Djokovic, Murray advance at Wimbledon as Stosur, Stephens are ousted


WIMBLEDON, England — Defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and 2011 winner Novak Djokovic advanced into the second round Monday with straight sets victories while former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur lost her first match.

Murray opened play on the first day of Wimbledon with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 win against David Goffin on the grass courts of the All England Club in southwest London. Djokovic defeated Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 with twice as many winners as his opponent.

Murray, seeking to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to retain the title, was in command from the first point against the 104th-ranked Belgian, best known for losing to Roger Federer in four close sets in the fourth round of the 2012 French Open. The Scot, who won the match on his eighth ace, never dropped his serve and made only 10 unforced errors. Goffin made 28 mistakes.

“Walking out on Centre Court, it brings out good memories,” Murray said in a televised interview. “Obviously, last year was the best memory I’ve had but I’ve also had a lot of tough moments here as well.”

The 27-year-old hasn’t won a tournament since he ended Britain’s 77-year men’s drought last year. Murray, who had back surgery after the U.S. Open, hasn’t beaten a top 10 player since he defeated top seed Djokovic in last year’s final in straight sets. He reached the semifinals of the French Open earlier this month, where he was beaten in straight sets by eventual champion Rafael Nadal of Spain. Today was his first match with his new coach, 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo.

Earlier in the day, former U.S. Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer defeated the 17th-seeded Stosur of Australia, 6-3, 6-4. Even with a game built on athleticism, a high-bouncing kick serve and powerful ground strokes, Stosur has consistently underperformed on the grass of Wimbledon, where she has now lost six times in the opening round in her last 12 appearances.

On Court No. 18, Sloane Stephens of the U.S. was beaten by Russia’s Maria Kirilenko, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6). Stephens at No. 18 was the highest women’s seed from the U.S. after top seed and five- time winner Serena Williams.

“It feels like the end of the world right now but fortunately it’s not,” Stephens said in a press conference. She ended her streak of making the round of 16 at six consecutive Grand Slams.

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who is making her comeback after a four-month injury break, defeated Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3, 7-5.

Second-seeded Li Na of China, the Australian Open champion, beat Poland’s Paula Kania 7-5, 6-2 on Centre Court. Five-time champion Venus Williams outlasted Maria-Theresa Torro-Flor of Spain 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. No. 30 Williams is playing in her 17th Wimbledon championship.

“I haven’t been back here since the 2012 Olympics,” when she won a doubles gold medal with her sister Serena, Williams said in a televised interview shortly after her match. “The more I’ll keep playing, the better I’ll get.” She added she’s still “hungry,” even though at 34, she’s one of the oldest players in the women’s singles draw.

Earlier Monday 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan lost to Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.

 

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