Djokovic, Federer and Sharapova storm through on day one

By
Updated: June 26, 2012

Top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon second round on Monday with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win over Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Djokovic, playing for the first time since his French Open final defeat to Rafael Nadal, will face America’s Ryan Harrison for a place in the last 32.

Third seed Roger Federer, meanwhile, beat Spain’s Albert Ramos 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 to reach the second round, taking just 79 minutes to kick off his bid for a record-equalling seventh title.

The six-time champion, and record 16-time Grand Slam title winner, will face colourful Italian Fabio Fognini for a place in the last 32.

Federer, without a Grand Slam title since the 2010 Australian Open, is bidding to equal Pete Sampras’s record of seven Wimbledon titles.

Czech Tomas Berdych the 2010 finalist was the biggest casualty on the opening day when the sixth seed was beaten 7-6 7-6 7-6 by Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis.

Another surprise was the exit of American number one John Isner, the 11th seed.

The man best remembered for his record-breaking 11-hour duel with France’s Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010, was beaten 6-4 6-7 3-6 7-6 7-5 by Colombian Alejandro Falla.

World No 1 Maria Sharapova warned her Wimbledon rivals that she has no intention of resting on her laurels after sweeping into the second round with a straight sets victory.

Sharapova was playing for the first time since her French Open final victory over Sara Errani earlier this month and the Russian’s confidence was clearly sky high as she downed Australia’s Anastasia Rodionova 6-2, 6-3 in just 70 minutes.

Five-time champion Venus Williams, meanwhile, suffered her worst Wimbledon defeat in 15 years, slumping to a first round exit at the hands of Russia’s Elena Vesnina, but defiantly insisted she will not quit.

Williams lost 6-1, 6-3 to the 79th-ranked Russian in what was the 32-year-old’s first opening round loss at the All England Club since her 1997 debut.

Vesnina, who had lost in the first round of nine of her last 10 Grand Slam appearances, will face Polish third seed Agnieszka Radwanska for a place in the last 32.

US Open champion Samantha Stosur and ex-French Open winner Li Na also reached the second round.

Stosur, the fifth-seeded Australian, had the honour of being the first woman into the last 64, cruising past Spain’s 40th-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3.

The 28-year-old Stosur, who was a semifinalist at the French Open earlier this month, has never got beyond the third round at the All England Club and had been beaten in the first round in 2010 and 2011.

Her win earned her a second round match with either Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands or Japanese lucky loser Misaki Doi.

Chinese 11th seed Li Na, the 2011 French Open winner, enjoyed an emphatic 6-3, 6-1 victory over Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan.

Li had beaten Pervak by the same score at the same stage of the Australian Open.

Kim Clijsters, playing her final Wimbledon before retirement, said she believes she can knock out the top seeds despite having gone through 14 months of injury hell.

The unseeded Belgian, a four-time Grand Slam winner and a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2003, beat Serbian 18th seed Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 6-4 in one of the big clashes of the first round.