On the opening day of Wimbledon 2015, the sun shone brightly as the big names progressed as expected. Novak Djokovic downed Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in three sets. Serena Williams overcame a slow start to win.
Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber put up a valiant fight against defending champion Novak Djokovic, but it wasn't enough as Germany's top-ranked male tennis star was downed in three sets (6-4, 6-4, 6-4) by his Serbian opponent.
In the year's first game on Centre Court, Djokovic wasn't always at his best but showed his ruthless quality at key moments to frustrate a battling Kohlschreiber. Djokovic broke in the ninth game of each set to gradually take the match away from his German opponent.
"There is no bigger tournament in our sport than Wimbledon. It's always a special feeling to come out here as defending champion. There's always a few butterflies," said the number one afterwards. The Serbian will face Jarkko Nieminen in the next round after he beating Leyton Hewitt in a thrilling five-set epic. It was the last Wimbledon appearance for the Australian, who plans to retire at the end of next year's Australian Open.
Germany did have a winner in 37-year-old Tommy Haas, who became the oldest winner of a men's singles match at Wimbledon since Jimmy Connors (38) in 1991. Haas beat Dusan Lajovic 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka, looking to follow up his French Open victory with his first Wimbledon trophy, cruised past Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-2 7-5 7-6(3). Japan's Kei Nishikori also went through.
Britain's Liam Broady delighted the home crowd by coming from two sets down to beat Marinko Matosevic in five, 5-7 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-3. There were also wins for American John Isner, Nick Kyrgios and current US Open champion Marin Cilic.
Wimbledon women impress
Serena Williams was far from dominant at the start, but more than good enough at the end as she beat Russia's Margarita Gasparyan 6-4, 6-1 to advance. Williams started slowly on Court 1, trailing 3-1 and even picked up a warning for her language. The defending champion turned it around though, and has now extended her Grand Slam winning streak to a remarkable 21 matches. Having won two Slams already this year, Williams is aiming to become the first women since Germany's Steffi Graff in 1988 to win all four in one season.
Serena's sister Venus put in a performance of old, hammering fellow American Madison Brengle 6-0 6-0. After crashing out of the French a few weeks ago, Maria Sharapova looked revitalised in a 6-2 6-2 defeat of British wild card Johanna Konta on Centre Court.
Cheered on by boyfriend and Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ana Ivanovic comfortably beat Xu Yifan 6-1 6-1. Elsewhere, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka was the first player to reach the second round after she beat Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-2, 6-1.
Germany's Anna-Lena Friedsam was the first German to survive Monday after beating Russia Vitalia Diatchenko 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Friedsam, just 21-years-old, surprised many by taking a set off eventual winner Serena Williams at the French Open earlier this year and continues to show promise in her still-young career.
Despite winning the first set 6-0, Annika Beck, from Bonn, lost the next two sets, 3-6, 4-6 against Kirsten Flipkens to exit the competition at the first hurdle.
jh/jh (AFP, AP, Reuters)