Petra Kvitova, Rafael Nadal survive round 1

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates match

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates match point during Ladies' Singles first round. (Getty) (Credit: Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates match point during Ladies' Singles first round./Getty)

Rain halted several matches at Wimbledon Tuesday after the favorites cruised to victory.

Defending ladies' champion Petra Kvitova overcame a 0-3 first-set start and a second-set rain delay to record a 6-4, 6-4 victory over unseeded challenger Akgul Amanmuradova.

"It was unbelievable to come back here as the defending champion," Kvitova told reporters. "In the beginning I think I was nervous - first match on the grass it's always difficult to know what you can expect. "

Also in the ladies' singles, four-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams did not follow her sister Venus out of the tournament, defeating Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova, 6-2, 6-4.

On the men's side, No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal fell behind 4-0 to Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, but rallied to win the first set in a tiebreaker, and take the next two sets to keep pace with rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who both advanced Monday.

"Probably I have to improve a lot for the next round," Nadal told reporters. "But I am very happy to be through in straight sets."

Rain set in later in the day, halting the match between Andy Roddick and Scottish-bred Jamie Baker with the American leading, 7-6 (1), 4-2.

Tags: SPORTS , TENNIS , MICHAEL CUNNIFF

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