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Federer and Djokovic up and running

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Originally published on: 21/06/11 18:33

Roger Federer kicked off his campaign for a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title with a comfortable 7-6 6-4 6-2 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

The sixteen-time Grand Slam champ was content with a straightforward match after avoiding a repeat of the five-set struggle he endured against Colombia’s Alejandro Falla in the first round last year.

“The result was the same [as last year], I was able to win, but of course it’s nice to win in straight sets,” said Federer.

“The first rounds here at Wimbledon are never easy. They’re somewhat nerve-racking because you don’t get a chance to practice on the centre courts here. I’m happy I was able to come through in three sets this time around.”

Novak Djokovic had a similary simple time of it, defeating Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-1 6-1 in three comfortable sets.

“It’s great to be back on the most famous Centre Court in the world,” said Djokovic, who seemingly relished becoming something of a forgotten man for the title behind Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in spite of his scintillating form during the first half of 2011. 

“I’m one of those players behind [Roger and Rafa] who’s trying to work hard and wait for his chance,” he added, with a grin.

Elsewhere, Aussie teenager Bernard Tomic progressed to round two for the first time after dumping out former world No.3 Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets.

The 18-year-old made it to round three at the Australian Open this year but had never previously managed a win at any other Grand Slam, but swept past the Russian 7-5 6-3 7-5 to re-ignite his faltering season.

Despite beating Jeremy Chardy and Feliciano Lopez at the start of the year in Melbourne, the Stuttgart-born youngster had won just one tour-level match – against Rohan Bopanna in Indian Wells – since, and chose to feature in Challenger tournaments in Nottingham in the aftermath of his first round loss to Carlos Berlocq at Roland Garros.

But the world No.158 was back on song on Tuesday afternoon, dominating the 30-year-old Russian from the outset before sealing victory with a finely executed lob to set up a second round clash with either Igor Andreev or Teymuraz Gabashvili.

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