LONDON: Seven-time champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 winner, raced into the Wimbledon second round on Tuesday as the tournament sweltered in near record-breaking heat.
Second-seeded Federer, bidding to become the first man to win eight Wimbledon titles and take his majors tally to 18, enjoyed a 67-minute 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 win over Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia, the world number 88 he beat at the French Open this year.
“I was happy I played aggressively,” said the 33-year-old Swiss. “He [Dzumhur] changed up his game a little bit which made it a little bit more difficult so it was interesting for me. But I’m very happy, always, to win like that.”
Federer will face Sam Querrey of the US for a place in the last-32.
Nadal, defeated in the second, first and fourth rounds respectively in the last three years, reached the second round with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over Thomaz Bellucci, his fifth win in five meetings against the 42nd-ranked Brazilian.
Tenth-seeded Nadal faces Germany’s Dustin Brown for a place in the last 32.
Kvitova races as Wimbledon sweats
Defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova, the second seed, took just 35 minutes to reach the second round, cruising to a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kiki Bertens, the world number 108 from the Netherlands.
Kvitova dropped just one point on serve and next meets Kurumi Nara of Japan for a place in the last 32.
The 25-year-old would have been relieved to have enjoyed a brief first-round outing as temperatures rocketed to around 30 degrees Celsius.
Wednesday is expected to see a Wimbledon record high of around 35 degrees which would require the heat index, where matches are briefly suspended, to be consulted.
Organisers say the heat rule, which allows for a 10-minute break between the second and third sets of women’s matches, can be used when temperatures rise above 30.1 degrees Celsius.
However, the rule which has been adopted by Wimbledon after lobbying from the WTA, does not apply to men even though they have to slug it out over the best of five sets.
Joining Kvitova in the second round was 10th seeded German Angelique Kerber who handed compatriot Carina Witthoeft a 6-0, 6-0 drubbing.
Meanwhile, French 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was probably wishing for a few clouds after he spent more than four hours to see off Luxemburg’s Gilles Muller 7-6 (10/8), 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
The Williams sisters: Serena, Venus withdraw from doubles
Serena and Venus Williams on Tuesday withdrew from the Wimbledon women’s doubles, a title they have won five times.
No immediate reason was given for the withdrawal although both sisters are still involved in the singles tournament and could meet in the fourth round.
Their place in the draw was taken by lucky losers Misaki Doi of Japan and Switzerland’s Stephanie Vogt.
The sisters also withdrew from the Australian Open this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2015.
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