Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Wimbledon 2013: Serena, Djokovic ease into second round
WIMBLEDON, England — Serena Williams said she always feels the nerves entering the first round of a major.
There seemed to be few on Tuesday as the top seed and defending champion defeated Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 6-1, 6-3 to move into the second round of Wimbledon.
DAY 1: Nadal ousted in first round
It was the 32nd consecutive victory for Williams and ran her record in 2013 to 44-2.
"I don't think about it," Williams said about her streak. "Every single time I step out on the court it's a new match."
SERENA'S TAKE: Nerves before first match
The top seed on the men's side, Novak Djokovic, also moved on with ease.
Djokovic defeated Florian Mayer of Germany, who is ranked No. 34 in the world, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
Djokovic took a 3-0 lead in the first set and broke for a 6-5 lead in the second to take firm control. He served out the match to love before saluting the Centre Court crowd with a fist pump.
"It was a big pleasure again performing here on Centre Court in front of the packed crowd," Djokovic said. "For the first round, it was tricky. ... I think (Mayer's) game is really well suited for grass, so it took a lot of effort."
Tuesday's match was Williams' first since she won the French Open in Paris two weeks ago, and it was a chance to turn the focus back to tennis following nearly a week of off-court controversy involving an article in Rolling Stone. First there were her comments about a high-profile rape case that resulted in two apologies and a promise to work on awareness with the family of the victim. Then there was a verbal spat with Maria Sharapova.
"It hasn't been a distraction," Williams said. "Like I said, I'm just here to focus on the tennis," Williams said. "I'm just here to play Wimbledon. It's the premier tournament in the world, of the year, so that's what's most important. ... We're playing on opposite days, so we don't really see each other."
On Tuesday, at last, it was back to tennis.
Williams rolled through the first set, not dropping a single point on serve. Her dominant roll slowed early in the second set when she was broken in her first service game.
She was one point from going down 3-0 but then won 15 of the next 18 points to take a 4-2 lead, and broke again to wrap up the win.
"For me, it's the greatest moment for a tennis player, to walk out on Centre Court," Williams said after her first match at Wimbledon since winning Olympic gold here last year. "That was such a great moment, too. So many great memories on this court."
Williams improved her career record to 68-8 at the All England Club and extended her career-best winning streak to 32 matches, which included her second French Open title.
Minella broke Williams early in the second set and led 2-0, but Williams had little trouble from there.
"I feel like I was a little rusty for some reason today," Williams said. "I don't feel like I played my best. I felt really upset when I lost my serve in the second set. With that being said, I think Mandy played really well. I thought she was really mixing up her shots, mixing up her game. It wasn't an easy match for me. I'm a little excited I was able to play a tough match and to get through it."
The 92nd-ranked Minella was making her second appearance at Wimbledon, having lost in the first round in 2012.
Williams will face Caroline Garcia of France in the second round. Garcia knocked off Zheng Jie of China, who took Williams to three sets at Wimbledon a year earlier.
Williams defeated Garcia 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of the French Open.
The top seed on the men's side Novak Djokovic was next up on Centre Court.
•French Open runner-up David Ferrer overcame a second-set slump and a couple of hard falls on the slippery grass to beat Martin Alund of Argentina 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Ferrer appeared to be favoring his left ankle late in the match.
•Juan Martin Del Potro made a winning return to Grand Slam competition, defeating Albert Ramos of Spain 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 in the first round. The eighth-seeded Del Potro did not play at the French Open because of respiratory problems.
•James Blake of the USA ended a five-match Wimbledon losing streak by beating 93rd-ranked Thiemo De Bakker of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round.
•Bernard Tomic, whose father is barred from tour tournaments because of an assault case, defeated 21st-seeded Sam Querrey 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 after withstanding a flurry of 36 aces by the American.
•42-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm cruised past German teenager Carina Witthoeft — who is less than half her age — 6-0, 6-2 in just 44 minutes. Date-Krumm is the second oldest player to have won a match at Wimbledon after Martina Navratilova, who was 47 when she reached the second round in 2004. The 18-year-old Witthoeft was making her Grand Slam debut.
•Sixth-seeded Li Na of China reached the second round, routing Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-1.
•Laura Robson became the first British woman to defeat a top-10 player at Wimbledon in 15 years when she upset 10th-seeded Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-4. The 19-year-old Robson followed in the footsteps of Sam Smith, who upset No. 7 Conchita Martinez in 1998.
Source : http://www.usatoday.com/