British number 3 Elena Baltacha has battled through her first round match against Italy’s Karin Knapp and will now face reigning champion Petra Kvitova in the second round.

It was a match beset by injuries, with both players requiring medical attention at various stages of the encounter. Knapp looked the more injured of the two however, having to leave court to have her knee strapped after being broken early in the second set.

The first set was a hard slog for both women, with breaks for each player, but the Italian took that 6-4. Upon returning to the court in the second set though, she couldn’t bridge the deficit and Baltacha levelled.

In between sets, Baltacha, who has been plagued with injuries in the last few weeks, also needed treatment to her knee. Yet, she started well, immediately breaking Knapp’s serve before coming back from 0-40 to confirm the break. After that, she broke again before holding, a pattern she comfortably repeated for a third time as Knapp began to fall by the wayside.

Baltacha came through with a final score of 4-6, 6-4, 6-0. She reaches the second round for the sixth time, but faces an uphill struggle against Kvitova. The 2011 heroine earlier defeated Akgul Amanmuradova, getting her 2012 SW19 campaign off to an adequate start.

Within minutes of Baltacha’s triumph, James Ward of Great Britain scraped into the second round for the first time in his career. He beat Pablo Andujar 4-6, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

James Muir

Image courtesy of The Telegraph