Sharapova and Serena cruise into second round
Originally published on 24/06/14
Williams recovered from a slow start to defeat fellow American Anna Tatishvili 6-1 6-2, while French Open champion Sharapova claimed the 160th Grand Slam win of her career with a 6-1 6-0 victory over British wildcard Samantha Murray.
The world No.247 had three break points early on, but was unable to capitalise against a clinical Sharapova, who soon found her rhythm, winning 11 games in a row to wrap up victory inside an hour.
“There’s always a bit more tension coming into the first round of a Grand Slam,” Sharapova admitted. “It was such a quick turnaround. Just a couple weeks ago you're on the clay, coming onto the grass, with the new grass and new surface, it's a different feeling. It was obviously a bit slower start than I wanted, but happy overall with how I progressed through the match.”
It was relatively plain sailing for Sharapova and Williams, but No.7 seed Jelena Jankovic was the biggest casualty on Day Two as the Serb was beaten in straight sets by two-time quarter-finalist Kaia Kanepi.
Kanepi, who reached the last eight in 2010 as a qualifer snapped a four-match losing streak, had lost her last four matches but hit 28 winners to 13 unforced errors as she claimed a 6-3 6-2 victory on No.2 Court.
In the absence of champion Marion Bartoli, who retired last summer, 2013 runner-up Sabine Lisicki had the honour of opening play on Centre Court on Tuesday. The No.19 seed, who stunned world No.1 Serena Williams and 2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska en route to last year’s final, struggled with nerves against Bartoli, but despite admitting she felt nervous before her return to Centre Court, the German was in fine form as she raced to a 6-2 6-1 victory against Julia Glushko.
“I played my first Grand Slam final last year and I'm returning to the court where I played it on,” said Lisicki. “That's normal that there are some nerves involved. It's just a place that means so much to me. I love that court so much. It definitely helped me. The crowd, as well, helped me to settle very quickly.
“I don't know what it is, but I guess because it's such a special place to me, it always has been. Since I was growing up, it just always gets every inch out of me, every energy, it just gets the best out of me. I think it does something magical to me when I come back here.”
Eugenie Bouchard enjoyed a hard-fought 7-5 7-5 win against Daniela Hantuchova while Andrea Petkovic says she is a happier player after enduring a nightmare spell of injuries. The French Open semi-finalist, who is back in the top 20 following her run in Paris, defeated Katarzyna Piter 6-1 6-4 to set up a second-round clash with Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.
“The nice thing after all my injuries is that I learned to appreciate it much more and enjoy the nice moments much more,” said Petkovic. “Before when I was in the top 10 and playing the quarterfinals of the Grand Slams, I was sort of caught up in trying to get better and getting more points and getting higher in the ranking.
“Now that I've embraced this second chance I've gotten, I feel much happier with being a tennis player. I'm much more grateful for everything that has happened to me.”
Britain’s Heather Watson enjoyed a 6-3 6-2 victory over Ajla Tomljanovic, while Madison Keys followed up her maiden WTA title in Eastbourne last week with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Monica Puig.
Angelique Kerber, who lost to Keys in the Eastbourne final on Saturday, eased past Urszula Radwanska 6-2 6-4, while on the other side of the draw Radwanska’s sister Agnieszka was unaffected by an overnight delay as she secured a routine 6-2 6-1 victory over Andreea Mitu of Romania.
Caroline Wozniacki continued her good form on the grass as she wasted little time in booking her place in the second round. Wozniacki was a set and a break up against Shahar Peer when the match was interrupted by rain on Monday evening, and she did not drop a game as she wrapped up a 6-3 6-0 victory.