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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Djokovic, Sharapova cruise; Venus knocked out

PHOTOS: Djokovic, Sharapova cruise; Venus knocked out

Last updated on: June 26, 2012 10:01 IST

Champion Djokovic eases into second round

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Novak Djokovic began his Wimbledon title defence in cruise control as he blasted Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero off court to win 6-3 6-3 6-1 in the first round on Monday.

The number one seed endured an edgy start and was broken in the third game of the first set but he struck back immediately and closed out the opener with his usual combination of rugged defence and consistently accurate groundstrokes.

The Serb, who had the honour of opening Centre Court action after beating Rafa Nadal in the 2011 final, was in no mood for hanging around and broke the Spaniard twice in the second set and twice more in the third.

Djokovic will now play the winner of Ryan Harrison's first round match against Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun.


Image: Novak Djokovic
Photographs: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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Vesnina knocks out Venus

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Five-times former champion Venus Williams was beaten 6-1 6-3 by Russian Elena Vesnina in the first round.

The American, who had last lost in the opening round at Wimbledon on her debut in 1997, never recovered from a terrible start and lasted just one hour and 15 minutes on Court Two.


Image: Elena Vesnina
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

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Stosur storms into second round

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US Open champion Sam Stosur won her first match at Wimbledon for three years as she reached the second round with a clinical 6-1 6-3 win over Spanish claycourt specialist Carla Suarez Navarro.

The Australian fifth seed, a first-round loser at the All England Club for the past two years, played a fine attacking game to outplay Suarez Navarro both from the baseline and when she went on the attack up at the net.

Stosur, cheered on by supporters chanting "If you all love the Aussies, clap your hands," raced through the first set in only 26 minutes with the loss of just one game.

She let slip her serve just once in the second set but was still far too good against the Barcelona-based Spaniard, who is ranked 35 places below her.

For Stosur, it was a perfect morale-boosting win to launch her 10th Wimbledon challenge, especially as she has never gone beyond the third round.


Image: Samantha Stosur
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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Sharapova makes short work of Rodionova

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World No. 1 Maria Sharapova made a brisk start to her Wimbledon campaign on Monday with a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of Australian Anastasia Rodionova on Centre Court.

The top seed was 4-0 up with only a point dropped in the first set and made it 5-0 with equal ease before meeting some brief resistance, with Rodionova holding serve and then breaking for 5-2.

The first two games of the second set went with serve before the powerful Russian romped into a 5-1 lead.

Rodionova delayed the inevitable with a break for 5-2, and then held serve for 5-3, before the French Open champion reasserted herself and served out with an ace.

Sharapova, the champion in 2004, turned to wave and blow kisses at the crowd, who gave her a standing ovation, before departing after one hour 10 minutes on court.


Photographs: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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Nalbandian keeps tantrums in check but in vain

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Fiery Argentine David Nalbandian let his tennis, not his temper do the talking at Wimbledon on Monday -- but it was to no avail for the new villain in the tennis hall of infamy.

Nalbandian, who was disqualified from the Queen's Club final eight days ago for injuring a line judge, folded 6-4, 7-6, 6-2 against Serbian eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic in the first round at Wimbledon.

The Argentine, who reached the Wimbledon final at his first attempt 10 years ago, had a brief spat with the umpire over a disputed line call when trying to break back in the second set against Tipsarevic. But the fireworks were a damp squib compared to his fury at Queen's.

In fact his only argument of the day fired Nalbandian into drawing level, only to lose the tiebreak and slump two sets down.

He even earned cries of "Come on David" when battling hard to combat the superior firepower of Tipsarevic but Nalbandian's game simply failed catch fire.


Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

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Easy start against debutant for Federer

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Roger Federer left Wimbledon debutant Albert Ramos shell-shocked after thrashing him 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 as the Swiss six-time champion enjoyed an easy start to the 2012 tournament.

Federer, bidding to win a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon crown and a 17th overall grand slam, needed just 79 minutes on Court One to sail through the first round.

Spaniard Ramos, who had played only one previous grasscourt match, was unable to respond to Federer's skill, though he had one brief spell of fighting back.

He took the fourth game of the second set to deuce nine times and after saving four breakpoints, he put a forehand long on the fifth.

When the 24-year-old left-hander won his only game of the third set, for 5-1, the crowd gave him a big cheer but Federer, who will now face Italian Fabio Fognini, finished him off to love in the following game, concluding with his ninth ace.




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Clijsters eases past Jankovic

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Former World No 1 Kim Clijsters began her final Wimbledon campaign in style on Monday, beating 18th seed Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 6-4.

Belgian Clijsters, who has said she will retire for the second time in September, after the US Open, looked to be back on form after an abdominal injury forced her to pull out of the Den Bosch tournament before her semi-final last week.

"It felt okay," she said of the injury on Monday, in a television interview. "I had a bad stomach-muscle injury in Toronto a year-and-a-half ago and I didn't want that to happen again so I think pulling out last week was a good choice."

The 29-year-old Clijsters, who came out of retirement in 2009 after having a baby and has won four Grand Slams, faces Czech Andrea Hlavackova in the second round.


Image: Kim Clijsters
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters

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