Defending women's singles champion Elena Rybakina recovered from a set down to reach round two of Wimbledon ©Getty Images

Defending women’s singles champion Elena Rybakina and men’s top seed Carlos Alcaraz were among the winners on a rain-hit second day of the Wimbledon Championships.

The only completed matches were on Centre Court and Court One, which both have roofs, as only an hour’s play was possible on the outside courts due to persistent rain.

As tradition dictates, Rybakina of Kazakhstan opened Centre Court play as the defending women’s champion, battling past Shelby Rogers of the United States in three sets.

After a nervy start, which included a double fault on the first point, Rybakina recovered to advance 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Later in the day, second seed Aryna Sabalenka, playing as a neutral, cruised past Hungary’s Panna Udvardy 6-3, 6-1.

Australian Open champion Sabalenka missed last year’s Wimbledon tournament due to a ban on Russian and Belarusian players due to the two countries invasion of Ukraine.

She demonstrated heavy hitting and accurate serving in a comprehensive win that lasted just over an hour.

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, last year’s women’s singles runner-up, also advanced, overcoming Poland’s Magdalena Frech 6-3, 6-3.

Men's top seed Carlos Alcaraz started his Wimbledon campaign with a straight sets win over Jeremy Chardy ©Getty Images
Men's top seed Carlos Alcaraz started his Wimbledon campaign with a straight sets win over Jeremy Chardy ©Getty Images

In the men’s singles, top seed Alcaraz of Spain got off to a flying start racing through the opening set without dropping a game.

The reigning US Open champion was made to work in the third set as he beat France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.

In an all British encounter, double Wimbledon champion Sir Andy Murray swept past wildcard Ryan Peniston 6-3, 6-0, 6-1.

There was more home success as 12th seed Cameron Norrie battled past world number 108 Tomáš Macháč of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Finally, two matches that were halted by bad light last night were concluded late in the day, with France’s Quentin Halys overcoming Britain’s Dan Evans, the 27th seed, 6-2, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.

Argentina’s 29th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry overturned a two sets to love deficit to overcome Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles in a marathon encounter that concluded just before 10pm local time, winning 6-7, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.

With better weather forecast tomorrow, organisers will hope to start playing catch-up, with a mixture of first and second-round singles matches scheduled.

The doubles tournaments, due to begin tomorrow, have been pushed back to Thursday (July 6).