Serena safely through at Wimbledon

Serena Williams does not care much for first-round dramas, especially at Wimbledon.

Since debuting in 1998, the American has only lost one set at the first hurdle and the 28-year-old defending champion was at it again today as temperatures soared into the high 70s Fahrenheit at the All England Club.



For a while the world number one looked unlikely to concede a game against Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito but eventually had to make do with a 6-0 6-4 victory after some gutsy resistance from a teenage opponent more well-known for her shrieking.



Serena, sporting a white tennis dress with bright red undershorts, smacked down 15 aces in a 63-minute workout which was as routine as men's defending champion Roger Federer's opening encounter was tortuous the previous day.



"I'm relieved to get through because she (Larcher de Brito) is really good player," Williams, who now has a 43-0 record in grand slam first rounds, said in a post-match interview. "It's great to be here, fit and healthy.



"Hopefully I'll play in front of the Queen (on Thursday) but also hopefully not because I might get a little bit nervous."



First Tuesday is traditionally Ladies Day at Wimbledon and the beautifully landscaped grounds of the world's most famous tennis club were liberally sprinkled with some eye-catching summer dresses as fans lapped up the sunshine.



The Pimm's and strawberry stands were already doing brisk business as play began on the outside courts at noon with several women's seeds in action.



Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, the former U.S. Open and French Open champion, edged through against Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova 6-2 6-7 6-4 while seventh seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat Melinda Czink of Hungary 6-3 6-3.



China's Zheng Jie, the 23rd seed and a former semi-finalist, moved through by beating Pauline Parmentier of France 7-5 6-4.



Britain's Andy Murray was preparing for his first round against Jan Hajek on Court One later but by that time he could find himself the only home player left in the singles.



Anne Keothavong joined the four women's losers on Monday when she blew a 4-0 lead in the third set against Australia's Anastasia Rodionova.



Teenage wildcard Heather Watson plays later, as does Jamie Baker, the only other home player apart from world number four Murray to start in the men's singles.



World number one Rafael Nadal, back at Wimbledon for the first time since his epic final victory over Federer in 2008, was due to begin his quest to reclaim the trophy on Centre Court against Japan's Kei Nishikori.



Big-serving American 18th seed Sam Querrey, a possible tricky last 16 obstacle for Murray, made smooth progress into the second round, the Queen's Club champion two sets up against Sergiy Stakhovsky when the Ukrainian retired injured.



News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat