Skip to content

Wimbledon: Serena Williams kicks of title defence with straight sets win

Serena Williams reacts to her first set come back against Russia's Margarita Gasparyan during their first round match on day one of Wimbledon
Image: Serena Williams reacts to her first set come back against Russia's Margarita Gasparyan

A pumped-up Serena Williams kicked off her campaign for a sixth Wimbledon singles title with a straight sets victory on day one.

The world No 1, who is also chasing a rare calendar Grand Slam having already won the 2015 Australian and French Opens, began her bid for the third of the four majors with a 6-4 6-1 win over Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan.

Williams has five Wimbledon titles to her name but her last two appearances at the All England Club ended in misery as she crashed out in the fourth and third rounds.

She now faces Hungary's Timea Babos, the world number 93, in the second round on Wednesday.

"It feels good so far. Just one match but it feels good just to be back here at Wimbledon. I've done so well here in the past so I'll always have so many good memories here," Williams said.

Eyebrows were raised as Serena lost her serve in the opening game but in truth the 33-year-old American was always in control.

Serena’s sister Venus made light work of fellow American Madison Brengle, thrashing her with a double bagel 6-0 6-0. The five-time Wimbledon champion will play talented Kazakhstan hitter Yulia Putintseva in the second round.

More from Wimbledon 2015

Maria Sharapova blew past Briton Johanna Konta in the first round. The Russian looked revitalised as she triumphed 6-2 6-2 in the sunshine of Centre Court.

Maria Sharapova hits a forehand
Image: Maria Sharapova hits a forehand in her match against Johanna Konta

Britain’s Konta, who switched allegiance from Australia three years ago, came into the match on a high after taking a couple of seeded scalps in Eastbourne last week but never looked close to derailing the fourth seed.

"The first match of Wimbledon is never the easiest and especially against an opponent who has had a good few weeks and is a crowd favourite," Sharapova said.

"But I wanted to focus on myself as I haven't played for a couple of weeks.”

Seventh seed Ana Ivanonic was another star of the ladies game to make it through round one. 

Watched by her World Cup winning boyfriend Bastian Schweinsteiger, the Serbian player breezed to a 6-1 6-1 win over Xu Yifan of China.  She will now play America’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round.

Ana Ivanovic celebrates
Image: Ana Ivanovic celebrates victory over Xu Yifan

French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova overcame Alison Riske of the United States 3-6 7-5 6-3 to reach the second round.

The sixth-seeded Czech, who was coming off a first-round loss at the grass-court warm-up at Eastbourne, was down a set and 5-3 before rallying to take the match into a third set.

Safarova reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year.

Lucie Safarova in action
Image: Lucie Safarova: French Open runner-up defeated Alison Riske

There were some upsets in the ladies draw. Ninth seed Carla Suarez Navarro was knocked out 6-2 6-0 by Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko.

Elsewhere, 24th seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy was beaten by Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas 6-3 2-6 6-4.

Selected other ladies results:                  

(11) Karolina Pliskova (Cze) bt Irina Falconi (USA) 6-4 4-6 6-1

(14) Andrea Petkovic (Ger) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-0 6-0

(19) Sara Errani (Ita) bt Francesca Schiavone (Ita) 6-2 5-7 6-1

(22) Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt Danka Kovinic (Mne) 6-4 6-4

(23) Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Anett Kontaveit (Est) 6-2 6-1

(29) Irina-Camelia Begu (Rom) bt Daria Gavrilova (Rus) 7-6 (8-6) 6-1

Kirsten Flipkens (Bel) bt Annika Beck (Ger) 0-6 6-3 6-4

Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) bt Alexandra Dulgheru (Rom) 6-2 6-1

Lauren Davis (USA) bt Polona Hercog (Slo) 6-4 7-6 (7-3)

Daniela Hantuchova (Svk) bt Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) 7-5 6-0

Around Sky