Venus Williams wins opening round match
Monday 20 June 2011
Venus Williams, who played at Eastbourne last week after an injury layoff of nearly five months, looked right at home in winning 6-3, 6-1.
She kept her opponent waiting for several minutes on Court 2, with Amanmuradova sitting patiently on her courtside chair for the 31-year-old American to arrive.
Once play started, Williams took Amanmuradova apart in 59 minutes with her hard-hitting all-court game. She served seven aces, broke four times and had 23 winners to only five unforced errors — none in the second set.
"It's always great to be back," Williams said. "To play a few matches at Eastbourne helped me feel pretty comfortable here. All in all, I'm pretty pleased. I only see pluses for today. I missed being out here playing."
Amanmuradova, who has now lost in the first round at Wimbledon in all four appearances, is taller than Williams at 6-foot-3 and can hit hard. But once Williams found her rhythm, she couldn't be stopped, winning six games in a row and the last 12 points to close the match.
Williams made a statement not only with her tennis but with her fashion sense — wearing a one-piece playsuit which exposed some of her back. The outfit featured cutout sleeves, a deep V neckline and a gold belt wrapped around the waist.
"It's a jumper," Williams said. "Jumpers are very 'now,' as is lace. The shoulders have a lot of draping. It's a kind of trendy dress. It's fun. The back is a like a cutout or peekaboo. I'm always trying to do something different and fun."
Williams had been sidelined after injuring her hip at the Australian Open. She had fallen to No. 30 in the rankings but is seeded No. 23 — the same position she held when she won the tournament in 2007. Playing in her 15th Wimbledon, she extended her record to 69-9.
Williams' second-round opponent will be Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm, who became the second oldest women to win a match at Wimbledon, beating Katie O'Brien 6-0, 7-5 on Monday.
The 40-year-old Date-Krumm, the third oldest women to compete at Wimbledon in the Open era and the oldest in this year's draw, came out of retirement in 2008 but lost in the first round the last two years at the All England Club.
In another featured women's match, 2010 runner-up Vera Zvonareva downed 115th-ranked American Alison Riske 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. The second-seeded Russian looked in trouble after the second set against the 20-year-old Riske, whose best career results have been on grass. But Zvonareva raised her game and closed the match with an ace.
The first seeded man to lose was No. 30 Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil — 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-2 to 35-year-old German Rainer Schuettler, the oldest player in the men's draw.
Sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych, who lost to Nadal in last year's final, moved into the second round with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 win over Filippo Volandri of Italy. He served 12 aces.
Tenth-seeded American Mardy Fish beat Spain's Marcel Granollers 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-4. Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, playing his first Wimbledon, topped Marc Gicquel of France 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-3. No. 14 Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Potito Starace of Italy 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Other winners included two Frenchmen — No. 9 Gael Monfils, who beat Matthias Bachinger 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-3, and No. 17 Richard Gasquet, who defeated Santiago Giraldo 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
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