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Kvitova rules battle of Wimby champs

ADELAIDE, Australia (AFP) — Petra Kvitova won the battle of Wimbledon champions on Monday at Adelaide International II, outserving Elena Rybakina who has crashed early in two tournaments leading into next week’s Australian Open.

Two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova beat the current All England Club champion 6-3, 7-5 in round one, exacting a measure of revenge.

Russia’s 23rd-ranked Rybakina won their first head-to-head meeting last year in Ostrava.

World No. 16 Kvitova never faced a break point in 86 minutes, while breaking Rybakina at the tail end of each set to move safely through.
“I tried to play faster than Elena,” said Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014.

“She played really great (in Ostrava), it was a good match and I know that she’s serving really well.”

“I was focusing on my serve and I was trying to wait for some chances to break her.”

There are two ATP-WTA Adelaide Internationals this month, with Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka winning the titles in week one.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a finalist at the 2021 French Open which saw her soar to 11 in the world, also crashed out, losing 7-5, 6-4 to Swiss qualifier Jil Teichmann.

It was the Russian’s first match in eight months after ending her 2022 season in May due to a recurring knee injury.

After losing in round one of the Adelaide International last week, there was no repeat for American Danielle Collins.

The 2022 Australian Open finalist will be Teichmann’s next opponent after she defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-4.

Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia, ranked 15, also progressed, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 at the expense of Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek and third-ranked Jessica Pegula had been due to play this week, but both pulled out after their exploits at the United Cup with Poland and the United States respectively.

In the men’s draw, Britain’s Jack Draper eased past Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets while American Mackenzie McDonald outlasted another Briton, Dan Evans, 7-5, 7-5.

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