Serena and Djokovic up and running at Wimbledon
LONDON – Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams made strong cases for the less is more approach to Wimbledon build-ups with resounding victories at a sunny All England Club on Monday.
Defending men’s champion Djokovic, who has been training in the south of France rather than fine-tuning the grasscourt arts since his French Open title quest turned to dust, swept past Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-4 6-4.
American 20 times grand slam champion Williams, who like the Serb rarely schedules in any grasscourt tournaments before Wimbledon, also proved impressive after a slow start, beating Russian debutant Margarita Gasparyan 6-4 6-1 on Court One.
The reigning U.S. Open, Australian Open and French Open champion is now half way towards a rare “calendar” grand slam last achieved by Steffi Graf in 1988 and only six wins away from holding all four majors at the same time.
“Honestly, I don’t think about it. But every time I come into press, you guys talk about it,” Williams, like her sister Venus bidding for a sixth Wimbledon title, told a news conference when asked about a possible repetition of the “Serena Slam” she completed in 2003.
“Naturally it’s definitely getting more on my mind than I want it to be. But it’s also six matches away.”
The only blot on her copybook was a code violation for an audible obscenity early in the first set.
World number one Djokovic’s hopes of completing his own “career slam” were scuppered by Stanislas Wawrinka in the Roland Garros final earlier this month, but the Serb showed no lasting effects as he dispatched Kohlschreiber in clinical fashion.
Knowing exactly when to squeeze the throttle, Djokovic broke serve in the 10th game of each set to safely negotiate what had looked like a dangerous opening obstacle. – Reuters