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Williams easily reaches 2nd round at Wimbledon

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LONDON (AP) - Serena Williams has started her Wimbledon title defense with a victory over Mandy Minella of Luxembourg, using her dominant serve to win 6-1, 6-3 on Centre Court.

Williams didn't drop a single point on her serve until the start of the second set, when Minella took a 2-0 lead Tuesday after the American double-faulted on break point.

Williams won the next four games to regain control and broke again to wrap up the match.

Williams is looking for her sixth Wimbledon title and improved her career record to 68-8 at the All England Club. She extended her career-best winning streak to 32 matches, which included her second French Open title.

The 92nd-ranked Minella was making her second appearance at Wimbledon, having lost in the first round in 2012.

James Blake of the U.S. ended a five-match Wimbledon losing streak by beating 93rd-ranked Thiemo De Bakker of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Blake, a former top-five player currently ranked 87th, reached the second round at the All England Club for the first time since 2008. He lost his opening matches at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament each of the past four years.

Blake's best Wimbledon showings were reaching the third round in 2006 and 2007.

Juan Martin Del Potro made a winning return to Grand Slam competition on Tuesday, defeating Albert Ramos of Spain 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 in the first round at Wimbledon.

The eighth-seeded Del Potro did not play at the French Open because of respiratory problems.

Facing an opponent playing only his fourth tournament on grass, the big-hitting Del Potro had 34 winners - including 10 aces - and maintained his record of advancing to the second round at the All England Club in six appearances.

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic eased into the second round of Wimbledon with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 win over Florian Mayer of Germany on Tuesday.

Bidding to win his second title at the All England Club, Djokovic was playing his first match of the year on grass after losing in the semifinals at the French Open. He managed the switch from clay perfectly and controlled most of the match, saving the three break points he faced.

Djokovic won his only Wimbledon title two years ago.

Bernard Tomic, whose father is barred from tour tournaments because of an assault case, defeated 21st-seeded Sam Querrey in five sets Tuesday to reach the second round of Wimbledon.

The 20-year-old Tomic, Australia's most promising player, won 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 after withstanding a flurry of 36 aces by the American.

Tomic's father and coach, John Tomic, may not attend Wimbledon, even as a paying spectator. He also was barred from the French Open. John Tomic has been charged in Spain with assaulting his son's hitting partner before the Madrid Open.

A Madrid court has postponed John Tomic's case until October. He is accused of head-butting Thomas Drouet near their hotel before the tournament.

Laura Robson became the first British woman to defeat a top-10 player at Wimbledon in 15 years when she upset 10th-seeded Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-4 Tuesday in the first round of the grass-court tournament.

The 19-year-old Robson followed in the footsteps of Sam Smith, who upset No. 7 Conchita Martinez in 1998.

After wrapping up the match with a forehand winner, Robson said "it was nerve-wracking before I served for it. I just wanted to focus and take it point by point. Any big win gives you a lot of confidence."

Dutch tennis player Arantxa Rus lost her 17th consecutive main-draw, tour-level match Tuesday at Wimbledon, equaling the longest WTA losing streak on record.

The 156th-ranked Rus was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Russia's Olga Puchkova in the first round on Court 9 at the All England Club.

Rus' last victory in a tour-level match came last year on Aug. 19, when she defeated Romina Oprandi 7-5, 6-4 in the first round of a hard-court tournament at Grapevine, Texas. Two days later, Rus lost to Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (5), 6-2.

And so began what now is tied with the longest known losing streak in tour history. According to the WTA, Sandy Collins of the U.S. lost 17 matches in a row from 1984-87.

French Open runner-up David Ferrer overcame a second-set slump and a scary late fall to beat Martin Alund of Argentina 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 Tuesday in the first round of Wimbledon.

Coming off his first Grand Slam final, the fourth-seeded Spaniard looked in danger of following his countryman Rafael Nadal out of the tournament as Alund won the second set and pushed hard in the third. But Ferrer broke for a 6-5 lead and then went 5-1 up in the fourth. He had an injury scare at 3-1, however, when he fell to the ground and grimaced in pain after his left foot slid backward awkwardly on the grass. Ferrer eventually got back up, and went on to break Alund's serve again.

He served out the match with an ace.


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