By Christian Radnedge

LONDON (Reuters) – Defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina came from a set down on Centre Court to beat American Shelby Rogers 4-6 6-1 6-2 in the first round on Tuesday.

Watched by record eight-times Wimbledon men’s champion Roger Federer in the royal box, the Kazakh looked to still be suffering from the illness that forced her out of the French Open last month when she was broken in the first game.

Rogers powered through the first set but third seed Rybakina roared back in the second, showing the kind of strength and composure she utilised to claim her first Grand Slam title in London last year.

The 30-year-old Rogers, ranked 49th in the world, was broken in the first game of the decider when a stinging forehand down the line by Rybakina who successfully overturned the decision to call the ball out.

The 2022 champion never looked back, breaking again before closing out the match with a hold to love.

She will face either Japanese lucky loser Nao Hibino or France’s Alize Cornet in the second round.

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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