Day 1 recap: Williams sisters, Djokovic, Sharapova all win openers
LONDON – Catch up on the news and results from Wimbledon Day 1 at the All England Club.
Serena Williams rallies to beat No. 113 Margarita Gasparyan: Serena had to work hard in her opening match as she rallied from a break down in the first set to fight off a quality challenge from the Russian qualifier to win 6–4, 6–1. Gasparyan, playing in her first main draw match at Wimbledon, had the crowd behind her as she jumped to an early lead at 3-1 in the first set. She was a point away from a double-break lead, but Serena fired herself up quickly—she earned an early code violation for an audible obscenity—and found her aggressive range to get the match back on her terms. She finished with 19 winners, 19 unforced errors.
"I knew she would be a good player," Serena said. "I can't say I thought she'd be that good, to be honest. Obviously when you win three matches in qualifying you're ready to go the distance and when she's playing me she has nothing to lose." It was a good early test for Serena, who was playing in her first match on grass this year. She'll play No. 93 Timea Babos in the second round.
Novak Djokovic eases past a tricky opener against Phillip Kohlschreiber: The defending champion took just over two hours to down No. 33 Kohlschreiber, winning 6–4, 6–4, 6–4 in his opening match on Centre Court at the All England Club.
Nick Kyrgios throws down a bagel in straight set win: The decision to skip Nottingham last week to rest his body and mind seems to have paid off for Kyrgios, as he rolled to a 6–0, 6–2, 7–6 win over Diego Schwartzman.
Victoria Azarenka eases through without a hitch: Seeded No. 23, Azarenka needed just 58 minutes to beat Estonian wildcard Anett Kontaveit 6–2, 6–1. She plays No. 96 Kirsten Flipkens next.
Other straight set winners include No. 9 Marin Cilic, No. 7 Ana Ivanovic, No. 16 David Goffin, CoCo Vandweghe, Kristina Mladenovic, Marcel Granollers. No. 24 Leonardo Mayer ousted Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Flavia Pennetta was the first seed to fall: The No. 24 lost 6–3, 2–6, 6–4 to No. 34 Zarina Diyas. That was not an easy first round draw.
Defending doubles champions Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil keep winning: The young duo started their title defense with a tough four set win over Sam Groth and Sergiy Stakhovsky, winning 5–7, 7–6, 7–6, 6–1.
Lleyton Hewitt's Wimbledon career ends in a five-setter: It was the way it had to be. Playing in his 17th and final Wimbledon, the 2002 champion lost 3–6, 6–4, 4–6, 6–0, 11–9 to fellow soon-to-be retiree Jarkko Nieminen.
Watch Hewitt turn back the clock on this diving backhand volley late in the match:
It was a valiant battle from Hewitt, who saved three match points to extend the match into extra frames before Nieminen finally stepped up the aggression to close it out by breaking Hewitt on his fourth match point. Even Hewitt knew how fitting it was that his Wimbledon career would end in a lengthy five-set thriller.
"That pretty much sums up my career, I guess my mentality, going out there and, you know, never‑say‑die attitude," Hewitt said. "I've lived for that the 18, 19 years I've been on tour. As I tell people, it's not something I work at. I'm fortunate that I have a lot of self motivation to go out there and get the most out of myself, whether it's in the gym, behind the scenes, whatever. So, yeah, I obviously I'm proud of myself that I went out there and left it all out."
Hewitt said he tried his best to keep the occasion out of his mind as he battled to stay in the match, but even his thought-process got a little cloudy during the match. "I was always serving to stay in the match, as well," Hewitt said, referring to the late stages of the final set. "I was more trying to always think about holding serve and getting those first couple of points. It never entered my mind that this could be the last time you serve or play a game in the Championships. So it's kind of a strange feeling in a lot of ways. Obviously you're so fatigued out there as well, at the time. But the crowd and everything, it was fantastic. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way."
Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams rolled: Sharapova had no problem with British wildcard Johanna Konta, winning 6–2, 6–2. Venus Williams had an even easier time, beating Madison Brengle 6–0, 6–0.
Carla Suarez Navarro was the highest seed to fall: The Spaniard exited the tournament quietly with a 6–2, 6–0 loss to last year's junior champion Jelena Ostapenko.
Americans put up good showing on Day 1: Nine Americans are through to the second round. No. 17 John Isner beat Go Soeda in straight sets, Steve Johnson earned his first win at Wimbledon, beating Lukas Lacko in five sets, and wildcard Denis Kudla rallied from two-sets to love down to beat No. 28 Pablo Cuevas. Sloane Stephens ousted No. 27 seed Barbora Strycova in straight sets. Also winning were CoCo Vandeweghe, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lauren Davis. The one slight blip: Madison Brengle and Shelby Rogers failed to win a game, with Brengle losing to Venus and Rogers going down to Andrea Petkovic.
Photo of the day
Shot of the day
GIF of the day
Quote of the day
"I can see through you like a book." — Kyrgios to chair umpire Mohammed Lahyani.
Tweet of the day
This Margarita has a couple of shots— David Rosenberg (@RosenbergTennis) June 29, 2015
SNAPSHOTS FROM DAY 1
This post will be updated.