The qualifying stage of Wimbledon Championships 2023 is underway, as all the first round matches got played today, emerging the field of 64 players, who will fight for the main draw spots in the following two rounds.
26 out of 32 seeds move through
The opening round of Wimbledon qualies was successful for the players, who receives the seeded spots on the ranking basis, which should thoretically make the qualifying campaign easier, by avoiding the other strong names on the road from the start. The top seeds of qualies are always considered as being really unlucky, to miss the cut-off into main draw by the narrow. It hurts especially the players, who are ranked higher than this, but their spot in the rankings was not high enough a few weeks ago during the cut-off deadline.
Elina Avanesyan in a top seed in WTA qualifying field. The player who performed two successful runs recently, reaching out the 4th round of Roland Garros and QFs of WTA 500 in Berlin, both as the lucky loser, is ranked 64th in the rankings, but was placed below the top 100 in the time of cut-off deadline. Arantxa Rus, Clara Tauson, Elizabeth Mandlik and Diana Shnaider are the other top seeds being ranked inside top 100 of WTA rankings. All of them prevailed in the opening round, eliminating the lower ranked opponents in straight sets. Only 6 players out of all the seeds dropped out so far and just 3 out of top 16, which could be considered as the favorites to make it into the main draw, just on the ranking basis.
Cepelova upsets Danilovic
Olga Danilovic is the highest seed to be eliminated in the first round. The Serbian have impressed with a great run of form in recent weeks, scoring 10 wins in a row including the victory in Madrid's ITF tournament and run into 3rd round of Roland Garros, starting from the qualies. Danilovic has also advanced into semifinals of WTA 125 Gaiba challenger last week, winning 3 matches on grass, prior to the qualies. Jana Cepelova was her opponent today. The Slovakian comes back to competition after really long break, as she played her first competitive match since September 2020. The former world's number 50 was rated as an underdog with an odd 6.01 ahead of the match against Danilovic. Despite this, Cepelova managed to perform a huge sensation, eliminating the favorized Serbian in straight sets. Danilovic was not playing well, as she commited 40 unforced errors, but she still had a chance to force a deciding set, as she was leading 5-2 and had 4 setpoints in second set's tiebreak, but Cepelova was a better player in the decisive points and made a biggest upset of the day.
The other two players out of the top 16 seeds who got eliminated to day are Aliona Bolsova and Kimberly Birrell. Bolsova faced an upset from Sinja Kraus. The Austrian, ranked 193th in WTA list, came back from being a set down and won 5-7 6-4 6-2. Birrell came up short in the match against Dayana Yastremska, who was the odds favorite despite being a lower ranked player. The Ukrainian has won 6-4 6-3 against the Australian.
Maiden grass win for Andreeva
Mirra Andreeva was possibly the biggest sensation of the whole clay season, receiving all the praise as a player, who can be an important force to reckon in the nearest future. The 16 years-old youngster has earned all her successes on clay surface this year and it was interesting how she can perform in her first ever grass match in the professional career. Andreeva played a great match against the world's number 222, Rosa Vicens Mas from Spain. The qualies seed nr 7 has won 6-3 6-1 without losing any single service game, and converting 4 out of 10 created breakpoints.