Kvitova opens Wimbledon defense with easy win

Riske broke serve in the opening game of the final set, but recovered to tie the score at 2-2 despite asking for medicial attention to ice her thighs in the three-hour-long match.


The odds of this year’s tournament being the hottest ever – beating average temperatures of 25C (77F) during the scorching summer of 1976 – have been slashed to 2/1. Safarova wasn’t the only seeded player to struggle Monday.

On the women’s side, defending champion Serena Williams also kicked off her title defense on a high note as she scored a 6-4, 6-1 win against qualifier Margarita Gasparyan of Russian Federation. Whereas now I feel my game is better.

Defending men’s champion Djokovic, who has been training in the south of France rather than fine-tuning the grasscourt arts since his French Open title quest turned to dust, swept past Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-4 6-4.

A year after the towering Australian stunned then world No 1 Rafa Nadal to become the first man to reach the last eight on his Wimbledon debut since 2004, he cranked up the firecracker forehand to crush Argentine Schwartzman 6-0 6-2 7-6 (8-6).

“It’s great to be back, this is the cradle of our sport”.

Sharapova wrote “After a good start to @Wimbledon, finishing off the day with a good run in the park (hashtag)Wimbledon2015″.

The U.S. player stays on course to scoop an impressive four majors in the same year, a feat last achieved by Steffi Graf in 1988. But she had nothing to lose and she started so incredibly fast. She won the next four points, finishing – appropriately – with a service victor. “I’ve done so well here in the past so I’ll always have many good memories here”, she said.

Also in action on Monday are Lleyton Hewitt, John Isner, Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams among others.

Japan’s fifth seed Kei Nishikori needed his lower left leg strapped before clinching a gruelling 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over Italy’s Simone Bolelli. “Just learning about the ups and downs of life and tennis, how things won’t always go perfectly, like I expect them to”, said Bouchard, who said a torn abdominal muscle limited her practice time leading into the match.

“You can talk to him [Becker] about it, if he’s willing to talk more about it. But I’m honestly not”, Djokovic, the reigning champion, said.

“I personally really don’t care”, Wawrinka told reporters.

“There are certain ways of communication that are about encouragement, support, about understanding the moment to clap or say something that can lift my energy up or motivate me to play a particular point. But it s all within the rules”.

Second seed Federer, the seven-time champion, faces Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia, who he beat at the French Open this year; 2013 victor Murray takes on Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan, while Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, plays Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci.

One of the leading American coaches, Nick Bollettieri, also admitted to having advised his players in the past by using the signals of touching his sunglasses, rubbing his nose, or by shouting out code words, and that “anyone in tennis who does not think it happens should open their eyes and ears”.

Out injured since the 2014 Australian Open, Robson got “absolutely pummelled” on her return at Eastbourne qualifying last week. After a warm embrace with Nieminen at the net, Hewitt went back onto the court without his racket to acknowledge the loud ovation and wave to the fans.

Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland celebrates after winning his match against Joao Sousa of Portugal at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London. And just weeks ago in Paris, Novak Djokovic, the Big Four big dog, was universally expected to pulverize Wawrinka in the French Open final.

It was a mixed day for British players on day one, with Broady through but sister Naomi going out along with Johanna Konta.


Nieminen, one of 37 men aged 30 or over in the singles draw – a Wimbledon record – won 3-6 6-3 4-6 6-0 11-9.

Novak Djokovic's lucky sparrow helps him through Philipp Kohlschreiber Wimbledon test

by Reem Abulleil

Tuesday 30 June 2015