- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

LONDON (AP) - Retired women’s singles champion Marion Bartoli was part of a tribute Tuesday to the late British tennis player Elena Baltacha on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

Baltacha, Britain’s former No. 1 women’s player, died of liver cancer May 4 at age 30.

Bartoli, who did not defend her title this year, took part in a coin toss ceremony ahead of the women’s singles match between Sabine Lisicki, who lost to Bartoli in last year’s final, and Julia Glushko.

Bartoli, wearing her Wimbledon members’ tag, wiped away tears on several occasions during the ceremony. She was accompanied by nine-year-old Elle Robus-Miller, a player from the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis for underprivileged children.

Traditionally at Wimbledon, the women’s singles champion opens play on the second day.

Lisicki beat Glushko in straight sets.

- By Dennis Passa - http://twitter.com/DennisPassa



Victoria Duval was reduced to tears by a back injury during Wimbledon’s qualifying last week.

The 18-year-old Californian overcame the pain and reached the second round of the grass-court Grand Slam with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory over the 29th-seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania on Tuesday.

No one will blame Duval, who made her breakthrough when she beat former champion Samantha Stosur at last year’s U.S. Open, if she decides to treat herself with the traditional British dessert she fell in love with in England.

“Strawberries and cream,” she said in delight. “The strawberries here are not like the strawberries in America. They are like so juicy and sweet.”

The 114th-ranked Duval is playing at Wimbledon for the first time, on her favorite surface. After upsetting Stosur at Flushing Meadows she feels as if everything is possible.

“I have my expectations of myself,” she said. “I’m not thinking about following up a win. I’m just thinking about winning all the time.”

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