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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wimbledon PIX: Murray, Nadal, Halep storm into 2nd round; Wawrinka stunned

Wimbledon PIX: Murray, Nadal, Halep storm into 2nd round; Wawrinka stunned

Last updated on: July 04, 2017 09:51 IST

Images from all the action from Day 1 of the Wimbledon on Monday

Andy Murray

IMAGE: Andy Murray of Great Britain acknowledges the crowd as he celebrates victory after the Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray opened 2017 Centre Court action in style on Monday, motoring into the second round with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Alexander Bublik.

The Kazakh was in the first round as a lucky loser from qualifying, but his good fortune ran out against the British top seed.

Not even two short rain breaks could throw Murray off his rhythm as he punched groundstrokes to the corners, served sublimely and overpowered his opponent.

Murray will play dynamic German serve-volleyer Dustin Brown next.

Nadal cruises ahead

Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his first round match against Australia’s John Millman

IMAGE: Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his first round match against Australia’s John Millman. Photograph: Toby Melville

Rafael Nadal moved seamlessly from months of clay court success to a satisfyingly smooth first-round victory on grass as he opened his Wimbledon campaign with a commanding 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Australian John Millman on Monday.

Nadal missed the traditional warm-up grass tournament at London's Queen's Club to look after his battered body in the wake of his victories at the French Open and in Madrid, Monte Carlo and Barcelona but immediately looked comfortable on the faster surface and displayed the full array of ground strokes that have earned him two Wimbledon titles.

Millman, who missed the first five months of the season with a groin injury, played his part in some entertaining rallies but fourth-seed Nadal, who missed last year's Wimbledon through injury and was playing his first grass tournament match for two years, was always on top.

The Spaniard really hit his stride in the final set once he had mastered his timing, smashing a series of blistering forehands that left Millman as much a spectator as those crammed into Number One Court, with Nadal wrapping up the victory in well under two hours.

Wawrinka stunned by Russian youngster

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka plays a backhand during his first round match against Russia's Daniil Medvedev

IMAGE: Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka plays a backhand during his first round match against Russia's Daniil Medvedev. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Fifth seed Stan Wawrinka was knicked out of the Wibledon Championship by 21-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev.

The Swiss was beaten 4-6,6-3,4-6,1-6 by Medvedev on Centre Court.

How much of the stunning upset was down to Medvedev's ability to fire freely from both flanks and how much of it was down to Wawrinka's discomfort was hard to tell.

The Russian, making only his third grand slam appearance and who is ranked 46 places below the world number three, was full of energy as he hauled his giant frame around the court.

After wrapping up a memorable victory in two hours and 12 minutes, he bent down and kissed the turf.

Two-time champ Kvitova into second round

Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova in action during her first round match against Sweden’s Johanna Larsson

IMAGE: Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova in action during her first round match against Sweden’s Johanna Larsson. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

A smiling Petra Kvitova skipped into the second round of Wimbledon on Monday, the twice champion beating Johanna Larsson 6-3, 6-4 on a sun-bathed Centre Court.

Playing only her third event of the year after recovering from a knife attack in December, the Czech 11th seed used her swinging serve to great effect on the main showcourt, signing off with a heavy ace.

Kvitova will next face the winner of the contest between American Madison Brengle and Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands.

Ostapenko still flying high as she reaches second round

Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko celebrates winning her first round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich

IMAGE: Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko celebrates winning her first round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

When Jelena Ostapenko travelled home to Latvia following her bolt-from-the-blue triumph at the French Open, she was flying high after being invited to sit in the cockpit with the captain for the journey.

On Monday, her feet initially barely touched the ground as she soared past Belarussian Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the opening set but eventually had to settle for a topsy-turvy 6-0, 1-6, 6-3 first round win to equal her best showing at Wimbledon.

The 20-year-old's match against the 89th-ranked Sasnovich was switched from Court Three to 18 at short notice after Local hope Aljaz Bedene and Ivo Karlovic's marathon tussle stretched into a fifth set.

The change of venue did little to unsettle the 13th seed as she walloped Sasnovich in 23 blinding minutes to take the opening set.

Fans' favourite Nishikori outclasses Italian Cecchinato

Kei Nishikori

IMAGE: Kei Nishikori of Japan plays a backhand during the Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Marco Cecchinato of Italy. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Japan's Kei Nishikori breezed through his Wimbledon first-round clash with Italy's Marco Cecchinato 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 on Monday, demolishing an opponent who was playing his first senior-level match on grass.

The ninth seed did not disappoint the legion of Japanese fans who gave him a hero's welcome as he walked on to Court Twelve, outclassing his rival from the first point when he powered a backhand winner down the line.

Cecchinato, ranked 102nd, could not handle Nishikori's thundering drives off both wings, with the 24-year-old Italian's one-handed backhand proving particularly fragile.

Nishikori, 27, showed off his full repertoire of shots in a faultless third set which he peppered with delicate drop shots and ended with an emphatic volley.

Japan's highest-ever ranked player did not show any sign of the injuries that have plagued him on grass courts in recent years. His toughest challenge of the day was making his way off the court as he was mobbed by dozens of fans seeking autographs.

Halep hits her rhythm on Wimbledon grass

Romania’s Simona Halep in action during her first round match against New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic

IMAGE: Romania’s Simona Halep in action during her first round match against New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

French open finalist Simona Halep found her grasscourt rhythm to beat qualifier Marina Erakovic 6-4 6-1 and take the first step towards a title that is wide open in the absence of 2016 champion Serena Williams.

With Serena, who secured her 23rd slam in Australia, expecting her first child, Halep is again one of the names being talked up for Wimbledon and a first grand slam.

