Venus, Date-Krumm strike senior Wimbledon blow
Five-time champion Venus Williams and 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm reached the Wimbledon second round today, striking an early blow for the tournament's senior citizens at the 125th Championships.Updated: Jun 20, 2011 19:27 IST
Five-time champion Venus Williams and 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm reached the Wimbledon second round Monday, striking an early blow for the tournament's senior citizens at the 125th Championships.
Williams, 31, was untroubled in disposing of Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova 6-3, 6-1, showing no signs of the hip injury which kept her off the tour for five months until her Eastbourne return last week.
The American, whose choice of a loose-fitting, lace-like top and baggy white shorts caused as much conversation as her free-flowing tennis on Court Two, fired 23 winners past the Uzbek.
Williams now takes on Date-Krumm who became the second oldest winner of a singles match at Wimbledon with her 6-0, 7-5 demolition of British wild card Katie O'Brien.
Date-Krumm, a semi-finalist at the All England Club in 1996 and who made her debut in 1989, had the honour of playing the first match on the new Court Three which has replaced the old Court Two, the former Graveyard of the Champions.
Later Monday, men's champion Rafael Nadal was taking on American journeyman Michael Russell as the Spaniard looks to win an 11th Grand Slam title, just weeks after capturing a sixth French Open.
Nadal has constantly played down his chances of chasing down Roger Federer's 16, a show of modesty which sparked an astonishing outburst from former Wimbledon champion John McEnroe on Monday.
"I'm getting a little bit tired of him continuing to downplay his chances," McEnroe told the BBC.
"There is definitely an argument for him not only being the best player at the moment, but the greatest of all time.
"Rafa has won things like the Davis Cup and an Olympic gold medal (in singles) that Roger Federer hasn't, and he is right on his tail in terms of Grand Slam titles too - so why can't he just say 'look, I'm the best'."
British fourth seed Andy Murray, a semi-finalist for the last two years, opens his campaign to break his country's 75-year wait for a Wimbledon men's champion when he faces Spanish clay court specialist Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
Three-time runner-up Andy Roddick, seeded eight, starts against German qualifier Andreas Beck while Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych, the 2010 finalist, faces Italy's Filippo Volandri.
Women's second seed Vera Zvonareva, the runner-up to Serena Williams 12 months ago, takes on American world number 115 Alison Riske.
Victoria Azarenka, the fourth seeded Belarusian who made the quarter-finals in 2009, faces Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova.
Also in action is Australia's Jelena Dokic who returns to Centre Court where in 1999 she shocked world number one Martina Hingis 6-2, 6-0 to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat the top seed in a Grand Slam opener.
Dokic, who made the semi-finals in 2000, faces 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.
First Published: Jun 20, 2011 19:20 IST