Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Four-time champion Serena Williams, former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and reigning titlist Petra Kvitova were a trio of opening-round winners Tuesday at The Championships, Wimbledon.
The sixth-seeded Williams waltzed past Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 6-4 in 80 minutes on Court 2 at the famed All England Club. Williams rebounded from her stunning opening-round loss at the French Open last month.
Williams' older sister Venus lost on Court 2 here on Monday.
The 30-year-old Serena owns 13 major titles, including the four here at Wimbledon, where she's also a two-time runner-up.
Meanwhile, the second-seeded Azarenka took care of American Irina Falconi 6-1, 6-4 on Court 1.
Azarenka reached her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon last year and captured her first career major title at the Australian Open in January.
Up next for the Belarusian star will be Swiss Romina Oprandi.
The fourth-seeded Kvitova handled 6-foot-3 Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-4, following a brief rain delay, on Centre Court. The Czech slugger Kvitova blew a match point just before rain sent the women off the court for about 30 minutes on Day 2. When the players returned to action, it was over in three minutes.
Kvitova beat reigning French Open champ Maria Sharapova in last year's women's finale at the All England Club.
"It was unbelievable to come back here as the defending champion," Kvitova said. "In the beginning I think I was nervous -- first match on the grass it's always difficult to know what you can expect. I had a lot of mistakes and then I tried to play my game and go forward."
Ninth-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli cruised past Aussie Casey Dellacqua 6-2, 6-4, while 12th-seeded former Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva completed a darkness-suspended match from Monday by besting German Mona Barthel 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. The French Bartoli reached the final here five years ago, while the Russian Zvonareva was the Wimbledon and U.S. Open in 2010.
Rising 28th-seeded American Christina McHale edged out Britain's Johanna Konta 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 10-8 in a match that was suspended because of darkness on Monday with the score tied at 7-7 in the third set.
In other action involving seeds, Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens upended No. 19 Czech Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-0; No. 24 Italian Francesca Schiavone overcame promising Brit Laura Robson 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; No. 25 Chinese Zheng Jie came back to beat Canadian Stephanie Dubois 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; and No. 31 Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova drilled veteran Swede Sofia Arvidsson 6-1, 6-2.
The Sports Network