Tennis: Shock exits for Dominic Thiem, Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon; Rafael Nadal, Garbine Muguruza ease into second round

Garbine Muguruza of Spain booked a place in the second round of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over British wildcard Naomi Broady (not pictured).
Garbine Muguruza of Spain booked a place in the second round of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over British wildcard Naomi Broady (not pictured).PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem's Wimbledon adventure ended abruptly in the first round on Tuesday (July 3) as he retired with an apparent back injury while trailing Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis.

The Austrian was sprawled on his stomach on Court Two as he received a deep-tissue back massage from the trainer before the start of the third set.

The trainer then rolled the seventh seed on to his back to manipulate Thiem's shoulders but the intervention failed to have the desired affect as he called it quits after losing the next two games.

Baghdatis was leading 6-4 7-5 2-0 when Thiem retired.

There was also a shock exit for Petra Kvitova who crashed out of Wimbledon in the first round as the two-time champion was beaten 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. Sasnovich's reward for the best result of her career is a second round clash with American Taylor Townsend.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal will face sterner tests than Dudi Sela if he is to complete a third French Open/Wimbledon double this year but was impressive all the same as he bounded into round two with a 6-3 6-3 6-2 win on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Spanish second seed had not played a match since claiming his 11th French Open last month.

But he showed no sign of rust on a sultry Centre Court as he quickly found his rhythm against the 127th-ranked Israeli who resisted well early on before Nadal seized control.

A Sela double-fault secured Nadal the break of serve he needed in the first set and Nadal moved two sets clear with a punishing forehand return.

His only blemish came at the start of the third when a double-fault gave Sela a break but he quickly repaired the damage and powered on to victory.

Nadal is looking to emulate his 2008 and 2011 feats when he won the Wimbledon title fresh from triumphing in Paris.

Only Bjorn Borg has managed it three times, his doubles coming in successive years from 1978-1980

Defending champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain booked a place in the second round with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over British wildcard Naomi Broady. Japan's Kei Nishikori overcame a mid-match blip to beat American qualifier Christian Harrison 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.

Up next for the 24th seed is Australian Bernard Tomic, who ousted Poland's Hubert Hurkacz in the opening round.

Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro fired 22 aces on his way to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over German Peter Gojowczyk. The big-hitting Argentinian's best performance at Wimbledon came in 2013, when he reached the semi-finals.

British women's No. 1 Johanna Konta was made to work hard for a 7-5, 7-6 (9-7) victory over Russian youngster Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

Konta last year became the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since 1978. "First rounds are always tricky," she said. "Both players are trying to find their footing.

"I'm playing this championship independent of what happened last year. Last year gave me memories and valuable experience, but I'm older and a little wiser."

Spain's Feliciano Lopez, making a record 66th consecutive Grand Slam appearance, reached the second round with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Argentinian Federico Delbonis.

Australian Daria Gavrilova, seeded 26th, did not face a single break point in a convincing 6-2, 6-3 victory over American qualifier Caroline Dolehide.

Gavrilova's compatriot Ashleigh Barty finished with 33 winners as she defeated Swiss Stefanie Voegele 7-5, 6-3.