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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Myskina Struggles Past Czech Qualifier

APAnastasia Myskina returning the ball to Katerina Bohmova during a first-round match at Wimbledon on Monday.
WIMBLEDON, England -- Russian ninth seed Anastasia Myskina suffered a first-round fright at Wimbledon on Monday before recovering to beat Czech qualifier Katerina Bohmova 5-7, 7-6, 6-4.

Meanwhile, Myskina's compatriot Marat Safin had little trouble dispatching Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan from the prestigious tournament's earliest stage.

Myskina, the 2004 French Open champion, trailed 4-1 in the second set and 3-0 in the third before winning both to avert a second successive first-round loss at a Grand Slam tournament.

The Russian admitted she had been surprised by how well her 18-year-old opponent, who had never won a match on the WTA tour and was making her debut at a Grand Slam event, had played.

"I don't know if she plays like this all the time but I think she played a pretty good match," Myskina said.

"I'm very happy that I fought back. It was a happy ending for me."

Last month the 23-year-old Russian became the first defending champion to lose in the first round of the French Open when she was beaten in three sets by Spain's Maria Sanchez Lorenzo.

Playing her first match in the main draw of a Grand Slam event, Bohmova broke to love in the 12th game of the first set to take it 7-5 thanks to a mixture of heavy serves and subtle drop shots.

Myskina looked thoroughly miserable and needed treatment on her serving shoulder early in the second set. The 23-year-old Muscovite was quickly 4-1 down and staring defeat in the face but recovered to force the tiebreaker which she took 7-4.

Bohmova, though, was not finished, and she broke Myskina twice to lead 3-0 at the start of the third as errors continued to flow from the Russian's racket.

Under the hot sunshine on court two, however, the Czech once again wilted with victory in sight. Myskina broke twice to level the score at 4-4 and, this time conclusively, broke again to love at 6-5 to end Bohmova's hopes.

Myskina, whose best previous showing at Wimbledon was reaching the fourth round in 2003, faces Aiko Nakamura of Japan in round two.

Safin wasted little time in beating Srichaphan 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the second round. The fifth seed and Australian Open champion looked unusually comfortable on a surface he admits is not his favorite against an opponent known for his serve-volley game on grass.

Safin broke in the first game of the match and never looked back, clubbing winners from all angles, with his serve and backhand particularly impressive.

The 25-year-old reached the final of the grass-court event at Halle eight days ago and Monday's display boded well as he sought to surpass his best previous Wimbledon showing of reaching the quarterfinals in 2001. Safin secured victory in the 500th match of his career with two successive aces.

In other men's action Monday: Nikolai Davydenko (RUS) def. Scott Draper (AUS) 7-6, 6-4, 6-3; Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) def. Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4; Greg Rusedski (GBR) def. Alberto Martin (ESP) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1; Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) def. Christophe Rochus (BEL) 6-3, 6-3, 6-1; and Roger Federer (SWI) def. Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.

In other women's action: Yelena Dementieva (RUS) def. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 6-2, 6-3; Yelena Likhovtseva (RUS) def. Anna Smashnova (ISR) 6-2, 6-2; Kim Clijsters (BEL) def. Katie O'Brien (GBR) 6-2, 6-3; and Lindsay Davenport (USA) def. Alina Jidkova (RUS) 6-0, 6-2.

(Reuters, MT)