Garbine Muguruza fends off Naomi Broady to begin Wimbledon defense

Garbine Muguruza begins her Wimbledon title defense by defeating Naomi Broady 6-2, 7-5 in the first round.

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LONDON -- After losing just one set on her way to the Wimbledon title a year ago, Garbine Muguruza picked up exactly where she left off at the All England Club.

The No. 3-seeded Muguruza was hardly troubled in beating British wild card Naomi Broady 6-2, 7-5 on Tuesday.

Muguruza saved the only break point she faced and could have ended the encounter more swiftly had she been more clinical with her own chances.

"I'm pretty happy with my serve and controlling the emotions," Muguruza said. "You know, to be back in a Grand Slam is always difficult, so I'm excited with the way I'm playing."

The usual adulation afforded to the reigning champion fulfilling the honor of opening proceedings on Centre Court on Day 2 of the tournament was tempered by the nationality of Muguruza's opponent. Muguruza was duly honored, but the British crowd backed Broady.

However, the 2016 French Open champion quickly dispelled any thoughts of an upset by breaking Broady's opening service game, and did it again to take the first set 6-2.

Broady saved six break points in the second set before succumbing to Muguruza's constant pressure in the 12th game.

The Spaniard, who failed to reach the quarterfinals at the US Open and Australian Open before reaching the semifinals at this year's French Open, enjoys playing on grass courts.

"The fact that it's different surfaces, it helps," said Muguruzaj, who next faces unseeded Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck.

Top-ranked Simona Halep eased into the second round with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Kurumi Nara of Japan.

The French Open champion was playing her first match since winning her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros but showed no signs of rust as she broke Nara four times to wrap up the win in 78 minutes.

Ben Curtis/AP Photo

Simona Halep celebrates winning a point against Japan's Kurumi Nara during their first round match Tuesday.

``It was a big challenge to come and win the first round -- it's not easy after winning a Grand Slam, I knew it was going to be a tough match,'' Halep said. ``I felt OK. I didn't think too much that I didn't have any matches on grass (before Wimbledon). I thought I had enough power to adjust myself. Grass is really tough and every match can go either way. I have no expectations.''

Halep made the semifinals at the All England Club in 2014 but lost in the quarterfinals the past two years.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was stunned in the first round by 50th-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.

The eighth-seeded Kvitova entered Tuesday with a tour-leading 38 victories this season and was coming off a grass-court title at Birmingham last month.

Sasnovich came in with a 2-3 career record at Wimbledon, including a first-round loss a year ago, and a 9-13 Grand Slam mark.

Angelique Kerber won a first-round meeting of former Wimbledon runner-ups, beating Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 6-3.

Kerber lost the 2016 final to Serena Williams -- who also beat Zvonareva in the 2010 title match -- and reached the second round for the seventh straight year.

Zvonareva was playing in her first Grand Slam tournament in three years after a hiatus to get married and have a child. She came through three rounds of qualifying to make the main draw at the All England Club.

Johanna Konta, who knocked out Halep en route to the semifinals a year ago, made it through to the second round by defeating Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia 7-5, 7-6 (7).

Australian trio Daria Gavrilova, Ashleigh Barty, and Samantha Stosur all advanced with straightforward wins.

The 26th-seeded Gavrilova cruised past U.S. lucky loser Caroline Dolehide 6-2, 6-3. She will face Stosur in the next round, after the 2011 US Open champion defeated Shuai Peng of China 6-4, 7-5.

Meanwhile, the 17th-seeded Barty defeated Swiss opponent Stefanie Voegele 7-5, 6-3 to claim her first main-draw singles victory at the All England Club. She will next face British wild card Gabriella Taylor or 2014 runner-up Eugenie Bouchard.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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