Top seed Serena Williams and 2004 champion Maria Sharapova reached the Wimbledon second round after straight set victories.
Top seed Serena Williams, bidding to become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to wrap up all four majors in one season, endured a nervy start and was warned for swearing before completing a 6-4, 6-1 win over Margarita Gasparyan, the world number 113 from Russia who has never won a tour-level match in four years as a professional.
“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,” said the 33-year-old American after her 73rd Wimbledon match win secured her a second round clash against Hungary’s Timea Babos.
Fourth seed Sharapova also reached the second round with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Britain’s Johanna Konta. Sharapova, the 2004 champion, will face Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp for a place in the last 32.
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) June 29, 2015
“I was quite pleased with the way things went. It was my first competitive match in about four weeks, so I just wanted to start off really strong,” said the Russian.
Five-time champion Venus Williams wasn’t to be outdone as the 34-year-old American took just 42 minutes to crush compatriot Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-0. Williams hit 29 winners to just two from Brengle, the world number 36. But hers wasn’t the fastest win of the day as German 14th seed Andrea Petkovic needed just 38 minutes to see off Shelby Rogers of the United States.
Spanish ninth seed Carla Suarez Navarro went down 6-2, 6-0 to Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko in just 52 minutes while Italian 24th seed Flavia Pennetta lost 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas.
Two-time semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka, seeded 23, saw off Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-1 and seventh seed Ana Ivanovic breezed past Chinese qualifier Xu Yifan 6-1, 6-1.