Defending champion Roger Federer, going for a record eighth Wimbledon men’s title, opened his grass-court tennis tournament with a straight-set victory. Second seed Victoria Azarenka and 2004 winner Maria Sharapova also moved to the second round.
Federer, 31, beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-3, 6-2, 6-0. Last year, the Swiss tied the record of seven titles held by William Renshaw and Pete Sampras by defeating Britain’s Andy Murray in the final.
“I enjoyed myself,” Federer said. “I’m happy: it was a great first round for me. I don’t know how much better I could have played. It was cold, and winning the first round always relieves the pressure a bit.”
Today’s the first day of the year’s third grand slam tennis tournament, with second seed Murray meeting Germany’s Benjamin Becker, and Spain’s Rafael Nadal, the fifth seed, playing Belgium’s Steve Darcis.
Second-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus overcame a knee injury to defeat Portugal’s Maria Joao Koehler 6-1, 6-2. Azarenka slipped on the court while ahead 1-0 in the second set and needed treatment on the side of the court. Struggling to plant and push off with her left leg, Azarenka grimaced when she hit shots.
“It was such a shock, I slipped, I don’t know what happened out there,” Azarenka said. “It was very emotional, I couldn’t believe what happened.”
Sharapova, the third seed from Russia, beat Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
“The first match is always difficult on the grass and my opponent played really well,” Sharapova said. “she has a big game and a big serve as well.”
Women’s fifth seed Sara Errani was upset by Monica Puig of Puerto Rico. Puig, a 19-year-old playing in her first Wimbledon, beat the 2012 French Open runnerup 6-3, 6-2 on court 18 this morning, winning her seventh match point. It was the first time the women have met.
Errani, ranked fifth by the women’s WTA tour, pulled out of the grass-court warmup event in Eastbourne with a right adductor strain. The Italian’s best results at Wimbledon were third-round losses in 2010 and last year.
“I’m trying to adjust my game a little bit,” said Puig, who made the third round of the French Open. She’d started “not being afraid to close out matches, which was my problem at the beginning of the year.”
Former women’s No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, the 12th seed from Serbia, defeated qualifier Virginie Razzano of France 7-6 (7-1), 6-0. Italy’s Flavia Pennetta beat Britain’s Elena Baltacha 6-4, 6-1.
In the men’s competition, Marin Cilic, the 10th seed from Croatia, beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic, who upset Nadal at Wimbledon last year, lost his opening-round match to Germany’s Julian Reister in five sets. American John Isner defeated Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3), while Mikhail Youzhny, a Russian seeded 20th, beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-4, 7-5, 7-5.
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