London: Ekaterina Alexandrova made light of her grand slam inexperience to send Ana Ivanovic sliding out of Wimbledon yesterday.
Serbia's Ana Ivanovic reacts after a point against Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova during their first round Wimbledon match. Pic/AFP
The 21-year-old Russian qualified for one of the majors at the first attempt last week, and made an immediate impression on the big stage with a 6-2, 7-5 victory on Court 12.
Serbian Ivanovic, the 23rd seed, had her best Wimbledon result when reaching the semi-finals in 2007, but has struggled to make an impression in recent years.
The 28-year-old Serb blamed only her second opening round loss at the All England Club in 12 visits on a right wrist injury. "It was very hard to accelerate on my forehand. I tried to do everything possible to be fit and recover and tape it and so on," said Ivanovic For Alexandrova, the world number 223, each result in her Wimbledon run marks a new career high.
In the second round of qualifying Alexandrova won a deciding set 14-12 against Stephanie Vogt of Liechtenstein, before being extended to 13-11 in a decider by British player Harriet Dart when securing her main-draw place.
Ivanovic became the highest-profile early casualty on day one of the championships, with five-time champion Venus Williams, Madison Keys and Samantha Stosur among those winning through to the second round.
Veteran eighth seed Williams fended off tenacious Croatian Donna Vekic on Court One, finally edging their clash 7-6, (7/3) 6-4, while fellow American Keys joined her in the last 64 as the ninth seed swept aside Germany's Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-1.
Australian Stosur beat Poland's Magda Linette 7-5, 6-3, and 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki eased to a 6-1 6-3 win against US player Shelby Rogers.
French Open champion Garbine Muguruza reached the Wimbledon second round on Monday with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 win over Italy's Camila Giorgi.
Meanwhile, World number one Novak Djokovic got his campaign for a third successive Wimbledon title off to a winning start with a 6-0, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 victory over Britain's James Ward yesterday. The 29-year-old Serb, the holder of 12 Grand Slams after clinching a first French Open earlier this month, is on target for the record books.