TENNIS – Carla Suárez Navarro faced world number 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the first round, on what proved to be her final match at Wimbledon.
Australia’s Barty, returning from a thigh injury, fought back from a rocky second set to win 6-1 6-7 (1-7) 6-1. Barty served for the second set at 5-4, but a spirited Suárez Navarro found the energy to fight back. She then played a sublime tie-break to take the match into the third set.
However, Barty refocused for the third set, allowing the 32-year-old Spaniard only a single game.
Carla’s farewell to Wimbledon
Suarez Navarro was playing in her second match since recovering from cancer. The Centre Court crowd gave her a standing ovation as she left.
“To be able to share the court with Carla was incredible,” said Barty, who will play either Anna Blinkova or Timea Babos next. “She’s a genuine champion and she’s going to be very sorely missed.”
Suarez Navarro, a former world number 6, was watched by her mother, who was wearing a replica of her daughter’s kit.
“She was by my side all this time, all these months,” Suarez Navarro said of her mother. “I think she’s proud. I want to say thank you to my mom every day.”
Barty had tears in her eyes as she and the crowd applauded Suarez Navarro off the court in what was her final appearance at Wimbledon.
Britain’s Dan Evans dismisses Lopez
British number one Dan Evans reached the second round of Wimbledon with a straight-set win over Feliciano Lopez.
39-year-old Lopez has appeared at every Grand Slam since the 2002 French Open. Their previous meeting was a win for the Spaniard at the Australian Open in 2016.
The match was rain-delayed, and Evans had two closely contested sets – the first and third – but came out on top 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-5.
“It was great. It’s amazing to be back playing at Wimbledon again. I didn’t realise it was going to be as busy,” Evans said. “I’m delighted to win. I played some good tennis. The first set I was probably a bit too into myself, once I let go a bit I really got rolling. It was a good mental effort.”
Spanish players round up
The rain has played havoc with the Wimbledon schedule once again. Verdasco’s match against 18 seed Dimitrov from Bulgaria has been rescheduled for day 3. Joining them will be America’s Sam Querrey against Spain’s no.8 seed Carreno Busta.
Italian no.26 seed Fognini saw off Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets, 7-6(4) 6-2 6-4.
It was good news for Pablo Andujar who won 7-6(7) 4-6 7-6(7) 5-7 8-6 against France’s Herbert. Andujar has only got past the first round once at Wimbledon, in 2015 when he reached the third round.
The remaining first round matches are planned for today (day 3), along with Garbiñe Muguruza’s (no.11 seed) second round match against Dutch player Pattinama Kerkhove.