Federer Defies Soaring Temperatures on Way to Grand Slam RecordDanielle Rossingh
Not even the hottest day of the year in Britain could prevent Roger Federer from setting a record in his first round at Wimbledon.
The seven-time champion from Switzerland marked his 63rd consecutive appearance in the four majors with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 win over Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur.
Federer moved to the second round even as temperatures rose to 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) Tuesday. Before Wimbledon, Federer had been tied with Japan’s Ai Sugiyama at 62 straight grand slams.
“I’ve played hurt and sick before, but somehow the streak is still alive,” the second seed said in a televised interview after the winning the match with 26 winners and only 12 unforced errors. “I definitely had to get lucky as well.”
Temperatures are forecast to rise to a tournament record 35 degrees Celsius Wednesday, as men’s top seed Novak Djokovic plays Jarkko Nieminen of Finland first on Centre Court, followed by Japan’s Kei Nishikori against Santiago Giraldo of Colombia.
Women’s top seed Serena Williams, who withdrew Tuesday from doubles with her sister Venus, faces Timea Babos of Hungary. Venus Williams, a five-time champion like her sister, plays Yulia Putintseva from Kazakhstan, while former champion Maria Sharapova is up against Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands.
Andy Murray, the 2013 winner from Britain, took twice as long as Federer to win his opening round Tuesday, beating Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 in two hours, 12 minutes.
“It was a tough match,” Murray said afterward. “I made life difficult for myself at the end of the second set.” He had been leading 5-3 before dropping serve and being forced into a tiebreak.
No. 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-7 (8-10), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-5) as light faded in southwest London.
Halep, Bouchard Out
Two 2014 women’s semifinalists crashed out in the first round. Third seed Simona Halep lost to No. 106 Jana Cepelova. Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, who defeated Halep to reach last year’s final, was beaten by Chinese qualifier Ying-Ying Duan in straight sets.
Bouchard later told reporters she’d been told by doctors not to play after tearing an abdominal muscle last week.
Rafael Nadal also moved into the second round, defeating Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 on Court No. 1. Nadal, a 14-time major winner who grew up on the Spanish island of Mallorca, said the heat didn’t bother him.
“In Australia, it can be much, much worse,” Nadal said. “No comparison. When it’s weather like this here in Wimbledon, it’s probably one of the best places in the world.”
Earlier Tuesday, two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova took just 36 minutes to beat Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, 6-1, 6-0.
Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 champion, said reporters before the tournament she was nervous about her first match on grass this year after she withdrew from Eastbourne last week with a viral illness.
Caroline Wozniacki, a former world No. 1 from Denmark, moved to the second round with a 7-5, 6-0 win over China’s Zheng Saisai as dusk fell.
No. 10 seed Angelique Kerber also spent as little energy as possible in the heat, crushing fellow German Carina Witthoeft 6-0, 6-0.
Britain’s Heather Watson moved to the second round by knocking out France’s No. 32 seed Caroline Garcia in three sets. Their match was played over two days, meaning Watson is back on court Wednesday against Daniela Hantuchova.
Former junior Wimbledon champion and fellow Briton Laura Robson lost 6-4, 6-4 to Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina. It was Robson’s first major match after she got sidelined with a wrist injury for 18 months.
Watson, Murray and Liam Broady were joined in the second round by fellow Britons James Ward and Aljaz Bedene. It’s the first time in nine years the host nation has five players in the second round.
Jack Sock of the U.S., the 31st seed, lost to Sam Groth, an Australian who once hit the fastest serve ever at 163.4 miles an hour (263 kilometers per hour), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Sock, who pushed Nadal to four sets in the fourth round of the French Open, had been struggling with a hip injury last week.
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