Federer nearly falls against Falla
Six-times champion Roger Federer came back from the brink of a dramatic first-round exit at Wimbledon on Monday, recovering from two sets down to beat gritty Colombian Alejandro Falla 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-0.
Federer, bidding for a record-equalling seventh men's singles title, was staring down the barrel as the south American world number 60 served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set after producing a spellbinding display of baseline power and volleying guile.
"I definitely got very lucky out there," Federer said. "I have lost many matches this year which I should have won, this is one I should have lost but I came through. But that is sometimes how grass court tennis works."
Image: Roger Federer
Falla makes Federer sweat in opener
Federer, who pummelled Alejandro Falla for the loss of three games in the tune-up event in Halle last week, looked lost in the middle part of the match as the Colombian returned superbly, picked his advances to the net exquisitely and matched the 16-time Grand Slam winner stroke for stroke from the back of the court.
When Federer won the third, Falla could have been expected to fold but he broke in the opening game of the fourth, the Swiss contributing to his total of seven double faults in the process.
Falla could not hold his nerve serving at 5-4 and there was little doubt about the outcome once Federer took it into a fifth set, which he won in 27 minutes.
Image: Alejandro Falla
Clijsters storms into second round
Former world number one Kim Clijsters quickly found her feet on grass on Monday as she eased into the second round at Wimbledon with an efficient 6-0, 6-3 win over Italy's Maria Elena Camerin.
Playing competitively at the All England Club for the first since 2006, the Belgian eighth seed rattled off the first set in just 24 minutes in bright conditions on the opening day of the year's third Grand Slam.
Camerin, who suffered a sixth straight first-round defeat here, offered more resistance in the second set but was broken in game eight and a tame service return into the net ended her challenge.
Image: Kim Clijsters
Brown goes down to Melzer
Dustin Brown, the first Jamaican to play at Wimbledon for 40 years, put up a stout defence before succumbing 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to Austrian 16th seed Jurgen Melzer in their first-round clash.
Brown, one of the most improved players on the circuit who has climbed more than 350 places in the rankings to 105, could not match the consistency and pinpoint accuracy of Melzer, who reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at this year's French Open.
The dreadlocked Jamaican, sporting bright orange and lime laces and a pair of vivid yellow wristbands, had a vociferous fan club of supporters waving a giant "Dustin wins!" banner.
Image: Dustin Brown
'Sexy beast' Roddick eases past Ram into second round
Andy Roddick warmed up for his first outing at Wimbledon since "that final" by playing a round of Monopoly and then cashed in all his assets in double quick time to reach the second round on Monday.
The American, who cemented a place in every tennis fans' heart after losing an epic 30-game fifth set to Roger Federer in last year's final, was made to wait over four hours to make his bow at the 2010 event as Nikolay Davydenko performed a great escape on Court One.
Once Roddick was finally set free on the soft green grass against fellow American Rajeev Ram, there was no stopping him.
He started by unleashing a 120mph bullet, finished with a 106mph rocket and in-between dazzled the crowd with a 142 mph ace.
So startled was one front row fan by the ferocity of the serve, she was jolted out of her seat and dropped a punnet of strawberries and cream down her pristine white jacket.
A male voice from high up in the stands hailed Roddick's effort by crying out "Come on you sexy beast!".
Roddick, however, did not bat an eye and stalked Ram out of Wimbledon in just 93 minutes with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win.
Asked how he had spent his time in the locker room as he waited for Davydenko to get off court, the American replied: "Play some Monopoly. Dominated some Scrabble. I watched some tennis. Watched some football. That was pretty much it.
"I was definitely ready to play a match. There's only so much practice that can be done. I'm always eager and anxious to start a slam," added Roddick, who fired down 13 aces.
"I thought I served pretty good percentages. I thought I returned pretty well. It was probably a little more straightforward than I thought it might be. So it's a good start."
Image: Andy Roddick
Venus rocks into second round
It is a fair bet Venus Williams spent more time designing her Tina Turner-inspired dress than she spent dispatching first-round opponent Rossana de los Rios at Wimbledon on Monday.
The Paraguayan was sent packing 6-3, 6-2 with the minimum of fuss by the five-times champion late on the opening day of the tournament.
Williams sauntered on to court displaying a white lacy outfit, a far cry from the risque black garment she sported at the French Open last month.
"Here it's all about white, there is no illusion," Williams explained.
"My dress was inspired by Tina Turner... it's a fun elegant dress. I love Tina Turner, she's an amazing artist, a survivor and re-invented herself. I've loved her forever."
Rock artist Turner has packed a vocal punch throughout her long musical career. At the All England Club on Monday De los Rios was on the receiving end of a tennis knockout.
On a day that marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, and the longest hours of daylight, Venus was in a hurry to finish off her prey before the light faded.
"Everything was pretty straightforward today. I've been practising on the grass since Wednesday. So I feel like I had a good feel for it. I was just ready to go for it," she said.
Williams raced into a 5-0 lead in the opening set before de los Rios stemmed the tide. The American also went 5-0 up in the second before her concentration again briefly wandered.
"I just tried to play aggressive... the points were pretty quick. It's good to get in before it got dark."
Image: Venus Williams
Djokovic survives Rochus challenge
Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic recovered from an early onslaught by Olivier Rochus and a mid-match closing of the Centre Court roof to book his place in the Wimbledon second round on Monday.
Djokovic, who trailed 3-1 in career meetings against the feisty 5-ft-5 Belgian, looked set for an early exit after Rochus's crisp groundstrokes and shrewd shot placement gave him a two sets to one lead.
But Djokovic seemed reinvigorated once fading light prompted the closure of the roof after the third set and clinched the fourth before going on to seal a 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 triumph.
The Serb will play American Taylor Dent in the second round.
Russia's seventh seed Nikolay Davydenko also went two sets down against South Africa's Kevin Anderson before clawing back to win 3-6 6-7 7-6 7-5 9-7.
Marin Cilic, the 11th seed, fell to Germany's Florian Mayer. Cilic succumbed to a disappointing 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 defeat against the world number 59.
Image: Novak Djokovic
Henin advances to Round 2
Former world number one, Belgian Justine Henin, back after a retirement U-turn, beat Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova and fourth seed Jelena Jankovic ended the hopes of British teenager Laura Robson.
French Open champion Francesca Schiavone's challenge was shortlived as she went down 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 to Russian Vera Dushevina.
"I had a plan. Francesca is the French Open champion but I have been junior champion here and I know how to play on grass," 56th-ranked Dushevina told reporters.
Image: Justine Henin