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Easy walk on grass for Serena

Since debuting in 1998, Serena Williams has only lost one set at the first hurdle and the 28-year-old defending champion was at it again on Tuesday as temperatures soared into the high 70s Fahrenheit at the All England Club.

sports Updated: Jun 23, 2010 01:53 IST

Serena Williams does not care much for first-round dramas, especially at Wimbledon.

Since debuting in 1998, the American has only lost one set at the first hurdle and the 28-year-old defending champion was at it again on Tuesday as temperatures soared into the high 70s Fahrenheit at the All England Club.

For a while the world number one looked unlikely to concede a game against Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito but eventually had to make do with a 6-0 6-4 victory after some gutsy resistance from a teenage opponent more well-known for her shrieking.

Serena, sporting a white tennis dress with bright red undershorts, smacked down 15 aces in a 63-minute workout which was as routine as men's defending champion Roger Federer's opening encounter was tortuous the previous day.

"I'm relieved to get through because she (Larcher de Brito) is really good player," Williams, who now has a 43-0 record in grand slam first rounds, said in a post-match interview. "It's great to be here, fit and healthy.

"Hopefully I'll play in front of the Queen (on Thursday) but also hopefully not because I might get a little bit nervous."

First Tuesday is traditionally Ladies Day at Wimbledon and the beautifully landscaped grounds of the world's most famous tennis club were liberally sprinkled with some eye-catching summer dresses as fans lapped up the sunshine.

The Pimm's and strawberry stands were already doing brisk business as play began on the outside courts at noon with several women's seeds in action.

Stosur bows out of tournament

French Open runner-up Samantha Stosur has been upset in the first round at Wimbledon.

The sixth-seeded Stosur lost to 80th-ranked qualifier Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday, the Australian's fourth first-round exit in eight appearances at the All England Club. Stosur entered Wimbledon with a tour-leading 35 match wins in 2010 and with her career-best ranking. She reached her first Grand Slam final at the French Open this month, beating current No. 1 Serena Williams and former No. 1s Justine Henin and Jelena Jankovic along the way.

The player Stosur lost to in the final at Roland Garros, Francesca Schiavone, lost her opening match at Wimbledon on Monday.

Nadal in cruise mode

Rafael Nadal launched his bid to regain the Wimbledon title by crushing Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the men's singles Tuesday.

Nadal was playing his first match at Wimbledon since his epic victory over Roger Federer in the 2008 final and he quickly got back in the old routine on Centre Court.

A bout of tendinitis in both knees prevented Nadal from defending the title last year and he is desperate to make amends this time.

Nadal arrives in south-west London in superb form after winning the French Open for a fifth time and will now meet Dutchman Robin Haase., who clinched a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 victory over James Blake.

In another match Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ground out a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-4 win over Robert Kendrick.