Much to the delight of the center court crowd on Tuesday, Britain’s Andy Murray made a great start to his Wimbledon campaign by winning against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets. Playing in hot afternoon sun with mercury touching 410 C, Murray fought for over 2 hours with the Kazakh before cruising through to the second round. Women’s defending champion Petra Kvitova took just 35 minutes to demolish Netherlands’ Kiki Bertens but last year’s runner-up Eugenie Bouchard was beaten by Ying-Ying Duan, an unknown qualifier from China. Second seeded Roger Federer didn’t have to break sweat in an easy victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina’ Damir Dzumhur but the day’s biggest casualty was Romania’s third seed Simona Halep, who went down to Slovakia’s Jana Cepelova in three sets. Other notable winners on Tuesday were; tenth seeded Rafael Nadal, fifth seeded Tomas Berdych and women’s fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki.
Andy Murray had a tough customer across the net in Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin on Center Court. But other than Kukushkin’s great fighting spirit, Murray helped himself by bad service and erratic forehand to face all manners of problem in the second set. The Scot faulted on his first serve for 11 consecutive times and that allowed Kukushkin to mount aggression against him. Slowly, Murray tamed his opponent with better service and lesser number of unforced errors before winning 6-4, 7-6, 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes.
In the long-held Wimbledon tradition, women’s defending champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic opened the play on day 2. But the second seeded Kvitova was through in just 35 minutes by beating Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-1, 6-0. However, 2014 runner-up Eugenie Bouchard of Canada continued with her downhill slide in recent times with a first round defeat. The Canadian faced Chinese qualifier Ying-Ying Duan and lost 6-7, 4-6. The most stunning result of the day was engineered by the third seeded Romanian Simona Halep who lost to world no.106 Jana Cepelova of Slovakia in three sets. Halep struggled from the start despite taking the first set 7-5 but her game crumbled as the Slovak woman applied pressure in the next two sets to beat Halep 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
Three other seeded women advanced to the second round on Tuesday. Denmark’s fifth seed, Caroline Wozniacki defeated China’s Saisai Zheng 7-5, 6-0; 18th seed Sabine Lisicki of Germany beat Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova 7-5, 6-4 and Poland’s 13th seed Agnieszka Radwanska scored an easy 6-3, 6-2 victory over Czech Republic’s Lucie Hradecka.
In men’s draw, world no.2 Roger Federer advanced to the second round with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina’ Damir Dzumhur; tenth seeded Rafael Nadal defeated Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 and fifth seeded Czech Tomas Berdych required four hard-fought sets against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy before coming through with the score of 6-2, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6. Another Frenchman and 13th seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also advanced to the second round but not before being stretched all the way to five sets by Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller. Joining Tsonga in the second round was compatriot Gael Monfils, who had a relatively easier passage to the second round with a 6-4, 6-4, 7-4 win over Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.
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