On Thursday, the 1st-round of the Ladies Singles was finally completed at The Championships in an unprecedented catch-up of the Wimbledon schedule, and 7 matches in the lower half of the draw were finished, including an upset of Karolina Muchova, the French Open finalist, who lost to Jule Niemeier, who ousted the 16th seed from the Czech Republic, 6-4 5-7 6-1, while Bianca Andreescu and Irina Camelia Begu also got their campaigns underway.
The German came into Wimbledon with only 7 wins this year, which was 18 fewer than her 1st-round opponent, Muchova, who lost to defending champion Iga Swiatek in the Roland Garros final last month, and entered this contest as a clear favourite.
23-year-old Niemeier seems to excel on the grass, though, and showed great resilience in upsetting Muchova, who suffered a thigh injury after slipping on the grass.
A quarter-finalist here a year ago, Niemeier forged 19 break points in the match, and converted 4 of them, which was enough to set up a 2nd-round match with Dalma Galfi from Hungary, who was a 6-7(6) 6-2 6-2 winner over the young talented Czech Linda Noskova.
The critical moment came when Niemeier finally won her 7th set point to take the opening frame, and although Muchova battled to level by taking the second set, the German was looking more comfortable as the match progressed.
The Czech, who has endured a catalogue of injuries, needed medical attention in the third set after her unfortunate slide ,and left the court for treatment and taping to her upper right thigh.
She did continue, but was hindered in her movement, and Niemeier cruised to victory after 2 hours 53 minutes.
This was one of 6 1st-round matches from the bottom half of the draw, originally scheduled for Tuesday, that were completed 2 days later after numerous rain delays, and the winners will have to play again on Friday and Saturday for a chance at a second-week, 4th-round berth.
In their only previous meeting, Niemeier defeated Galfi ,6-4 6-2, in the 2021 Prague final.
Andreescu, the Canadian who is currently ranked 50 in the world, and won the US Open in 2019, is always a potentially dangerous opponent in the draw, and she kicked off her Wimbledon campaign with a 6-3 3-6 6-2 win over the Hungarian, Anna Bondar.
After a nondescript grass season comprised of 2 wins to 3 losses across 3 events, Andreescu found her form against Bondar.
In her 4th appearance at the All England Club, the 23-year-old advanced to the 2nd-round for only the second time, and will meet the No 26 seed, Anhelina Kalinina from Ukraine, who defeated Spain’s Jessica Bouzas Maneiro, 6-4 6-3.
Kalinina and Andreescu have never played each other.
In a match suspended by darkness, 29th seed Irina-Camelia Begu from Romania consolidated on her first-set win, and was a 6-2 3-6 6-2 winner over another Canadian, Rebecca Marino.
Begu next plays Anna Blinkova from Russia, who defeated Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, 6-2 4-6 6-3, on Wednesday, and these two have never met either.
In the other suspended match, Swiss qualifier Viktorija Golubic continued her momentum, building on a first-set lead and defeating Anna Karolina Schmiedlova from Slovakia, 6-3 7-6(4).
Golubic, who converted her 4th match point when Schmiedlova double-faulted to end the match, faces No 25 seed Madison Keys, after the American saw off British wild-card Sonay Kartal, 6-0 6-3.
The Swiss has won 3 of 4 matches against Keys, most notably a 7-6(3) 6-3 4th-round victory here at Wimbledon in 2021.