Nadal and Murray begin well

By
Updated: June 27, 2012

Two-time winner Rafael Nadal and British hope Andy Murray reached the Wimbledon second round.

Nadal, fresh from a record-breaking seventh French Open win, enjoyed a 7-6 (7/0), 6-2, 6-3 victory over Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci.

Fourth seed Murray, a semifinalist for the last three years, had the last laugh as he silenced Nikolay Davydenko’s taunts with an easy 6-1, 6-1 6-4 win.

Lleyton Hewitt’s 10th anniversary party of his 2002 title was gatecrashed by French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who cruised to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win, handing the Australian his earliest exit at the All England Club since 2003.

His loss also meant that there will be no Australian man in the second round for the first time since 1938 after compatriots Bernard Tomic, a quarterfinalist last year and seeded 20, Matthew Ebdon and Marinko Matosevic were also beaten.

It is a depressing statistic for a country which has won 21 Wimbledon men’s titles.

American hopes, which were so badly bruised by the opening day exits of five-time champion Venus and big-serving John Isner, were earlier boosted by Mardy Fish and Bryan Baker.

Fish made a winning return to tennis in his first match following an operation to address a frightening heart scare.

The world number 12 beat Spain’s Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 7-6 (7/1), but later felt unwell and pulled out of a mandatory post-match press conference.

Juan Martin Del Potro, the ninth seeded Argentine and 2009 US Open winner, also went through, beating Dutchman Robin Haase 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5.

Four-times champion Serena Williams made an excellent start to Wimbledon on Tuesday, coming through an athletic first-round match against Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova that was tougher than the 6-2 6-4 scoreline would suggest.

World No 2 Victoria Azarenka eased past America’s Irina Falconi 6-1, 6-4 to reach the second round.