend, while amassing an WTA Tour-leading 38 match victories.
But Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, had insisted before the tournament that she wasn't the top contender after suffering a hamstring problem that forced her to pull out of Eastbourne last week. That lack of confidence was reflected in the eighth seed's disappointing performance on Court One and world number 50 Sasnovich took full advantage.
It was another Grand Slam setback for Kvitova, who has gone out before the quarter-finals in five of her six appearances at the majors since returning to action following the horrific stabbing that derailed her career in 2016. The knife attack at Kvitova's home left severe lacerations to all four fingers on her playing hand.
Sasnovich's reward for the best result of her career is a second round clash with American Taylor Townsend. "It was good but I can play better. Probably I deserved it today," Sasnovich said after closing out the win with consecutive aces, adding, "I was just warming up when the score was 5-0 in the final set. I could have played one more match!"
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