Murray motors as Wimbledon gets under way

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Jul 2017 09:34:19


 

LONDON,

WIMBLEDON champion Andy Murray opened 2017 Centre Court action in style on Monday, motoring into the second round with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Alexander Bublik.
The Kazakh was in the first round as a lucky loser from qualifying, but his good fortune ran out against the British top seed.


Not even two short rain breaks could throw Murray off his rhythm as he punched groundstrokes to the corners, served sublimely and overpowered his opponent.
Murray will play dynamic German serve-volleyer Dustin Brown next.


Venus advances to second round VENUS Williams was able to focus on Wimbledon despite her involvement in a recent fatal car crash as the five-time champion beat Elise Mertens 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 in the first round on Monday.
Williams is being sued by the estate of an elderly Florida man who died last month after his vehicle was hit by a car driven by the American star.


The 37-year-old is accused of running a red light, inattentive driving and negligent operation of a vehicle, leaving Jerome Barson with a fractured spine and numerous internal injuries before his death several weeks later.


Williams, who owns a home near the crash site, last week said she was “heartbroken” over the tragic incident as she prepared to make her 20th appearance at Wimbledon.
The world number 11 put the horror crash to one side as she advanced to the second round, where she will face China’s Wang Qiang.


Making her first appearance in the Wimbledon main draw, Mertens, 21, was just one when Venus made her Wimbledon debut in 1997.
Mertens, ranked 54th, was playing only her fifth career Grand Slam match, while Williams is a seven-time Grand Slam winner and reached the Wimbledon semi-finals last year.


Despite that vast gulf in experience, Mertens wasn’t overwhelmed when Williams, the oldest player in this year’s women’s singles event, won the first three games on Court One.
The Belgian hit back to force a tie-break and saved four set points before Williams finally edged in front.
Recovering from 2-0 down in the second set, Williams was on the brink of victory with a 5-3 lead when rain forced the players off court.


Mertens had saved two match points before the weather intervened, but Williams sealed the win after the resumption on her fifth match point.
Nishikori outclasses Italian Cecchinato JAPAN’S Kei Nishikori breezed through his Wimbledon first-round clash with Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 on Monday, demolishing an opponent who was playing his first senior-level match on grass.


The ninth seed did not disappoint the legion of Japanese fans who gave him a hero’s welcome as he walked on to Court Twelve, outclassing his rival from the first point when he powered a backhand winner down the line.
Cecchinato, ranked 102nd, could not handle Nishikori’s thundering drives off both wings, with the 24-year-old Italian’s one-handed backhand proving particularly fragile.
Nishikori, 27, showed off his full repertoire of shots in a faultless third set which he peppered with delicate drop shots and ended with an emphatic volley.


Japan’s highest-ever ranked player did not show any sign of the injuries that have plagued him on grass courts in recent years. His toughest challenge of the day was making his way off the court as he was mobbed by dozens of fans seeking autographs.


Tsonga thrashes Norrie to sweep into second round
TWICE Wimbledon semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga breezed into the second round on Monday with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over British wildcard Cameron Norrie, whose first Grand Slam appearance ended in a swift and brutal exit.
Tsonga, the 12th seed, was dumped out in the second round last year but was never forced out of second gear as he swatted Norrie aside on Court Two, exposing all the Briton’s inexperience.


For Tsonga, it was an opportunity to find some rhythm on grass having played only two matches at Queen’s after losing in the first round of the French Open. He had some sympathy for his battered opponent, who had previously claimed only one tour-level match victory at Eastbourne last week.


“I know how difficult it is to come for the first time to these kind of tournaments against a guy who is supposed to be a lot better than you. It’s not easy,” Tsonga told reporters.
Kyrgios retires in first round
AUSTRALIAN 20th seed Nick Kyrgios retired injured in his first round Wimbledon match on Monday after losing the first two sets to French doubles specialist Pierre-Hugues Herbert.


Kyrgios, clearly still struggling from the left hip injury that forced him to drop out in his first round match at the Queen’s Club tournament in London this month, was 6-3, 6-4 down to the world number 70 when he asked for a physio to come on court.


Apart from in very rare flashes, the 22-year-old rarely ran to pick up the peppering of drop shots and lobs coming from Herbert, and sat with his head in his hands at the changeover after having his serve broken for 4-3 in the second set.
Kyrgios, who has never lost in the first round at Wimbledon, reached the last 16 last year before being beaten by eventual champion Andy Murray.


Ruthless Nadal reaches 850-win milestone RAFAEL Nadal stormed into the second round as the world number two secured his 850th career victory with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 demolition of Australia’s John Millman on Monday.
Fresh from winning his 10th French Open title last month, Nadal marked his 50th match at Wimbledon by crushing Millman in one hour and 46 minutes on Court One.


The two-time Wimbledon champion is just the seventh player to reach the 850-win mark, joining Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Guillermo Villas.
With 217 Grand Slam match victories, Nadal is now in sixth place on the all-time list at the majors.


Nadal, seeded to face defending champion Andy Murray in the semi-finals, will play Donald Young for a place in the last 32 as he bids to win Wimbledon for the first time since 2010.
“I haven’t had many matches on grass for the last few years, but I had some positive feelings,” Nadal said.


“For all the players it’s so special to play here, especially for me with all the history I have here. It’s very emotional to be back.
“I’m happy with the way I started. I’ve been playing well since the beginning of the season.”