Wimbledon 2011: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic ease into round two

Wimbledon Championships

Venue:
All England Club, London
Date:
20 June-3 July
Coverage:
Live on BBC One, Two, 3D, HD, Red Button, online (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary from 0900 BST on BBC Sport website (#bbctennis); watch again on iPlayer
Roger Federer
Federer is hoping to reclaim the Wimbledon crown he last won in 2009

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were both in dominant mood as they swept into the second round at Wimbledon.

Federer was not at his best as he began his quest for a seventh men's title but was still far too strong for Kazakhstan debutant Mikhail Kukushkin.

The 29-year-old Swiss triumphed 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-2 in one hour 42 minutes.

Djokovic, 24, followed Federer on to Centre Court and demolished France's Jeremy Chardy, dropping just six games in a one-sided 6-4 6-1 6-1 win.

It was an impressive return to winning ways by the second seed, who had seen a remarkable 43-match unbeaten run ended by Federer in the French Open semi-finals at the start of June.

In his first competitive match since that defeat, the Serbian dropped only two points on serve in the first set while putting constant pressure on Chardy, who eventually cracked when he was broken at 4-4.

Djokovic served out the set and was quickly on the attack again, finding cracks in Chardy's armour - not to mention his usually reliable serve - with embarrassing ease as he ran away with the second set.

There was no way back for the world number 54, and his inevitable defeat was sealed when he netted a return after one hour and 20 minutes, with Djokovic progressing to play Kevin Anderson of South Africa or Ukraine's Illya Marchenko next.

Djokovic is keen to build up another head of steam similar to the one that saw him go unbeaten for the first five months of 2011, and feels he is in good shape to challenge for what would be his first Wimbledon title.

"When my streak ended in Paris, it was kind of a relief as well, because it was a successful five, six months for me, but also very long and exhausting. I've played so many matches," he explained.

"So I needed some time to relax and I'm happy to see that I'm playing well and that I'm mentally really fresh to have more success."

"This was my first match in Wimbledon this year, and the first official match I have had on grass so it took some time to get adjusted," Djokovic said of his return to action. "I'm not great with the stats, but it is definitely one of my most dominant matches regarding the serve

Federer was also able to rely on his serve throughout his match with Kukushkin, the world number 61, and won comfortably despite some uncharacteristic errors.

The third seed, who has not played a warm-up event on grass this year after missing Halle with a sore groin, was in far from fluent form, but a repeat of last year's first-round scare when he went two sets down to Alejandro Falla before fighting back, never looked likely.

6-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer
6-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer

He seemed content to ease himself into this year's Championships as he began his bid to equal Pete Sampras and William Renshaw's record number of singles triumphs at SW19, keeping his inexperienced opponent at arm's length and striking when necessary.

Kukushkin, who had only played three previous matches at ATP Tour level on grass, acquitted himself well on serve in the early stages but did not get close to threatening a break in the first set, winning only one point in the first five games on Federer's serve.

That pattern continued into the tie-break, with Federer stepping up a gear to break twice at 3-2, then taking the set with two aces.

Some strong gusts of wind on Centre Court saw both players make mistakes at the start of the second set but Federer took control when he broke to go 3-2 up.

Kukushkin's best spell followed immediately afterwards, when he at last got to grips with the Federer serve, but his first break-back point came and went when Federer slammed down another big delivery, and he wasted his second when he slammed a wild forehand long.

Federer, who lost in the quarter-finals last year, was still not in full flow but his B-game was still good enough to see him serve out the second set.

A break at the start of the third set confirmed Kukushkin's fate and Federer went on to complete an assured victory.

"It was very windy and the conditions were tough," Federer said afterwards.

"It's always nerve-wracking playing your first match on Centre Court because you don't get the chance to practice at the start of the tournament. But it was a matter of playing solid and getting through.

"He served very well, played a good match and made it competitive but I was really happy with my performance. I never really struggled on my serve and I was able to cruise through a lot of my service games."

Federer plays France's Adrian Mannarino, who battled past Ireland's Conor Niland in five sets, in round two.

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