(June 28, 2016) Defending champion Serena Williams recorded her 80th match win at the All England Club and raised her record in first round major matches to 63-1 when she defeated No. 148 qualifier Amra Sadikovic 6-2, 6-4 on day two of Wimbledon.
The match was more competitive than the scoreline demonstrated. “I never underestimate anyone,” said Williams. “It was a really good match but I don’t think it was tougher than I thought. It was definitely tough, but I always expect the best from everyone.”
“I started fast, that’s about it,” Williams said, evaluating her match.
Her 27-year-old opponent who was making her debut in a major, had retired from the sport in 2014, but was inspired to comeback of her Swiss countrywoman Timea Bacsinszky.
“I’m always shouting at myself and pushing myself, so it’s absolutely nothing different,” she said.
The world No. 1 needs one more major win to equal Steffi Graf’s record of 22 in the Open Era. The 21-time major champion came up short in the finals of the French and Australian Opens.
Williams will face fellow American Christina McHale in the second round.
No. 2 seed and 2013 Wimbledon winner Andy Murray is into the second round. Murray had a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 victory over British countryman Liam Broady, ranked 235 in the world, who received a wild card into the tournament.
Murray needed just an hour and 42 minutes to complete the match. He’ll face Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu, ranked 76th in the world, who beat Russian Alexander Kudryavtsev 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka fought off American up-and-comer Taylor Fritz 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-7 (2), 6-4. The two-time major winner will take on 2009 U.S, Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in a tough second round match.
“For sure, I think we all happy that he’s back on the tour, hopefully without any injury (so) he can play for long now,” Wawrinka said. “He’s always been a great champion, a great player to watch.”
Juan Martin del Potro played his first match a a major in over two years, beating Stephane Robert 6-1, 7-5, 6-0. The last time he played at Wimbledon was in 2013 when he lost in the semifinals to Novak Djokovic.
The Argentine ranked 165 due to wrist surgeries is happy to be back on the court.
“I’m enjoying tennis again,” he said. “I’m starting to talk about tennis and (not) about my wrist.
“I would like to stay here on tour for (a few more) years. I think I’m close to get that goal.”
Del Potro leads in his head-to-head record against Wawrinka 3-2. he last played the Swiss in 2012.
Nick Kyrgios had to fend off 37-year-old veteran Radek Stepanek in four sets on Tuesday – 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (9), 6-1 .
“To be honest, that’s a nightmare first round for anyone at Wimbledon. No one wants to play Radek here. I could pick 90 guys in the draw that I would rather have played first round,” Kyrgios said to press. “It was a fun match. We’re great friends. I knew it was going to be tough. When I lost the third set, I wasn’t really expecting anything less for him to compete and fight.”
Stepanek was trying to become the oldest man to win a match at a major since Jimmy Commors in 1992.
The Australian Kyrgios will get another tricky opponent in the second round when he takes on Germany’s serve-and-volleying Dustin Brown who survived in five sets against Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Brown defeated Rafael Nadal last year at Wimbledon in the second round.
Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki is still without a win at a major this year. The Dane lost in the first round of Melbourne and did play the French Open due to an ankle injury. She’s fallen in the rankings to No. 45 and will drop further due to her opening round loss to No. 14 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-4.
“It’s been uphill,” Wozniacki said of her 11-11 season. “But you just have to keep fighting, keep going at it, keep working hard, and hope eventually that’s going to turn and you’re going to take the chances you’re going to get.”
Wozniacki, chosen to carry the flag for Denmark in the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Rio, does not know if she will be eligible to participate. She did not fulfill her Fed Cup requirements due to injury.