Djokovic, Murray roll in Wimbledon openers
Wimbledon, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Top-seeded Novak Djokovic and reigning champion Andy Murray were a pair of easy opening-round winners on Centre Court at The Championships, Wimbledon.
The former world No. 1 Djokovic won the first 11 games in steamrolling Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 in a mere 87 minutes at the famed All England Club, while the third-seeded Murray also played very clean tennis in taking care of Belgian David Goffin 6-1, 6-4, 7-5. Murray popped eight aces in the predicable just-over-two-hour affair versus Goffin.
The French Open runner-up Djokovic titled here in 2011 and was last year's Wimbledon runner-up to his good friend Murray.
Djokovic, playing his first grass-court tennis of the year, is the top seed at this fortnight, despite being ranked second in the world behind French Open champion and two-time Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal.
"It was a great start," Djokovic said after moving on Monday.
Up next for the six-time Grand Slam titlist will be 35-year-old Czech veteran Radek Stepanek.
Murray has won 14 straight matches at the AEC, where he captured an Olympic gold medal in 2012 before giving Great Britain its first male Wimbledon singles champion in 77 years last year.
Murray entered and exited Centre Court to standing ovations on Day 1.
"It was nice," Murray said. "I was nervous this morning, nervous yesterday. Walking through brings back a lot of good memories. I got a nice round of applause and once you sit down in a chair it's time to get ready for this year and move on from last year."
Among those in the Royal Box for Murray's match were his father and grandparents and former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal.
Murray's new coach, former women's Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo, sat in the front row of the guest box.
Up next for Murray will be 23-year-old Slovenian Blaz Rola, who was the 2013 NCAA singles champion while playing at The Ohio State University.
Sixth-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych joined Djokovic and Murray in the round of 64 with a come-from-behind 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Romanian veteran Victor Hanescu, while seventh-seeded David Ferrer held off fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-0, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 6-1.
Meanwhile, rising Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov eased past disappointing American Ryan Harrison 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, 6-2 and 12th-seeded Latvian and French Open semifinalist Ernests Gulbis topped Estonian Jurgen Zopp 7-6 (9-7), 7-5, 7-6 (12-10). Dimitrov captured his first-ever grass-court title at The Queen's Club in London two weeks ago.
Sixteenth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini went the distance to edge out American journeyman Alex Kuznetsov, 2-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 9-7, in 3 hours, 11 minutes on Court 18.
In other action involving seeds, No. 17 Russian Mikhail Youzhny routed Brit James Ward 6-2, 6-2, 6-1; Aussie Marinko Matosevic served-and-volleyed his way past No. 18 Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; No. 20 South African Kevin Anderson dismissed Slovenian Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 7-5, 6-2; No. 21 Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov beat Aussie Samuel Groth 7-5, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5); Argentine Leonardo Mayer upended No. 25 Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; No. 26 Croat Marin Cilic got past France's Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2, 6-1; No. 27 Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut topped American two-time NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 7-5; and Dutchman Robin Haase doused No. 31 Canadian Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. The surging Bautista Agut captured his first-ever ATP-level title, on grass, last week in The Netherlands.
Several other men advanced, including Stepanek, Rola, Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Gilles Simon, Aussie Bernard Tomic, former Aussie Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis, and German Benjamin Becker, who was the runner-up in The Netherlands last week.
Some action was suspended because or rain, as 14th-seeded French star Jo- Wilfried Tsonga was leading Austrian lefty Jurgen Melzer 6-1, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 5-4 and Sam Querrey was ahead of fellow American Bradley Klahn 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-1, 6-5 when rain started to fall just after 8 p.m. local time.
Opening-round matches will come Tuesday for the second-seeded Nadal and seven- time Wimbledon champ Roger Federer. The 14-time Grand Slam winner Nadal will take on Slovak Martin Klizan, while the fourth-seeded former No. 1 and 17-time major titlist Federer will encounter Italian Paolo Lorenzi.
Also on the Day 2 schedule will be fifth-seeded Australian Open champ Stan Wawrinka, eighth-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic, ninth-seeded American John Isner, and 10th seed Kei Nishikori of Japan.
06/23 15:42:55 ET