Defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and 2011 winner Novak Djokovic advanced into the second round with straight sets victories while former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur lost her first match.
Murray opened play on the first day of Wimbledon yesterday with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 win against David Goffin on the grass courts of the All England Club in southwest London. Djokovic defeated Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 with twice as many winners as his opponent.
Murray, seeking to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to retain the title, was in command from the first point against the 104th-ranked Belgian, best known for losing to Roger Federer in four close sets in the fourth round of the 2012 French Open.
The 27-year-old hasn’t won a tournament since he ended Britain’s 77-year men’s drought last year. Murray, who had back surgery after the U.S. Open, hasn’t beaten a top 10 player since he defeated top seed Djokovic in last year’s final in straight sets. He reached the semifinals of the French Open earlier this month, where he was beaten in straight sets by eventual champion Rafael Nadal of Spain.
Both Nadal and Federer start their Wimbledon campaigns today. The Swiss player faces Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi and the Spaniard will play Slovakia’s Martin Klizan.
Five-time champion and women’s top seed Serena Williams plays fellow American Anna Tatishvili while Maria Sharapova, the women’s French Open champion from Russia, starts against Britain’s Samantha Murray.
Three matches were in progress when play was halted for the day about 8 p.m. local time due to rain and darkness. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Frenchman who reached the semifinals in 2011 and 2012, leads Austrian Jurgen Melzer 5-4 in the fifth set. Caroline Wozniacki leads Shahar Peer 6-3, 2-0 and fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska leads Andreea Mitu 4-2.
Earlier in the day, former U.S. Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer defeated the 17th-seeded Stosur of Australia, 6-3, 6-4. Even with a game built on athleticism, a high-bouncing kick serve and powerful ground strokes, Stosur has consistently underperformed on the grass of Wimbledon, where she has now lost six times in the opening round in her last 12 appearances.
Sloane Stephens of the U.S. was beaten by Russia’s Maria Kirilenko, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6). Stephens at No. 18 was the highest women’s seed from the U.S. after Serena Williams.
“It feels like the end of the world right now but fortunately it’s not,” Stephens said in a press conference. She ended her streak of making the round of 16 at six consecutive Grand Slams.
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