Photo: Paul ZimmerSloane Stephens (USA)
The first day at any Grand Slam tends to throw up some surprise results and this was true of the women’s singles at Wimbledon.
No. 17 seed Sam Stosur was the first big name to fall at the All England Club this year, the Australian lasting just over an hour in a one-sided encounter against Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer.
“I think this was one of the best matches I've played this year,” said Wickmayer, who was watched from the stands by Kim Clijsters. “I felt really confident out there, and tried to really focus on being aggressive from the first point when she served. I'm really happy about the way I played today.”
Sloane Stephens, seeded 18, also failed to win her opening match on the hallowed turf of south west London as she was ousted 62 76(6) against Russia’s Maria Kirilenko.
“Maria is a great player, said Stephens. “She's done well here in the past. I knew it was going to be tricky, but that's like every other Grand Slam first round match. She definitely played well today and it was tough. But sometimes it's just too good, and today was one of those days.”
Elsewhere in the women’s draw there were wins for Li Na, Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams – all of whom have won Grand Slam titles in the past.
In the men’s draw defending champion Andy Murray got off to the perfect start in his attempt to retain his title with a straight sets victory over David Goffin on Centre Court.
Murray was the first British man to walk out as a singles defending champion on Centre Court for 78 years and the crowd responded with a standing ovation and rapturous applause.
“I was pretty nervous before the match,” said Murray. “To come to the court and get that reception, it was very nice. I think the crowd was pretty much full from the start. It was great.”
Last year’s beaten finalist, Novak Djokovic, made light work of his first round opponent Andrey Golubev as the Serbian won 60 61 64 to prove right those claiming that the No. 1 seed is the player to watch this year.
Three seeds fell on the opening day in the men’s draw – Vasek Pospisil, Andreas Seppi and Fernando Verdasco – but there were victories for the likes of Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Grigor Dimitrov.
The ITF produces men's match notes at Wimbledon. For a full list of the notes please click here.