Wimbledon Day 1: Comfortable wins for Murray and Nadal, Venus Williams battles past Mertens

It was all too easy for defending champion Andy Murray on the opening day at Wimbledon, as the world number one cruised into the second round with victory over Alexander Bublik.

Despite a hip injury in the build-up to the tournament, Murray quickly erased any fitness doubts as he hit 29 winners in a comfortable 6-1 6-4 6-2 straight sets win over this Kazakh opponent.

Andy Murray looks to match fellow Briton Fred Perry as a three-time Wimbledon champion
image: skysports.com

The Scotsman was rarely threatened by 20-year-old qualifier Bublik, as two breaks of serve in the opening set helped him on his way to keep hopes of a third Wimbledon title alive.

The two-time Wimbledon champion now set up a clash with Germany’s Dustin Brown in the second round, as he came from a set behind to emerge a 3-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 6-4 winner against Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

Aljaz Bedene joins his fellow Briton Murray in the second round, as the 27-year-old emerged victorious in a five-set thriller against veteran Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (9/7) 6-7 (7/9) 8-6 in the match of the day at SW19.

French Open champion Rafael Nadal is also safely through to the next round at Wimbledon, as the Spaniard continued his fine form with a straight sets win over John Millman.

The world number two never looked in trouble as he hit 33 winners in a comfortable 6-1 6-3 6-2 victory against his Australian opponent, as he goes in search of a 16th grand slam title.

Nadal missed last year’s tournament through injury but the 31-year-old has put his injuries concerns well behind him, as he looks for a second major title of the year and a first Wimbledon title since 2010.

Next up for Nadal is a second round clash against American Donald Young, as he battled from a set behind to lead 5-7 6-4 6-4 4-2 when his Israeli opponent Denis Istomin retired through injury.

There was also injuries woes for Nick Kyrgios, as the Australian pulled out of his opening match against Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert with a hip injury, after losing the second set to trail 6-3 6-4.

We also saw the first major shock on the opening day at Wimbledon, as three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka crashed out at the first hurdle after a surprise exit at the hands of Daniil Medvedev.

The beaten French Open finalist suffered problems with a knee injury as 21-year-old Russian Medvedev secured the biggest win over his career with a 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-1  win over the Swiss man on Centre Court.

There was to be no slip up by Japan’s Kei Nishikori, as the ninth seed dropped just four games in a comfortable 6-2 6-2 6-0 straight sets victory against Italy’s Marco Cecchinato to keep hopes of a first grand slam title alive.

It was also a comfortable day at the office for former Wimbledon semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, as he also cruised into the next round with a 6-3 6-2 6-2 win against British debutant Cameron Norrie.

Benoit Paire joins his fellow Frenchman in the next round as he overcome a tough battle against Rogerio Dutra Silva with a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 7-6 (12-10) 6-4 win against the Brazilian.

Lucas Pouille joins his fellow Frenchman Tsonga and Paire in the second round, as he overcame a tough four-set battle against Tunisian Malek Jaziri coming from behind to clinch a 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7/2) win.

Former US Open champion Marin Cilic is also safely through to the next round at Wimbledon, as the Croatian proved too strong for German Philipp Kohlschreiber winning in straight sets 6-4 6-2 6-3.

Roberto Bautista Agut eased into the next round with a 6-3 6-1 6-2 win against Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer, but fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco is out after South Africa’s Kevin Anderson came from behind to beat the 31st seed 2-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (10/8) 6-3.

In women’s action, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams got her tournament off to a winning start by overcoming  a tough test against Belgian Elise Mertens.

The 37-year-old began her bid for a first Wimbledon title since 2008, as she needed to dig deep to secure a 7-6 (9/7) 6-4  straight sets win over the world number 54.

Madison Keys joins her fellow American in bagging her place in the next round, as the 17th seed encountered no major problems in her 6-4 6-2 straight sets win over Japanese opponent Nao Hibino.

Simona Halep put her French Open disappointment behind her, as the Romanian made light work of New Zealander Marin Erakovic as she goes in search of a first grand slam title.

After falling to Jelena Ostapenko in the French Open final, second seed Halep showed why she should be considered a front-runner at Wimbledon breaking her opponent’s serve five times in a 6-4 6-1 victory.

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova continued her comeback from career threatening injuries, as she proved too strong for Sweden’s Johanna Larsson to advance to the next round.

The Czech recovered from a slow start to take the first set and scored a crucial break point in the ninth game of the second set, sealing a 6-3 6-4 win with an ace on her second match point to advance.

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko overcame a tough challenge in her opening match, as the Latvian held off a comeback from Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus to win 6-0 1-6 6-3.

Great Britain’s Johanna Konta got her quest for a first grand slam title underway, as the sixth seed brushed aside Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Su-We 6-2 6-2 to keep hopes of a first British singles female champion at Wimbledon since Virgina Wade in 1977 alive.

Heather Watson joined Konta in qualifying for the next round with a 6-1 7-6 (7-5) win over Maryna Zanevska of Belgium, but fellow Briton Laura Robson fell at the first hurdle after a shock 6-4 6-2 defeat to Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Venus Williams has not won a grand slam title since Wimbledon 2008
image: nbcconeticut.com

Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard also fell on the first day of action, as Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro had to come from a set behind to bag a 1-6 6-1 6-1 victoory against the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up.

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka also had to come from a set down to beat CiCi Bellis 3-6 6-2 6-1 in her first Grand Slam in over a year after giving birth to son Leo in December.

Fifth seed Elina Svitolina was made to work for her place in the second round, as the Ukrainian had to dig deep to secure a hard-fought 7-5 7-6 (10-8) win over Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.

Eighth seed Dominika Cibulkova also overcame a tough challenge in her opening match, as the Slovak held off a fight back from Germany’s Andrea Pektkovic 6-3 3-6 9-7 to battle through to the next round.

You can check out more results from the opening day of Wimbledon 2017 at this link.

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