"I feel that everyone has a chance here, like in the French Open," she told reporters.

The Romanian, a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2014, is one of four women who could top the rankings after the grass court slam. Halep will climb from number two if she reaches at least the quarter-finals and other results go her way.

But despite such prizes in reach, she said she felt only "positive pressure" after dispatching the world 129 New Zealander in the first round.

Big-serving Cilic powers past German Kohlschreiber

Croatia’s Marin Cilic celebrates winning the first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber

IMAGE: Croatia’s Marin Cilic celebrates winning the first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth

Marin Cilic's power game proved far too much for Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Wimbledon first round on Monday as the Croatian seventh seed swept his German opponent aside 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.

After a tight first set which he edged by snatching the only break point, 6ft 6in tall Cilic increasingly dictated terms with his big forehand and booming serve, which bought him a string of cheap points and dug him out of tight corners.

It wasn't all brute force from the back of the court, however, as the 28-year-old showed fine touch to close out the second set with a delicate drop shot and serve-volleyed on several occasions to keep 60th-ranked Kohlschreiber off balance.

For 33-year-old Kohlschreiber, the loss extended a woeful recent record at Wimbledon where he has failed to win a match since 2014 and he has now lost in the first round at the All England Club seven times.

Injured Kyrgios retires in first round

Australia's Nick Kyrgios wears a dejected look during his first round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the Wimbledon Championships in London on Monday

IMAGE: Australia's Nick Kyrgios hides his face as he cringes in pain during his first round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the Wimbledon Championships in London on Monday. Photograph: Wimbledon/Twitter

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has been forced out of the Wimbledon Championships with the left hip injury that also forced him to drop out in his first round match at the Queen's Club tournament in London earlier this month.

The 20th seed was trailing Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert by two sets to love (3-6, 4-6) when he decided that he could not go on any longer.

Apart from in very rare flashes, the 22-year-old rarely ran to pick up the peppering of drop shots and lobs coming from Herbert, and sat with his head in his hands at the changeover after having his serve broken for 4-3 in the second set.

Kyrgios, who has never lost in the first round at Wimbledon, reached the last 16 last year before being beaten by eventual champion Andy Murray.

Kyrgios had entered the Wimbledon Championships and had on Sunday stated that he was “65 per cent fit”.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Sunday that the injury has been troubling him since before he retired hurt midway through his third-round match at last year's US Open.

New mum Azarenka back to old winning ways

Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka celebrates winning her first round match against USA’s Catherine Bellis

IMAGE: Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka celebrates winning her first round match against USA’s Catherine Bellis. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka sealed her comeback to Wimbledon after the birth of her son with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over American teenager Catherine Bellis.

Playing her first grand slam since the 2016 French Open, the twice Wimbledon semi-finalist got off to a slow start, going down 4-0 in the first set as she shook off the showcourt cobwebs nearly seven months after Leo was born in December.

But after the Belarussian broke Bellis, ranked 40 in the world, in the 18-year-old's first service game in the second set, blasting a booming crosscourt forehand, she never looked back in front of a supportive crowd on No. 1 Court.

"It was wonderful. The atmosphere was really nice, and, to see how much people welcome me is really actually emotional for me. I'm very happy," the 27-year-old twice Australian Open champion said.

"But I'm glad I was able to play on the big court, feel that, the atmosphere again with a lot of people and bigger court."

Azarenka plays Russian 15th seed Elena Vesnina, a semi-finalist last year, in round two.

Tsonga thrashes Norrie to sweep into second round

 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

IMAGE:  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France plays a forehand during the Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Cameron Norrie of Great Britain. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Twice Wimbledon semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga breezed into the second round with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over British wildcard Cameron Norrie, whose first Grand Slam appearance ended in a swift and painful exit.

Tsonga, the 12th seed, was dumped out in the second round last year but was never forced out of second gear as he swatted Norrie aside on Court Two.

The Frenchman began in his usual languid fashion before cranking up the pressure to break twice and take the first set against the South African-born Norrie, who has only recorded one tour-level victory.

While Norrie had weapons, principally a decent serve and a whip-crack forehand, they were all too often firing off target, allowing Tsonga to move through the gears at key moments.

The match became increasingly one-sided in the second set as Norrie double-faulted to hand Tsonga a break in the sixth game before tamely netting a backhand to fall two sets behind.

Tsonga broke twice again in the third set to wrap up victory in one hour and 23 minutes.

Venus under way with win over Mertens

Venus Williams

IMAGE: Venus Williams of the United States plays a backhand. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams came through a tricky first-round test against Belgian Elise Mertens emerging with a 7-6(7), 6-4 victory.

The 37-year-old American has had a stressful build-up to the tournament after police last week blamed her driving for a fatal motoring accident in Florida that led to the death of a 78-year-old man.

A nervous Mertens struggled early, going 3-0 down in the first set, but the 21-year-old, ranked 54th in the world, battled back to force a tiebreak which Williams won 9-7.

Williams, who last won Wimbledon in 2008, was unable to convert two match points in the second set before a rain break, but she returned to serve out for victory.

Canada's Bouchard makes early Wimbledon exit again

Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in action during her first round match against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro

IMAGE: Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in action during her first round match against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, the Wimbledon runner-up in 2014, was eliminated in the first round for the second time in three years with a three-set loss against Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

Bouchard won the first set 6-1 but then slumped as she lost the next two sets by the same scoreline.

The 23-year-old was beaten by Petra Kvitova in the 2014 final at the All England Club and reached number five in the world that year but currently sits 61st in the rankings.

The 25th-seeded Suarez-Navarro, who beat Bouchard in the third round in 2013, faces China's Peng Shuai in the next round. 

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