Kvitova, Makarova, Keys and Stephens Advance to Second Round at Wimbledon

during day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 29, 2015 in London, England.

Photo by: Julian Finney/Getty Images Sport

Defending Wimbledon and Connecticut Open Champion Petra Kvitova, Ekaterina Makarova and Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys have advanced to the second round at the All England Club.

Kvitova commenced her title defense in blazing fashion, defeating Kiki Bertens 6-1, 6-0 in 35 minutes. Dating back to last year’s championship run, the Czech has dropped two or fewer games in deciding sets in six of her last eight matches.

Makarova is also off to an impressive start at Wimbledon, securing a straight-set triumph over Sachia Vickery 6-2, 6-4 to book a second-round berth.

American Sloane Stephens also picked up a straight-set victory, bouncing Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova 6-4, 6-2 en route to a second-round appearance.

Madison Keys was knotted with Stefanie Voegele 2-2 in the third set before play was suspended on Tuesday due to darkness. The American finished the job on Wednesday, earning a 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory against Stefanie Voegele.

5 Minutes With… Petra Kvitova

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Defending Wimbledon and Connecticut Open Champion Petra Kvitova talked with us ahead of her title defense at The All England Club to discuss coming back to New Haven, her favorite memory on Tour and what’s on her music playlist!

Connecticut Open: You’re a two-time Champion at the Connecticut Open and have advanced to three straight finals. Can you talk about your comfort-level with the tournament and what attributes to your success here?

Petra Kvitova: I feel at home there, very calm. I like the town, it has a great, historic university and so there a lot of young people around. The venue for the Connecticut Open is really nice too, plus I love their fast courts!

CO: This is your fifth time playing in the Connecticut Open. Do you have any go-to places to visit in the city when you’re not on the court?

PK: Yes, there is a sushi restaurant (Miso) near to where we stay that I make sure I always go back to. For breakfast there’s a lovely organic restaurant called Claire’s which is another one of my favourites to visit.

CO: We asked last year about your favorite memory on Tour and you mentioned it was winning Wimbledon in 2011. This question came a few weeks before winning your second Wimbledon title last year. Could you talk about your success at the All England Club?

PK: Winning the second Wimbledon title I enjoyed more than my first time. I felt every moment, I really knew what was happening. But, I think it was tougher to win than the first time too.

CO: Could you walk us through your practice schedule? Do you have a routine that you follow or does it fluctuate?

PK: Normally if I am not on the tournament I am practicing about hour and half in the morning and the same in the afternoon. I will also always do some fitness which takes about hour. I do this routine 6 days a week.

CO: Last year we asked if you ever binge-watch (Video: 1:58), and your response was “no!” Has this changed?

PK: No! I am still the same.

CO: What are some of your favorite songs right now? Tell us the Petra Kvitova playlist!

PK: I like some new songs in the radio.. Some of my favourite singers are Ed Sheeran, Pink and Geronimo

CO: You’re known on Tour for your great serve. If you could take any player’s shot, past or present, and use it for your own, what would it be and why?

PK: I have been asked this question many times before, but I am always happy to say that I am happy with all my shots!

First thing that comes to mind:

Facebook or Twitter? Facebook

Cats or dogs? Dogs

Going to the movies or Netflix? Movies

Water or Sports Drink? Water

CO: Thanks, Petra! See you in New Haven!

Charity Spotlight: New HYTEs

New HYTEs Executive Director Mavi Sanchez has great passion for tennis and giving back to the community, so partnering with the Connecticut Open for the “50/50 Project” was a no-brainer.

“When I was approached about the 50/50 Project, I thought it was just an incredible initiative,” said Sanchez. “It allows us to reach out to the community and do more outreach by inviting the community to the premiere sports event in the city. It also allows families that are apart of New HYTEs to feel involved in the tournament. It’s just an incredible win-win for New HYTEs.”

In an ongoing effort to positively impact communities throughout the state, the Connecticut Open launched the “50/50 Project,” a charitable fundraising program that enables non-profit organizations to sell tickets for the event as a fundraising vehicle. Starting June 22, non-profits will be able to sell tickets to the Connecticut Open and receive 50 percent of the total net profit from the sale. The tournament is working with Governor Dannel Malloy to encourage maximum participation in the program statewide.

With programs centered on life skills curriculum and academics, as well as the health benefits of an active lifestyle, New HYTEs seeks to positively affect the future for children across Greater New Haven. When Sanchez was first approached regarding the 50/50 Project, she knew it was a program that correlates with the stance of her organization.

“Our flagship program runs year-round with 40 children between the ages of six and 12,” said Sanchez. “Our goal is to help our kids through their high school education, find a way give them a path to college and be a support system to them while in college and to see they graduate.”

Sanchez also discussed added benefits of the “50/50 Project” to her organization, as participation in the program helps to build a larger network in New Haven and surrounding communities.

“For us it creates another vehicle to introduce ourselves to others in the community and also to reach out to different vendors and companies,” said Sanchez. We’re able to target local New Haven and those visiting the city to have them purchase tickets through New Hytes and see how their participation will have a greater impact with kids in the city.”