Kvitova beats Ryabkina as Wimbledon champs clash in Adelaide

Petra Kvitova
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ADELAIDE, Australia — Petra Kvitova issued a reminder of her ability ahead of the Australian Open when she beat Elena Ryabkina in a clash of Wimbledon champions at the Adelaide International.

The 32-year-old Kvitova who won at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014 relied on a powerful serve to eke out a 6-3, 7-5 win over Rybakina who won last year’s Wimbledon title.

Former world No. 2 Kvitova also carried form from the recent United Cup, at which she represented the Czech Republic and won a notable victory over third-ranked American Jessica Pegula.

Ryabkina became the first player from Kazakhstan to win a major title when she beat Ons Jabeur at Wimbledon last year. But she struggled to get into Monday’s match against Kvitova, whose serve set up key points.

“I lost (to Ryabkina) last season and she played really great, serving really well so I focused on my serve, waited for my chances to break her,” Kvitova, said. “And my serve worked very well today. It’s what I’m very happy with.

“It was about (dominating) the serve and first one or two points of the rallies.”

Most players have hailed the United Cup mixed teams format as a success and welcomed the unusual experience of male and female players working together as teammates.

“I enjoyed the United Cup and playing with the guys,” Kvitova said. It was a different vibe and gave me great practice, great attitude as well so I came here playing very well.”

Kvitova now will play either Shelby Rogers or Zheng Qinwen in the second round.

Earlier, Swiss qualifier Jil Teichmann, also fresh from the United Cup, beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 6-4.

At the Hobart International American qualifier Lauren Davis beat fourth-seeded compatriot Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-2. It was Stephens’ second consecutive first round exit after her loss as the second seed at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.

Mikael Ymer fined about $40K after default for hitting umpire stand with racket

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.

An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.

The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.

The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.

Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.

That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.

After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.

“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”