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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wimbledon PHOTOS: Federer outclasses Dzumhur, Nadal cruises

Wimbledon PHOTOS: Federer outclasses Dzumhur, Nadal cruises

Last updated on: June 30, 2015 23:22 IST

Roger Federer

Roger Federer plays a forehand during his first round match. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Roger Federer began his 63rd consecutive Grand Slam tournament with a majestic 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 first-round win over little-known Bosnian Damir Dzumhur at Wimbledon in London, on Tuesday.

Wimbledon 2015: Most shocking upsets

The Swiss second seed's pursuit of a record eighth title at the All England Club could not have started more convincingly as he broke the Wimbledon debutant five times to draw rapturous applause from the Federer faithfuls who had flocked to see their hero on Centre Court.

The 33-year-old started off with an unreturnable serve, threw in some crowd-pleasing volleys before finishing off Dzumhur with a love service game to chalk up his 74th victory at the citadel of grasscourt tennis.

The world number two will next face either Dutchman Igor Sijsling or big-serving American Sam Querrey.

Nadal fires early warning to the big guns

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal might have been condemned to a lowly 10th seeding at Wimbledon but he remains a floater everyone will want to avoid after getting his campaign off to an impressive start with a straight-sets dismissal of Thomaz Bellucci.

The twice champion, who has slipped down the sport’s pecking order after 18 months of injury and below-par performances, showed glimpses of his power and determination in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over Brazil's Bellucci on a sun-drenched Number One Court.

If the draw goes to plan Nadal will have to get past Andy Murray and Roger Federer to earn a shot at a third title, potentially against top seed Novak Djokovic in the final.

The two had met five times previously and the nearest the Brazilian came to taking a set was when he forced a tiebreak -– which he lost to love -– during his first-round defeat at Wimbledon three years ago.

Nadal initially struggled to calibrate his forehand and was wayward with his serving but he eventually settled and began smashing Bellucci into submission with his heavyweight backhand.

The Brazilian must have known it was not to be his day when, fighting to stay in the first set, he allowed an under-hit Nadal lob to bounce and planted his smash into the net from two metres.

The crowd gasped in sympathy and duly accorded him a very British ovation when he responded to the gaffe with an ace on his next serve.

It was all a mere diversion, however, as Nadal warmed to his task, with the full repertoire of grunting, shorts-fiddling, headband-adjusting and hair-stroking ticks on display.

The match fell into a pattern of Bellucci holding his own early in the rallies before finding himself stretched and eventually beaten by Nadal’s superior power and accuracy.

It reached its natural conclusion in just over two hours, the ideal preparation for Nadal as he attempts to nurse his battered 29-year-old body through two gruelling weeks.

Murray battles through testing opener

Andy Murray

Great Britain's Andy Murray,left, shakes hands with Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Andy Murray was given an unexpected run for his money in his Wimbledon first-round clash against Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin, but still came through 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4.

The third seed and 2013 champion looked on course to cruise through when he broke in the 10th game to clinch the first set and immediately broke again to take a 2-0 lead in the second.

But the wheels came off his serve and the Kazakh, ranked 59th in the world, took full advantage and fought back to lead 6-5 with the chance to serve for the set in sweltering conditions on Centre Court.

He could not hold his nerve, however, dropped serve and was soundly beaten in the tiebreak as Murray raced into a 6-1 lead and closed it out after another brief wobble on serve.

Murray, among the favourites to clinch a second Wimbledon title this year, broke in the fifth game of the third set and closed it out when Kukushkin fired a backhand wide. 

Kvitova begins title defence in style

Petra Kvitova

Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova plays a forehand. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Petra Kvitova began her Wimbledon defence as she left off in last year's final with a brutal exhibition of power tennis, dismantling Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-1, 6-0 in a 35-minute rout.

The Czech second seed has form for leaving the Centre Court crowd feeling slightly short-changed after battering Eugenie Bouchard in 55 minutes to lift the Rosewater Dish trophy 12 months ago.

Bertens was overwhelmed by Kvitova's relentless barrage of winners and almost went the entire match without winning a point on the Czech's serve.

Kvitova spared her blushes by serving a double fault when leading 5-0 in the second set but the twice champion swiftly wrapped up the match.

After walking on court under sunny skies to gentle applause, the Czech broke twice to take the first set in 18 minutes and her 108th-ranked failed to win a single game in the second.

Next up for Kvitova will be either Poland's Magda Linette or Kurumi Nara of Japan.

No mercy as Kerber enjoys double bagel for lunch

Germany's Angelique Kerber plays a forehand in her first round match against compatriot Carina Witthoeft

Germany's Angelique Kerber plays a forehand in her first round match. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Germany's Angelique Kerber handed out the third 6-0, 6-0 thrashing so far at Wimbledon when she sent compatriot Carina Witthoeft packing.

Five-times champion Venus Williams and Andrea Petkovic had clocked up the so-called ‘double bagel’ on the opening day of the tournament, against Americans Madison Brengle and Shelby Rogers respectively.

The unfortunate Witthoeft, ranked 53 in the world, had the chance to register on the scoreboard in the final game of the first round match but even then 10th seed Kerber ruthlessly slammed the door shut with a winner.

Two points later it was game over when 20-year-old Witthoeft, who according to the WTA notes models her game on 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, wafted a shot long.

Tsonga shows he has the stomach for five-set win

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reacts. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

An abdomen injury that scuppered Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's Wimbledon warm-up plans stood up to the test of a five-set battle as he reached the second round with a nerve-jangling 7-6(8), 6-7(3), 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over Gilles Muller.

The French 13th seed was a no-show at Den Bosch, Halle and Nottingham but the lack of preparation did little to dim his desire as he traded blows for almost four hours in sweltering conditions with the left-hander from Luxembourg.

The 30 degrees Celsius heat that had turned the sunken Court Two into a suffocating sauna was not to everyone's liking, with one female spectator tipping a bottle of water over her head to keep cool.

For Tsonga, however, the hottest day of the year in London was the least of his worries.

"The weather was good to play tennis. Was not too humid. Was okay for me," said Tsonga, twice a semi-finalist at the All England Club.

"In Australia we play (in) 42 degrees on court. We will see if it's going to be 42. But for the moment, it's not 42. We can play tennis."

What was worrying for Tsonga, though, was his inability to penetrate Muller's serve.

Six break points went begging in the first set and none emerged in the second set that Muller snatched on a tiebreak, before Tsonga finally broke the deadlock in the fifth game of third.

The Frenchman's relief was shortlived, however. Muller broke for the first time in the second game of the fourth and that blow was enough to stretch the match into a decider.

But Muller, who has climbed back to 44th in the rankings after dropping to 374th only 18 months ago, finally ran out of puff as he lost five of the last six games to surrender his Wimbledon challenge.

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