The 2008 champion Rafael Nadal made an emphatic winning return to Wimbledon after missing last year through injury as Spanish second seed crushed Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 to power into the second round on Tuesday.
Nadal, whose win at the grass-court Grand Slam interrupted a five-year trophy run by Roger Federer, has not lost at the All England club since 2007.
His first round match played in brilliant sunshine was something of a homecoming, with the five-time French Open winner showing he has shifted his game successfully onto grass. Nadal remains on track to repeat the French Open-Wimbledon double this year after doing so in 2008. The Spaniard will next face Dutchman Robin Haase, a winner over injured American James Blake 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
“It was a very special moment to come back to the nicest Centre Court in the world,” said Nadal. “I’m glad to be back.
“The crowd is always amazing with me, they make me feel like home.” The world number one who takes the second seeding behind Federer based on grass merit, went through in just over two hours, producing eight aces and only 16 unforced errors.
“The change from clay to grass is an important one,” said Nadal.
“You have to adapt and adjust your game. I love the grass but it’s not easy with my game to play on it, But I have done well on the surface.
Ferrer, Tsonga advance
Fellow Spanish seed David Ferrer, the number nine, put out German Nicolas Kiefer 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 while French tenth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stopped American Robert Kendrick 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-4.
There was victory for Russian number 13 Mikhail Youzhny against Israeli Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2).
American Sam Querrey went through (7-4), 6-3, 2-1 over injured Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine.
Martin Fischer of Austria stopped Japan’s Go Soeda 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
A day after the departure of French Open winner Francesca Schiavone of Italy, losing Paris finalist Samantha Stosur made her first round exit, going out to Kaia Kanepi 6-4, 6-4.
“I didn’t play as well as I know that I can today,” said the Australian sixth seed. “She served very well. I didn’t serve as well as her and I think that hurt me.
“It’s definitely a long few months through Europe (on clay). But that’s all part and parcel with doing well.”
Two more seeds also moved through as number seven Pole Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Melinda Czink of Hungary 6-3, 6-3 and number ten Italian Flavia Pennetta overwhelmed Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-4, 6-0.
Keywords: Wimbledon 2010