Nadal starts in style

Champ Kvitova made to sweat; Serena sails through

 

Rafael Nadal needed four games to adjust his sights for grasscourt combat at Wimbledon on Tuesday while another former champion, Serena Williams, powered through to the second round in convincing style. 

Mallorcan Nadal, looking to reclaim the title he won in 2008 and 2010, found himself 4-0 down against Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci on Centre Court before a barrage of heavy hitting took him to a 7-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory in two hours 15 minutes. 

Serena, the day after her sister Venus was bundled out in the first round, restored family honour with a 6-2, 6-4 defeat of battling Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. 

Wildcard Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 champion, lost 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga while 20th seed Bernard Tomic's surprise 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 defeat by Belgian wildcard David Goffin made it a bad day for Australia. 

Women's defending champion Petra Kvitova had the honour of opening Centre Court proceedings on what is traditionally Ladies Day at the All England Club. 

Like Nadal, she also took a while to find her rhythm before beating Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova 6-4, 6-4 in a match interrupted by the first raindrops of the week. 

Deposed world number one Victoria Azarenka was untroubled against Irina Falconi, screaming to a 6-1, 6-4 victory while former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, the 24th seed, survived a scare against home favourite Laura Robson before winning 2-6, 6-2, 6-4. 

Second seed Nadal, who has never lost in the first round of a Grand Slam, admitted he was a touch fortunate to progress in three sets against the 80th ranked Bellucci.  “I served well at the beginning and I made more mistakes than usual,” Nadal said. “I was lucky to come back to win the opening set after being 4-0 down.”

Serena, whose career has teetered on the brink since she collected her fourth Wimbledon singles title in 2010, was given a decent workout by Strycova on Court Two. 

The fired-up 30-year-old let out a roar when she closed out the match and looked in the mood to fly the Williams flag throughout the fortnight after five-times champion Venus's disheartening display on the opening day. 

Andy Murray made a ruthless start to his seventh Wimbledon title bid by crushing Russian Nikolay Davydenko 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round on Tuesday.  The British fourth seed, semifinalist for the past three years, needed one hour 35 minutes to see off the former world number three. 

Murray raced through the first two sets in 55 minutes and although Davydenko improved in the third, Murray's powerful serve and metronomical groundstrokes were simply too good for the 31-year-old Davydenko. Murray, bidding to become the first British man to win Wimbledon for 76 years, sealed victory on his third match point when his opponent sent a backhand return long and he will play Croatian Ivo Karlovic or Israeli Dudi Sela in the second round. 

Sania-Bethanie through

India’s Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands notched up a straight-sets victory and advanced to the second round of the women’s doubles competition.

The 13th seeded Indo-US pair defeated Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva and American Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 24 minutes.

The duo will take on the winner of the match between Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic and France’s Virginie Razzano and French duo of Stephanie Foretz Gacon and Kristina Mladenovic, in the second round.

Wimbledon results

First round (prefix denotes seeding):

Men’s singles: Lukas Rosol (Cze) bt Ivan Dodig (Cro) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-0), 7-5; Grigor Dimitrov (Bul) bt 32-Kevin Anderson (SA) 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3; Florent Serra (Fra) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (Rus) 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp) bt Albert Montanes (Esp) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4; 2-Rafael Nadal (Esp) bt Thomaz Bellucci (Braz) 7-6 (7-0), 6-2, 6-3; Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Esp) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin (Fra) 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 10-8; Lukas Lacko (Svk) bt Adrian Ungur (Rom) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, 6-3; 5-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) bt Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; Go Soeda (Jap) bt Igor Kunitsyn (Rus) 6-3, 6-2, 6-1; Malek Jaziri (Tun) bt Juergen Zopp (Est) 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 9-7; Jarkko Nieminen (Fin) bt 14-Feliciano Lopez (Esp) 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4; 12-Nicolas Almagro (Esp) bt Olivier Rochus (Bel) 6-7(4), 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-4; Jesse Levine (US) bt Karol Beck (Svk) 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-2; David Goffin (Bel) bt 20-Bernard Tomic (Aus) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; 10-Mardy Fish (US) bt Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (Esp) 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 7-6 (7-1); Benoit Paire (Fra) bt Matthew Ebden (Aus) 6-1, 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 6-3; 19-Kei Nishikori (Jpn) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (Kaz) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4; Brian Baker (US) bt Rui Machado (Por) 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-0; 22-Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukr) bt Alex Bogomolov Jr (Rus) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5; Nicolas Mahut (Fra) bt Paolo Lorenzi (Ita) 6-3, 5-7, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-2.

Women’s singles: Elena Baltacha (Bri) bt Karin Knapp (Ita) 4-6, 6-4, 6-0; Melinda Czink (Hun) bt Johanna Larsson (Swe) 6-0, 6-2; 2-Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Irina Falconi (US) 6-1, 6-4; Varvara Lepchenko (US) bt Patricia Mayr-Achleitner (Atr) 6-2, 6-3; Romina Oprandi (Sui) bt Irina Begu (Rom) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4; 9-Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt Casey Dellacqua (Aus) 6-2, 6-4; 6-Serena Williams (US) bt Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (Cze) 6-2, 6-4; Mirjana Lucic (Cro) bt Alexandra Panova (Rus) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; 28-Christina McHale (US) bt Johanna Konta (Bri) 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 10-8; Kristyna Pliskova (Cze) bt Polona Hercog (Slv) 6-2, 6-2; 4-Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt Akgul Amanmuradova (Uzb) 6-4, 6-4; 31-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) bt Sofia Arvidsson (Swe) 6-1, 6-2; 24-Francesca Schiavone (Ita) bt Laura Robson (Gbr) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; 12-Vera Zvonareva (Rus) bt Mona Barthel (Ger) 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4; 25-Zheng Jie (Chn) bt Stephanie Dubois (Can) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

 

 

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