Written By Uche Dozie
Ons Jabeur leads the pack of big girls of qualifiers, some easing pass their opponents while some survived to progress to the second round of the Wimbledon on Monday.
World No.2 Ons Jabeur eased into the Wimbledon second round 6-1, 6-3 over Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund in 53 minutes.
She dropped five points behind her first serve, two points behind her second.
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The third seed had pulled out of the Eastbourne about a week ago, but showed no sign of discomfort in dispatching the world number 125.
“It is a great start for me and I want to go as far as I can in this tournament,” Jabeur, 27, said.
“Today I achieved my highest ranking. It is really amazing to be here, back in Wimbledon on one of the surfaces I really like.
“One of the reasons I love to play here is the crowd. No matter what the ranking is they always support me.
“Last time I was here everyone was cheering for Venus [Williams] but by the end they were cheering for me a little bit.”
2018 champion Angelique Kerber also got the better of Kiki Mladenovic, beating her 6-0, 7-5 to reach the second round.
The German did the job in 64 minutes against the French to progress.
Home favourite and British No.1 Emma Raducanu downed Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4 6-4 to reach the second round at Wimbledon.
She faces next France’s Caroline Garcia, who got the better of Brit Yuriko Miyazaki. The Japan-born 26-year-old fell to an agonising 4-6 6-1 7-6 (10-4) defeat.
Raducanu who have encountered pressure from different quarters after going without a title since her US Open triumph said: ‘It wasn’t relief, it was just happiness. To play on Centre Court and get a win first time, it’s amazing. Now every time I go back, I’m just going to have a great first experience. That always helps.
‘I definitely took it in. I looked at the crowd, just saw everyone. The noise was just amazing to hear from the word go. When the crowd filled out a little bit as the match went on, even more so in the tricky moments. I think they really pulled me through some tough ones.
‘It was a tricky match because Alison is a great opponent. She hits the ball really low and flat, and it definitely suits this surface. I knew that going in I was going to have to play well. I’m pleased to have come through the tough moments.’
Australian Open runner-up Collins became the highest-ranked player in the women’s draw to exit the Championship on the first day.
The American world number eight lost 5-7 6-4 6-4 to 66th-ranked Marie Bouzkova, with the Czech overturning a break deficit in the deciding set.
Beatriz Haddad Maia who had been having a fantastic grass swing, lost in the Wimbledon first round to Kaja Juvan beats her 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
The Brazilian was very disappointed with her loss today, but especially with her mindset: “Today and also against Kvitova I wasn’t as focused as I should have been, that’s what hurts me the most.”
World No.119 Elisabetta Cocciaretto upset Roland Garros semifinalist Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-0.
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