rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Wimbledon PHOTOS: Smooth start for Murray, Djokovic

Wimbledon PHOTOS: Smooth start for Murray, Djokovic

Last updated on: June 24, 2014 00:03 IST

Wimbledon PHOTOS: Smooth start for Murray, Djokovic

     Next

Next

Defending champion Andy Murray made a smooth return to Wimbledon with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 defeat of lively Belgian lightweight David Goffin on Centre Court on Monday.

The 27-year-old, who a year ago memorably became Britain's first men's singles champion at the All England Club for 77 years, walked on court to a standing ovation and responded with a clinical victory.

Murray, bumped up to third seed despite slipping to five in the world rankings since his Wimbledon triumph, was immediately in the grasscourt groove, outclassing Goffin in a 28-minute first set that resembled an exhibition match.

The 23-year-old Goffin, who has flat-lined since pushing Roger Federer hard in the fourth round of the 2012 French Open, shook off the early nerves to give Murray a match thereafter. He even carved out two break points in the fourth game of the third set, only for Murray, with new coach Amelie Mauresmo watching on intently, to respond to the danger.

One flicked backhand down the line by Goffin to hold serve in the next game had the man from Liege smiling, but his resistance snapped at 5-5 when he dropped serve from 40-0 up.

Murray duly held serve in the next game to move through and maintain his record of avoiding first-round defeats at Grand Slams since an early loss at the 2008 Australian Open.

- Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Andy Murray in action during his first round match.
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

     Next

Devastating Djokovic dashes into second round

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Novak Djokovic lived up to his top billing at Wimbledon when he combined brutal force with deft touches to reach the second round in a 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 destruction of Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev.

The 2011 champion, elevated to top seed despite his world number two ranking, appeared to be heading for a rarely-seen "triple bagel" in men's tennis when he led 6-0, 5-0 against his hapless opponent.

Golubev eventually registered on the Centre Court scoreboard after 44 minutes, drawing a warm round of applause from the crowd who were eager to witness a closer contest.

Djokovic, however, was in no mood to oblige and took just 88 minutes to book a second-round showdown with wily Czech campaigner Radek Stepanek.

"It was a great start, especially the first two sets and I could not be happier with the performance," said the Serb, who has not won a grand slam tournament since the 2013 Australian Open.

- Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after defeating Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Prev     Next

Stosur's Wimbledon adventure over on Day 1

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Former US Open champion Sam Stosur's unhappy union with Wimbledon continued as the Australian became the highest seed to fall by the wayside after a 6-3, 6-4 first-round defeat by Belgian Yanina Wickmayer.

Cheered on by compatriot and four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters from the stands, Wickmayer dominated play from the baseline to leave the 17th seed chasing shadows on a warm and sunny day at southwest London.

The result condemned Stosur to her sixth first-round exit at the grasscourt major, a tournament where she has failed to progress beyond the third round in 12 visits.

"(I'm) pretty annoyed about it, to be honest. I don't have an answer because I do feel I played well," the 30-year-old Australian said.

"That's that. I still think I'm a good enough player to get through first rounds here, and for whatever reasons it's not happening. It sucks."

Wickmayer will next face Croatia's Ana Konjuh for a place in the third round.

- Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Yanina Wickmayer
Photographs: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Azarenka enjoys first win after six months of injury woes

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka won her first match since January's Australian Open on Monday, beating Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3, 7-5 in the first round.

The eighth-seeded Belarusian had played only twice in the last six months because of an injury to her left foot.

Azarenka lost to Italian Camila Giorgi in the first round at Eastbourne last week but the three-set defeat did offer some invaluable grasscourt practice.

On Monday she looked comfortable in the first set against the 108th-ranked Croat, finding the lines with her powerful groundstrokes on both sides of the court.

Lucic-Baroni, 32, whose best performance at Wimbledon was a semi-final appearance 15 years ago, could not keep up, producing a string of errors in her attempts at winners.

Azarenka, letting rip her trademark wail of effort with every shot, had a characteristic lapse of concentration in the sixth game of the first set, dropping her serve with two double faults.

But breaks of the speedy Lucic-Baroni serve in the third, fifth and ninth games of the set saw her past the first hurdle.

The experienced Croat regained her composure in the second set, giving Azarenka a good baseline workout and exposing the rustiness of her opponent's months out of the game.

The Belarusian, Australian Open champion in 2012 and 2013, vented her frustration, thumping her racket on the ground and admonishing herself for more double faults.

But, with iron will, she saved a string of set points in the second set and kept her cool when a sick ball girl had to be led from the court in the final game of the match.

Lucic-Baroni valiantly resisted match-points on her own serve but eventually crumbled in the face of Azarenka's power and resolve to send a ball long and concede the encounter in just over an hour and a half.

- Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus waves after defeating Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia
Photographs: Max Rossi/Reuters

Prev     Next

Li survives wobbly first set to down Polish debutante

Prev     More
Prev

More

No one would have guessed Li Na was facing a Grand Slam novice as the Chinese second seed survived a rollercoaster opening set before reaching the second round with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Polish qualifier Paula Kania.

For a woman who had never contested a singles match on the main tour before Monday, 183-ranked Kania could not have chosen a better arena to make her debut - the most famous Centre Court in tennis.

Instead of being overawed by her surroundings, 21-year-old Kania resembled a seasoned campaigner, romping to a 4-2 lead before extending it to 5-3 in the opening set.

But that was when Li's experience as a double Grand Slam champion kicked in. The 32-year-old won 10 of the next 12 games to seal a second round date with Austrian Yvonne Meusburger.


Image: China's Li Na reacts after defeating Paula Kania of Poland
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Prev     More