Tennis

Serena, Sharapova advance at Wimbledon

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The Sports Network
6/24/2014 2:49:04 PM
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Wimbledon, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Former champions Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova secured first-round victories Tuesday at Wimbledon.

The world No. 1 Williams hurried past fellow American Anna Tatishvili 6-1, 6-2 on the famed Centre Court, while the fifth-seeded former top-ranked star Sharapova won her eighth straight match on tour with a 6-1, 6-0 pasting of helpless Brit Samantha Murray on the No. 1 Court.

Williams owns 17 Grand Slam singles titles, including five Wimbledon crowns.

The reigning U.S. Open champ is now 71-9 at Wimbledon, including seven trips into the final at the All England Club.

Sharapova, fresh off her French Open title three weeks ago, captured her lone Wimbledon title in 2004 by stunning Williams in the final and was the runner- up here in 2011.

Up next for the Russian great will be Swiss Timea Bacsinszky.

Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska popped seven aces and committed only six unforced errors on her way to a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Romanian Andreea Mitu in less than 50 minutes, Estonian Kaia Kanepi upset seventh-seeded former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-2, and ninth-seeded German Angelique Kerber dismissed Radwanska's younger sister, Urszula, 6-2, 6-4. Jankovic has always struggled on the Wimbledon grass, where she's never reached a quarterfinal and has fallen in round one on four occasions. Kerber was a grass-court runner-up in Eastbourne last week.

Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki also advanced, as the 16th-seeded Dane posted a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Shahar Peer of Israel, while 19th-seeded Sabine Lisicki beat Israel's Julia Glushko 6-2, 6-1 in her first match back on Centre Court. The German slugger Lisicki lost to the since-retired Marion Bartoli in last year's finale at the AEC.

The 29-year-old Bartoli was on hand Tuesday to take part in a special coin toss ceremony. She was greeted with a kiss from the chair umpire and a standing ovation from the crowd, her eyes all the while brimming with tears.

An upset came when France's Caroline Garcia took out 14th-seeded former French Open runner-up Sara Errani, of Italy, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5. Errani, who was also an opening-round loser here last year, has never made it past the third round at Wimbledon, including three first-round exits now in seven trips.

Also on Day 2, 15th-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro charged past Chinese Zhang Shuai 6-1, 6-2; 20th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic, a French Open semifinalist, topped Poland's Katarzyna Piter 6-1, 6-4; 25th-seeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet overcame Slovak Anna Schmiedlova 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; Portuguese Michelle Larcher de Brito overcame and upended 28th-seeded two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, of Russia, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1; American Victoria Duval drove out 29th-seeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 3-6, 6-1; and 31st-seeded Czech Klara Koukalova bested young American Taylor Townsend 7-5, 6-2.

Several other women reached round two, including Americans Madison Keys and Varvara Lepchenko and Brit Heather Watson. Keys, fresh off her first-ever WTA title on the grass in Eastbourne last week, downed Puerto Rican Monica Puig 6-3, 6-3, while Lepchenko beat Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-7 (6-8), 6-2, 6-2 and Watson cruised past Croat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-2.

Serena Williams  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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