Wimbledon 2010: Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams set the pace

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Wimbledon 2010: Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams set the pace
Day two at the All England Club in SW19 started with the same fervour as it Day one ended the evening before. The matches kicked off at twelve noon with former Wimbledon Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova taking on Akgul Amanmuradova from Uzbekistan. It was not an easy ride for the former champion as it took her three sets to advance to the second round. Kuznetsova lost concentration in the second set and lost it in a tie break. Over in Court 8, thirteenth seed Mikhail Youzhny started his tournament, registering a win over Dudi Sela, albeit in four sets, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.  Queens club winner Sam Querry, trying to prove his mettle in the majors, was out on Court 18 this afternoon. Trying to fly the American flag high, and riding on an air of confidence after his big win at Queens he walked past Sergiy Stakhovsky. Querry was up two sets when his challenger retired hurt.

However, all eyes were on Center Court and Court One this afternoon where all the big guns were standing by in the players arena to fire. It was the day all Britons were eagerly awaiting, with their sole British hope Andy Murray opening his title bid on Court One. On the other hand, starting with her title defence was Serena Williams and persisting with his winning streak Rafael Nadal made their appearance on Center Court. All in all it was an action packed day.

It has been known that the William sisters have a knack for starting off slowly, it takes time for them to warm up and then get into full throttle. This was not the case this time around, as Serena needed only sixty three minutes to thump her opponent Michele Larcher De Brito from Portugal 6-0, 6-4. Going into the match Serena was slightly apprehensive, as De Brito had given her a tough time two years back. It was in Stanford when these two players had faced off two years ago. It was not an easy ride for Serena as De Brito pushed her to the limit. It took Serena three very closely fought sets to overcome her challenger. The situation played out very differently this time around as De Brito failed to win even a single game in the first twenty two minutes. It was as if the tennis ball was just whizzing by her. It was in set two that some glimpses of the old De Brito were witnessed. However, one strong backhand or one brilliant winner could not save her from the onslaught of the mighty Serena. She may have won her first game after thirty two minutes, but the match was already won by Serena. And it took the defending champion her fifteenth ace of the game to close the match.

Next up on Center court was the man with all the fire. The Spaniard from Mallorca walked out on Center court after a gap of two years, breathing in the London air. He was a changed man, but it looked as if the tactical modifications worked, even on grass. He opponent was a wild card entry from Japan Kei Nishikori. Nadal showed all his grandeur on grass, and looked even more comfortable than Roger Federer. In just three sets the twenty year old Japanese was sent packing. Nadal was through to the second round with a comfortable, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win.

Loud roars could be heard on Court One, when British hope Andy Murray walked out to take on Jan Hajek from the Czech Republic. The British public was always used to rollercoaster rides, but this match was far from that. Murray started slowly, and Hajek played a few strong early games, but after that Murray dominated the game. In hundred and one minutes Murray entered the second round of Wimbledon. He won the game 7-5,6-1,6-2.

With seeds easing through to the second round, it would be interesting to see how events unfold on day two, when the second round encounters begin.  



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