Stephens surprised two-time champion Petra Kvitova in straight sets, 6-3 6-4, while Tiafoe beat world number 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-4 6-4 6-3.
Around 6,000 people were at Court One to watch unranked Tiafoe dominate Tsitsipas, who has now withdrawn from Wimbledon’s first round in three of his last four attempts.
Meanwhile, Tiafoe has only reached the third round at SW19 previously, but reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2019.
“Definitely one of my best [matches]. From start to finish it was pretty clean, ”Tiafoe, 23, said after the victory.
“That’s what you train for, that’s what it is about. I live for those kinds of times.”
Meanwhile, Stephens put in an impressive performance to take out Kvitova.
The 28-year-old, who won the US Open in 2017, never made it past the quarter-finals at the All England Club, but showed a lot of promise against the Czech 10th seed, in her debut on turf since 2019.
“It’s so special, obviously not to play on grass for two years and then be able to come back, and my first grass game is on center court here with returning fans is really just a dream,” said Stephens after the game.
Wimbledon is eagerly awaited by tennis fans around the world, and even more so this year after the tournament was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Currently, there is 50% stadium capacity for center court and No.1 court, and 75% for smaller performance courts.
The final stages of the tournament will be played in front of a 100% crowd as part of the UK government’s pilot program.
Halep outside the Tokyo Olympics
It’s the last big tennis competition before the Olympics, but many of the sport’s top stars have already retired from playing in Tokyo.
World number 3 Simona Halep is the latest to step down after saying she needs more time to recover from a calf injury.
“Nothing brings me more pride than representing Romania, but unfortunately it takes more time to recover from my calf injury and I have made the decision to retire from the Olympics this summer,” Halep wrote on Twitter.
“After the disappointment of missing Roland Garros and Wimbledon, having to skip the Olympics is incredibly hard to digest, but I’m determined to come back stronger.”
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