A serene start
Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams cruised into the Wimbledon second round on Tuesday as the All England Club recovered from the shockwaves of Rafael Nadal's exit 24 hours earlier.sports Updated: Jun 28, 2013 14:14 IST
Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams cruised into the Wimbledon second round on Tuesday as the All England Club recovered from the shockwaves of Rafael Nadal's exit 24 hours earlier.
World number one Djokovic, the 2011 champion, beat Germany's Florian Mayer 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, in the Serb's first grass-court outing of the season and his first match since his shattering five-set semi-final loss to Nadal at the French Open.
"It was a big pleasure to play in front of a packed Centre Court against a tricky rival like Mayer. He's got a great variety of shots and his game is well-suited to grass," said Djokovic, who next faces either Bobby Reynolds or Steve Johnson.
Defending champion Williams, chasing a sixth Wimbledon title and 17th major, racked-up her 32nd successive win, cruising to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Luxembourg's Mandy Minella.
Her 57-minute romp on Centre Court briefly deflected attention away from the storm surrounding her controversial comments on a US high school rape case and the fall-out from her criticism of Maria Sharapova's love life.
The 31-year-old took out her frustrations on the hapless Minella, the world No. 92 who has never defeated a top-30 player let alone one of Williams's calibre whose French Open title three weeks ago took her majors haul to 16.
Victory was also her 75th in her last 78 matches, a run that stretches back to her shock first round departure at Roland Garros in 2012, the worst Grand Slam exit of her career.
Tuesday's 32nd successive win took her to within just three of the record set by older sister Venus in 2000.
Russia's Maria Kirilenko, who made the quarter-finals last year, slumped to a first round exit at the hands of Britain's world number 38, Laura Robson, who claimed a 6-3, 6-4 win.
"That was a big one for me just because of all the nerves and playing in front of your home crowd at Wimbledon," said Robson, a former junior champion.
Kimiko Date-Krumm, just three months shy of her 43rd birthday and the oldest woman in the main draw, made the second round with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Carina Witthoeft, an 18-year-old German qualifier, who was just four when the Japanese star made her Wimbledon debut in 1989.
Date-Krumm said she carefully manages her training schedule to avoid burn-out and drinks a lot of Chinese tea.
Argentinian eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro, who missed the French Open through illness, saw off Spain's Albert Ramos 6-2, 7-5, 6-1.
Australia's Bernard Tomic put out American 21st seed Sam Querrey, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 despite complaining of dizziness midway through the match and being forced to call for a doctor.
First Published: Jun 26, 2013 00:51 IST