Rafael Nadal opened the defense of his Wimbledon 2010 crown on Monday with an easy 6-4, 6-2, 6-2Â win over Michael Russell. Tradition at the All England Club dictates that the defending Gentlemenâ€™s champion play the first match on Centre Court.
â€œI started so-so in the first set,â€ said Nadal after falling behind 2-4, â€œbut after that I start to hit very well the forehand and I think I finished playing a very good level.â€
Playing the first on Centre Court was special for the Spaniard, who missed out on the priviledge in 2009 when he did not play Wimbledon due to a knee injury.
â€œSeriously, I never played in a court like this, said Nadal. â€œ(It) was a big emotion to be the first player to play in this fabulous court. It was a very, very exciting feeling.â€
â€œToo many beautiful things to saw my mom and my dad in the Royal Box. For sure can just say thanks to Wimbledon, to the people who organize this fantastic tournament to invite my mother and father to the Royal Box. I think for them was a great experience. So, yeah, everything in general was very, very nice today.â€
Mondayâ€™s win marks Nadalâ€™s 15th consecutive win at Wimbledon.
Five-time Ladiesâ€™ champion Venus Williams needed less than an hour to dispatch Â 97th-ranked Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan 6-3,6-1. â€œItâ€™s always great to be back,â€ said Williams. â€œTo play a few matches at Eastbourne helped me feel pretty comfortable here. All in all, Iâ€™m pretty pleased. I only see pluses for today. I missed being out here playing.â€ Williams not only made a splash with her play but also with her on-court attire. Williams wore a one-piece playsuit which showed some of her back. Williams spoke about her outfit, â€œIt’s a jumper. Jumpers are very now, as is lace. The shoulders have a lot of draping, which is also in the moment. It’s just kind of like a trendy dress. It’s fun. I’m really into zippers, so it has like a focal point of a zipper in the front. It’s just fun.â€ â€œThe back is kind of I don’t know what you call it, like a cutout or like a peek a boo. I’m always trying to do something different and fun. â€œBut more lately now I’m really trending towards simplicity. I’m not sure why. It’s just how I feel right now. Everything is getting more simple.â€ The combined ages of Williams and her second round opponent will be 71. Sheâ€™ll face Japanâ€™s Kimiko Date-Krumm on Wednesday, who became the second oldest women to win a match at Wimbledon, beating stopping 6-0, 7-5. â€œFirst time to play against Venus. Sheâ€™s of course good player, especially on grass,â€ Date-Krumm said. â€œSo for me itâ€™s nothing to lose. I hope I can enjoy to play even (if) I win or lose.â€ Date-Krumm’s last Wimbledon match win came back in 1996 against Mary Pierce. Her last Centre Court appearance came against Steffi Graf,â€œof course I remember 1996, in the Centre Court I played against Steffi and it was darkness. I played two days with her,â€ Date-Krumm said. â€œIt was a big, big memory for me. Then after 15 years I won the first round, and itâ€™s already miracle.â€ Second seeded Vera Zvonareva had to fight off American Alison Riske 6-0, 3-6, 6-3.
Christina McHale stopped 28th seeded Ekaterina Makarova 2-6, 6-1, 8-6.
Sybille Bammer after her loss to Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-1, 6-1 announced her retirement from tennis.
Andy Murray started off slowly an then rattled off 15 consecutive games defeating Daniel Gimeno-Traver 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 on Centre Court with the roof closed.
“I played some really good tennis in the third and fourth sets, said MurrayÂ And, yeah, like I said, I just sort of changed the way I was playing and the way I was returning. Even in the first set when I lost it, apart from the game where I got broken, he hardly won many points on my serve. In the second set it was one game at 3 All where he got to deuce, but I think that was the only game. I don’t think he had a break point the rest of the match. So it was just finding a way of getting that break on serve, which, you know, was similar a little bit to the Tsonga match at Queen’s where I couldn’t quite get the break. Once I did, I played much better. I had to make some adjustments.”
â€œThe roof, it changes the conditions. It’s not the same conditions. It’s different. If anything, it’s, you know, it’s like almost too perfect, you know. There’s no wind, obviously no sun, no sort of elements to contend with. You know, it’s different, different grass court tennis. And like you saw in the first set, he was able to hit a lot of huge forehands which it’s normally harder to do when it’s a little bit breezy outside or whatever. But it definitely slows the court down a little bit. But it was a good match. I thought it was a good standard of match, and a good atmosphere in there, as well.
â€œIt does still feel pretty big when you’re out on the court. The atmosphere changes, as well. It seems quite… it was louder. I don’t know if it was because of the rain. It was just like a constant sort of noise under the roof; whereas when the roof is open, it’s probably the quietest court during points in tennis. So that changes a little bit. But, yeah, it’s just different. It’s not the same.â€
Rain interrupted play and caused the cancellation of more than 30 matches to be made up on Tuesday.
Upsets of the Day
Sara Errani (ITA) d. (17) Kaia Kanepi (EST) 61 64
Ksenia Pervak (RUS) d. (22) Shahar Peer (ISR) 57 64 64
Christina McHale (USA) d. (28) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 26 61 86
R Schuettler (GER) d  T Bellucci (BRA) 76(3) 64 62
(2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Alison Riske (USA) 60 36 63
(6) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. Jelena Dokic (AUS) 64 16 63
(12) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Zhang Shuai (CHN) 36 63 64
(19) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 75 63
(23) Venus Williams (USA) d. Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) 63 61
 R Nadal (ESP) d M Russell (USA) 64 62 62
 A Murray (GBR) d D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 46 63 60 60
 T Berdych (CZE) d F Volandri (ITA) 62 62 61
 G Monfils (FRA) d M Bachinger (GER) 64 76(3) 63
 M Fish (USA) d M Granollers (ESP) 76(3) 76(5) 64
 S Wawrinka (SUI) d P Starace (ITA) 63 64 64
 R Gasquet (FRA) d S Giraldo (COL) 75 63 76(3)
 M Raonic (CAN) d *[LL] M Gicquel (FRA) 63 76(3) 63