Williams Sisters, Novak Djokovic Win First Round Matches At Wimbledon

by NESN Staff

June 29, 2015

LONDON — Serena Williams knew she had to do something — fast.

Trailing 3-1 to a qualifier on the first day of Wimbledon, the top-ranked player was not about to drop the opening set as she did four times during her run to the French Open title.

“She came out so fast, I was like, `Oh my God, if I don’t start I’m going to be down a set,'” Williams said. “And I was tired of being down a set.”

So the five-time champion got to work, winning 11 of 13 games to beat 113th-ranked Margarita Gasparyan of Russia 6-4, 6-1 on Monday to extend her Grand Slam winning streak to 22 matches as she pursues a fourth straight major title.

Also reaching the second round was Serena’s sister, Venus, also a five-time champion at Wimbledon. The 16th-seeded Venus recorded a double-bagel, beating Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-0 in just over 40 minutes.

Venus, who could face Serena in the fourth round, had 29 winners, compared to just two for Brengle.

Things were more straightforward for defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic, who opened play on Centre Court and led all the way for a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.

“It’s great to be back,” Djokovic, the defending Wimbledon champion, said. “This is the cradle of our sport, Centre Court. It doesn’t get any better than Wimbledon.”

Kohlschreiber, the highest-ranked men’s player outside the seedings at No. 33, had figured to pose a stiff test for Djokovic, who came to Wimbledon after a painful loss to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final and without having played a warm-up tournament on grass.

But the Serb was rarely troubled, seizing command with his all-court game, serving 12 aces and breaking five times.

Thumbnail photo via Susan Mullane/USA TODAY Sports Images

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