LONDON (AP) — American Sloane Stephens dropped her opening match at Wimbledon, losing today to Russian Maria Kirilenko. The 18th-seeded Stephens lost to the 109th-ranked Russian 6-2, 7-6. The loss ends Stephens’ streak of reaching the second week at six consecutive Grand Slam tournaments. She had held the longest active run of fourth-round appearances at majors by a woman, dating to a semifinal showing at the 2013 Australian Open. At Wimbledon last year, Stephens got to the quarterfinals, where she lost to eventual champion Marion Bartoli.
Former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur also lost her first-round match, losing to former U.S. Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmeyer 6-3, 6-4. The loss continued the Australian’s poor run at Wimbledon, where she has never advanced past the third round and where she has lost in the first round six times in her 12 appearances at the All England club.
Former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka won her first match in five months to reach the second round at Wimbledon. The eighth-seeded Azarenka, a two-time semifinalist at the All England Club, made her return at Eastbourne last week following the long layoff with a left foot injury. She lost in the first round at the Wimbledon warm-up event.
And the oldest player in the tournament has been ousted. Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm lost to Ekaterina Makarova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. The 43-year-old Date Krumm, who reached the semifinals at Wimbledon 18 years ago, made her Wimbledon debut in 1989, a year after Makarova was born.
On the men’s side of things, third-seed and defending champion Andy Murray breezed past his first round opponent in straight sets. In keeping with tradition, Murray had the honor of playing the opening match on Centre Court as the defending men’s champion. Last year, Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years. Now he’s bidding to become the first to retain the title since Fred Perry in 1936.