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Federer flying on Centre Court

June 21, 2004 22:08 IST

Roger Federer opened the defence of his Wimbledon crown in imperious style on Monday, sweeping aside Britain's Alex Bogdanovic 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in the first round.

The Swiss top seed drew the sting out of all Bogdanovic's shots on an overcast Centre Court, hammering out his intentions in emphatic style.

"It was important to get off to a good start, and I did that," Federer said. "I soon saw there was not much he could do on my serve.

"I relaxed, played well and am really looking forward to the next one."

Another former champion to advance was nine-times women's winner Martina Navratilova.

The 47-year-old naturalised American, making her first appearance in the women's singles at the All England Club for a decade, thrashed Colombia's Catalina Castano 6-0, 6-1.

Thirty-one years after her Wimbledon debut, Navratilova -- whose name loosely translates as "comeback" in her native Czech -- produced some vintage serve-volleying to bamboozle an opponent who, at 24, is almost half her age.

Navratilova, who lost in the first round of the French Open on her return to Grand Slam singles action last month, will play either Australian Jelena Dokic or Argentine Gisela Dulko -- her conqueror in Paris -- in the second round.

Goran Ivanisevic is due to make his first appearance at Wimbledon since winning the title in 2001 later on Monday.

The Croatian, who is to retire from the sport after this tournament, had been prevented from defending that title by injury and missed last year for the same reason.

He faces dangerous Russian Mikhail Youzhny on Centre Court.

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt also advanced. The 2002 champion suffered a first round loss last year -- the first men's champion to lose so early since tennis turned professional in 1968.

He avoided a similar fate on court one with an assured 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win over Austria's Juergen Melzer.

Women's second seed Anastasia Myskina is due on court later on Monday. Newly crowned French Open champion, the Russian takes on Lubomira Kurhajcova of Slovakia. Third seed Venus Williams tackles Marie-Gayanay Mikaelian of Switzerland.

Ossian Shine
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