Sloane Stephens Upsets 2-Time Champion Petra Kvitova at the Wimbledon Championships 2021 R1

Published 06/28/2021, 12:45 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova reacts during her first round match against Belgium’s Greet Minnen REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier


Top-seed upsets continue on day one of Wimbledon Championships 2021. With Stefanos Tsitsipas already bowing out on the men’s side, it was the other draw’s turn to throw up a shock exit. It came in the form of former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova losing out to the American Sloane Stephens in the first-round.

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In the pre-tournament presser, the former world number had mentioned that there was a foot injury which was subsided after basic treatment. Even though Kvitova’s movement wasn’t compromised in today’s matchup against Stephens, the Czech player struggled to find top gear right from the start.

Tennis – WTA Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 5, 2021, Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova in action during her quarter final match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty REUTERS/Sergio Perez

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Margins are a lot closer on grass, especially on serve. Stephens maintained an aggressive first-serve which gave her a lot of free points. On the other hand, Kvitova’s first serve win percentage was just 66 compared to the American, who won 77% of her points on the serve.

Petra Kvitova loses a tight match to Sloane Stephens in Wimbledon 2021

Kvitova couldn’t do much on the breakpoints either as the American was able to hold her service games exceptionally well under pressure. The Czech player didn’t play a bad match at all. Just like the Tsitsipas-Tiafoe match, Kvitova faced a better opponent for her first-round match.

Stephens, who gets about her business without any fuss, did the same today against Petra Kvitova. She didn’t provide any opportunity for the former world number to use her dominant lefty forehand and used her first serves to good effect.

Coming to Kvitova, this was an unfortunate defeat as Sloane Stephens was usually not a first-round opponent one expects to face. Owing to her below-par season so far and the minimal gap between the French Open and Wimbledon, the Czech player couldn’t find enough time to make the change from clay to grass.

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After clinching the first set 6-3, Stephens faced a stiff challenge from Kvitova in the second. But, the Czech player made more unforced errors at important moments as she gave away a couple of service games to the American.

Capitalizing on the opportunity, Sloane Stephens was serving for the match at 5-4. Despite a valiant effort from Kvitova to level the score, the American’s sharp first-serves were good enough to earn a deserving victory.

With this victory, Stephens moves to the second round and will most likely face the British player Heather Watson.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

334 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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