June 19, 2018 / 7:38 PM / 3 months ago

Muguruza, Kvitova open grass campaigns with Birmingham wins

(Reuters) - Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova kicked off their grass court seasons on Tuesday with comfortable victories in the first round of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham.

Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

Spaniard Muguruza, the defending Wimbledon champion, dismantled Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-2 in just over 59 minutes to book a second-round clash against Czech Barbora Strycova.

Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in action during her first round match against Great Britain's Johanna Konta Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

Defending the Birmingham title, Kvitova looked close to her best as she hit 26 winners, including five aces, to ease past Johanna Konta 6-3 6-4, extending her head-to-head record against the British number one to 3-1.

“We can expect some tough matches from the first round, which on the other hand I think is good, because you have to really show a great performance from the beginning,” the 28-year-old Czech said.

Two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova takes on 14th ranked Australian Daria Gavrilova in the second round.

Reporting by Anirban Paul in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet

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