The Wimbledon Championship at the All England Club started off today. In action were the current World Number 1 in both the women’s and the men’s game and both demonstrated exactly why they are the top seeds.
Maria Sharapova dropped a mere five games on her way to slipping lithely past Australian Anastasia Rodionova. Triumphing 6-2 6-3 the Russian –who recently won the French Open to join an elite club of starlets who have won every singles tennis major –looked barely out of second gear.
The trademark grunt was there, but there was barely a bead of sweat. Sharapova may have to work harder in her second round match with former semi finalist Tsvetana Pironkova, but she is already favorite to dominate her side of the draw.
In the mens game, meanwhile, Novak Djokovic made short shrift of his match with former World Number 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Winning 6-3 6-3 6-1 the Serb admitted to being unsteady as he took center court as the defending champion. He got off to a shaky start, perhaps due to having no warm-up matches on grass. After the tie he told the BBC that “In the opening games I missed some overheads and I was nervous, it’s normal. I haven’t played an official match on grass for 12 months.”
However, once he had gifted Ferrero some points he steeled himself and cut out the unforced errors. The games got shorter and shorter and Ferrero, now considered a veteran nearing the end, looked resigned to his fate.
With only one challenge Djokovic made sure, and as the result was confirmed he allowed himself a familiar smile.
His next match will be against either of Ryan Harrison and Lu Yen-Hsun. Many think Djokovic can double up on Wimbledon titles, but the spectre of Rafael Nadal is still in the background and Roger Federer has quietly climbed back to form. If the Swiss star wins Wimbledon he will again be World Number 1.
Tennis’ most famous event is well underway.