Ruthless Nadal reaches 850-win milestone
Rafael Nadal stormed into the Wimbledon second round as the world number two secured his 850th career victory with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 demolition of Australia's John Millman on Monday.
Fresh from winning his 10th French Open title last month, Nadal marked his 50th match at Wimbledon by crushing Millman in one hour and 46 minutes on Court One.
The two-time Wimbledon champion is just the seventh player to reach the 850-win mark, joining Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Guillermo Villas.
With 217 Grand Slam match victories, Nadal is now in sixth place on the all-time list at the majors. Nadal, seeded to face defending champion Andy Murray in the semi-finals, will play Donald Young for a place in the last 32 as he bids to win Wimbledon for the first time since 2010. "I haven't had many matches on grass for the last few years, but I had some positive feelings," Nadal said. "For all the players it's so special to play here, especially for me with all the history I have here. It's very emotional to be back. I'm happy with the way I started. I've been playing well since the beginning of the season.
"The clay-court season was special for me and now I have an opportunity to compete on grass."
The 31-year-old Spaniard, beset by chronic knee problems, has struggled to adapt to the low bounce on grass in the latter stages of his career. He hasn't been past the fourth round at Wimbledon since 2011, losing to players ranked outside the top 100 on each of his last four visits.
Millman, ranked 137th, was playing only his second Tour- level match this year after missing five months with a hip injury.
Britain's Andy Murray began the defence of his Wimbledon title with a straight-set win over Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik on Centre Court.
The Scot won 6-1, 6-4, 6-2, despite a hip injury which disrupted his build-up.
Murray, the world number one, hit 29 winners and maintained his form either side of a rain break in the third set to win in one hour and 44 minutes. The 30-year-old will face Germany's Dustin Brown — the man who beat Rafael Nadal in 2015 — in round two.
Murray is trying to match fellow Briton Fred Perry as a three-time singles champion and claim his fourth Grand Slam title. Murray finally got his first grass-court win of the year as he saw off the confident but inexperienced Bublik with few problems.
French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated British Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, in the first round at Wimbledon here on Monday.
Australian Nick Kyrgios' injury struggle continued as he retired from the first round after he was trailing two sets to French Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Kyrgios, seeded 20, was two sets down, 3-6, 4-6, before he decided to retire as he continued to struggle with injuries.
French Open finalist Simona Halep eased past Marina Erakovic 6-4, 6-1 while American Venus Williams defeated Belgian Elise Mertens 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the opening round at Wimbledon on Monday.
Erakovic of New Zealand committed 31 unforced errors in one hour 14 minutes in a match that saw her serve broken five times by the Romanian second seed, reports Efe.
The Wimbledon 2014 quarter-finalist is set to play against Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, who defeated British Laura Robson 6-4, 6-1. In another match, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams also advanced to the second round after getting the better of Mertens in one hour and 40 minutes. In her 20th participation at the All England Club, Venus, 37, fired 23 winners and committed 21 unforced errors to Merten's 32 and 30. Venus, seeded No.10, is set to play against Chinese Qiang Wang who defeated Kai-Chen Chang of Taiwan 6-3, 6-4.
Duchess of Cambridge attends Murray's 1st tie
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attended defending champion Andy Murray's Wimbledon opening round match here on Monday. Prince William's wife was present at the match with Murray, World No.1, against Aleksandr Bublik of Kazakhstan on the Centre Court, reports Efe. This is the first time 35-year-old Catherine has attended the club in her new capacity as Wimbledon patron. After Murray's match, she is expected to watch the match between Czech Petra Kvitova and Swedish Johanna Larsson from the royal box.
Tennis fans face tightest Wimbledon security in history
The Wimbledon tennis championships opened on Monday with the tightest security in the tournament's 131-year-history. As top seed Andy Murray began the defence of his crown, recent terrorist attacks saw record numbers of armed officers, undercover police and security guards among the 40,000-strong crowd. Protective barriers, similar to those installed on London's main bridges, feature for the first time along the route to the All England Lawn Tennis Club in SW19. Richard Lewis, its chief executive, said: "The most visible difference is the vehicle blockers in the park, which have been put in recently based upon a recommendation by the security service for obvious reasons because of recent terrorist attacks." There was also "an increase in surveillance both by the security services and ourselves", he said.
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