Wimbledon top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams both advanced to the second round as play got under way at the grass court tennis tournament in London.
Djokovic, the Serb trying to be the first male repeat champion since Roger Federer won five in a row starting in 2003, beat Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
“I knew the quality of my opponent, and I take everyone seriously,” Djokovic, who lost the French Open final, said in a televised interview. “Mentally, I needed the win. I needed that confidence and hopefully it will continue.”
Defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova plays Kiki Bertens first on Centre Court Tuesday, followed by seven-time winner Federer against Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur. Federer will set a record with his 63th consecutive appearance in a major.
Andy Murray, the 2013 winner from Britain, plays Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. Rafael Nadal, a 14-time major winner, will face Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil. Eugenie Bouchard, the Canadian finalist from 2014, plays Ying-Ying Duan.
Women’s world No. 1 Serena Williams overcame a slow start Monday to advance to the second round 6-4, 6-1. She dropped her serve in the first game against 20-year-old Russian Margarita Gasparyan and was given a warning for swearing.
The five-time Wimbledon singles champion and world No. 1 is seeking her 21st major title and second self-styled “Serena slam” -- holding all four grand slam titles simultaneously.
“When she’s playing against me she has nothing to lose,” Williams said of her opponent in a televised interview after the match. “She started incredibly fast. I’m tired of being down a set.” Williams had to come from behind in five matches on her way to winning her second French Open earlier this month.
Maria Sharapova, who beat Williams in the 2004 final, defeated Briton Johanna Konta 6-2, 6-2. Venus Williams beat fellow American Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-0 in a match lasting just 42 minutes. She could meet her sister Serena in the fourth round.
Sloane Stephens of the U.S. beat Czech Barbora Strycova 6-4, 6-2.
Stan Wawrinka, the No. 4 seed from Switzerland who defeated Djokovic in the French Open final, beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-2, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3).
“Every piece of the puzzle is clicking together,” Wawrinka said in a televised interview.
Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka earlier defeated Estonian teenager Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-1. Azarenka, the 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion, is coming back from a left foot injury. She has reached the semifinals at the All England Club twice.
Kei Nishikori, the fifth seed, overcame Italy’s Simone Bolelli in five sets while struggling with a leg injury.
“It wasn’t easy to play for three hours, but it should be OK for the next match,” the Japanese No. 1 said in a televised interview.
Grigor Dimitrov, the 11th seed, beat Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-0, 6-4.
Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon champion from Australia, made the most of his final appearance at the All England Club before his retirement next year.
He lost to Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in a five-set match lasting lasting four hours, with the final set going to 11-9.
Milos Raonic, the No. 7 seed from Canada, beat Daniel Gimeno-Taylor.
Britain’s Liam Broady, a 21-year-old wild card making his grand slam debut, came back from two sets down to overcome Marinko Matosevic. His sister Naomi lost to Mariano Duque-Marino.
No. 9 Marin Cilic and No. 26 Nick Kyrgios advanced in straight sets. Cilic, of Croatia, beat Japan’s Hiroki Moriya while Australian Kyrgios defeated Diego Sebastian Schwartzman of Argentina.
American John Isner beat Japan’s Go Soeda 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-4. David Goffin of Belgium beat Argentine Horacio Zeballos.