Former champ Kvitova crashes out

Two-time former champion Petra Kvitova bowed out of Wimbledon in the second round on Saturday, losing a two-hour slugfest 7-5 7-6 (7-5) to unseeded Ekaterina Makarova after a far longer battle against the weather.

The rain-delayed clash between the Czech 10th seed, the title winner in 2011 and 2014, and her Russian opponent was the final match of the round.

“I felt stuck in the second round for a while. I think that the tournament was really weird for me this time,” Kvitova told reporters.

“I was waiting all day long almost every day to be scheduled on, and didn’t really have a chance to finish or step on the court.”

Makarova, a quarter-finalist in 2014 and beaten by Kvitova in the third round in 2013, broke in the 11th game of the first set and held serve to take the set, the Czech missing two chances to break back.

After an exchange of breaks early in the second set, the Russian sealed the win in the tiebreak on a forehand error by Kvitova.

Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber ground out a 7-6 (13-11) 6-1 win over unseeded fellow German Carina Witthoeft at Wimbledon on Saturday in a third-round contest high on drama but variable in quality.

Against a now familiar backdrop of showery weather, fourth seed Kerber, an All England Club semi-finalist in 2012, began the brighter against her 21-year-old opponent, who she beat 6-0 6-0 when they met at the same venue this time last year.

But both women struggled to cope with a gusting wind in a dramatic first set lasting exactly an hour and featuring six breaks of serve.

The higher-ranked player, who upset the odds against Serena Williams to win her maiden grand slam title in Melbourne in January, looked to have blown her chances of pulling ahead when she let four consecutive first-set points slip away in the tiebreak.

But with neither woman able to make the decisive play, Kerber won the breaker 13-11 when Witthoeft hit another backhand beyond the baseline.

Ninth-seeded American Madison Keys beat Alize Cornet of France 6-4 5-7 6-2 and there were also wins for fifth seed Simona Halep over Kiki Bertens, Dominika Cibulkova over Eugenie Bouchard and Lucie Safarova saw off Jana Cepelova, winning the deciding set 12-10.

Swiss 11th seed Timea Bacsinszky finished off her delayed second-round match against Monica Niculescu by winning in straight sets.

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