WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka pulled out of Wimbledon because of a shoulder injury as the tournament started on Monday, overshadowing early results as everyone waited to find out whether Andy Murray would deem himself fit enough to compete.

Sabalenka, the two-time Australian Open champion, said she was “ heartbroken ” to announce her withdrawal after it became clear in a practice session that she wasn’t ready.

The No. 3 seed was seen as top contender at the All England Club, which has seen seven different women win the title in the last seven years.

No. 9-seeded Maria Sakkari was among the early winners, and said after beating McCartney Kessler 6-3, 6-1 that the women’s draw is wide open.

“We could name like 20, 25 girls that could win the tournament right now,” Sakkari said.

No. 7-seeded Jasmine Paolini, the French Open runner-up last month, got past the first round at Wimbledon on her fourth try. The Italian beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-5, 6-3.

On the men’s side, No. 5-seeded Daniil Medvedev beat Aleksander Kovacevic 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, and No. 8-seeded Casper Ruud topped Alex Bolt 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4. Unseeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov eliminated No. 19 Nicolas Jarry 6-1, 7-5, 6-4.

Also Monday, defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and past Grand Slam title winners Coco Gauff and Emma Raducanu were all set to play matches at Centre Court.

Alcaraz just won his third major championship at the French Open three weeks ago. He defeated Novak Djokovic in last year’s final at Wimbledon. Alcaraz faces qualifier Mark Lajal of Estonia on Day 1 on the All England Club’s grass courts.

Raducanu won the 2021 U.S. Open at age 18, but she has been dealing with various injuries since then. Her scheduled opponent — 22nd-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova — withdrew Monday morning because of illness. Alexandrova was replaced by Renata Zarazua, a so-called “lucky loser” from the qualifying tournament.

Gauff, who won the U.S. Open last September, closes out the day’s schedule in the main stadium against Caroline Dolehide in an all-American matchup.

No. 1-ranked Jannik Sinner is also on Monday’s schedule, playing Yannick Hanfmann at No. 1 Court.


AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis