Favorites Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray started in devastating form on Monday at the first day of Wimbledon, advancing in straight sets.
The top-seeded Djokovic lost only five games in downing Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev 6-0, 6-1, 6-4, and Murray defeated Belgian David Goffin 6-1, 6-4, 7-5.
“The way the match was going, the way he was playing, I was happy to finish in straight sets,” said Murray on the tighter third set, with coach Amelie Mauresmo watching from the player’s box. “If my level let up a little bit, he could have won the third set, for sure.”
No. 6 Tomas Berdych, who came from a set down to defeat Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4, 6-3, and No. 7 David Ferrer who topped Spanish countryman Pablo Carreno 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-1 were the only other Top 10 seeds in action.
Other seeded players into the second round Monday were No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 12 Ernests Gulbis, No. 16 Fabio Fognini beating American Alex Kuznetsov 9-7 in the fifth from 0-2 sets down, No. 17 Mikhail Youzhny, No. 20 Kevin Anderson, No. 21 Alexandr Dolgopolov, No. 26 Marin Cilic who beat Paul-Henri Mathieu in four, and No. 27 Roberto Bautista who defeated Steve Johnson in four.
“I’m feeling good at the moment,” Dimitrov said after dismissing the American Ryan Harrison in straights. “It’s just early in the tournament, so of course there’s a lot of other things to look forward to…I like the way I’m playing right now and feeling comfortable on court.”
On the upset tip on opening day were Aussie Marinko Matosevic upending No. 18 Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco in four, Argentine Leonardo Mayer outlasting No. 25 Andreas Seppi in five, and Dutchman Robin Haase dismissing No. 31 Vasek Pospisil in four.
“Since we started working together again, he’s big on playing attacking tennis,” said Matosevic about his attacking style under coach Mark Woodforde. “He really focused on this grasscourt season. On hardcourt be tougher to do, but play to win, play grasscourt tennis. It’s paying off so far.”
Unseeded winners of note were Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, unheralded German Tim Puetz, Marcos Baghdatis defeating Dustin Brown in four, and Bernard Tomic beating Evgeny Donskoy in straights.
No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jurgen Melzer were halted in the fifth set due to rain, and likewise Americans Bradley Klahn and Sam Querrey.
Some big-name lower seeds exited on the first day of play on Monday on the women’s side at the All England Club.
Former Slam winner and No. 17 seed Sam Stosur was ousted by Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, and No. 18-seeded American Sloane Stephens was defeated by Russian veteran Maria Kirilenko.
“Yeah, pretty annoyed about it, to be honest,” Stosur told reporters. “Yeah, I don’t have an answer ’cause I do feel I played well; I think she played well and she stuck to it right from first point to last point. She did well to carry that through, and nearly without a blip.”
Stephens seemed listless in her loss to the Russian Maria, the who who has not won Wimbledon.
“She’s a good grasscourt player,” Stephens said after saving five match points before going down in the second-set tiebreaker. “She just played really consistent. Tough day for me.”
In the only other upset on the day, American CoCo Vandeweghe duplicated her result last week en route to her first career title by defeating No. 27 Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
The four Top 10-seeded players all moved into the second round in straight sets, with No. 2 Li Na coming back from a break down 4-5 in the first to defeat Polish qualifier Paula Kania 7-5, 6-2; No. 6 Petra Kvitova handling Czech Andrea Hlavackova 6-3, 6-0; No. 8 Victoria Azarenka in her Slam comeback defeating Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3, 7-5, and No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova easing past Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-2.
“I was super happy to get a win,” said Azarenka on being back on the Slam stage for the first time since January. “I’m just very happy to be able to play. This is what I love to do. The best feeling is to play pain-free. That’s what’s important for me.”
Other seeded winners were No. 12 Flavia Pennetta, No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova from a set down over Kimiko Date-Krumm, No. 23 Lucie Safarova, No. 30 Venus Williams and No. 32 Elena Vesnina.
Five matches were suspended due to darkness, including No. 14 seed Sara Errani at one-set all with French comer Caroline Garcia.
Matches to look for on Tuesday at the All England Club include (2) Rafael Nadal vs. Martin Klizan, (1) Serena Williams vs. Anna Tatishvili, (4) Roger Federer vs. Paolo Lorenzi, (13) Eugenie Bouchard vs. Daniela Hantuchova, (7) Jelena Jankovic vs. Kaia Kanepi, (31) Klara Koukalova vs. (WC) Taylor Townsend, and (12) Roberta Vinci vs. Donna Vekic (upset alert).
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