Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are safely through to the second round of Wimbledon after straight-sets opening-round wins, but fifth seed Stanislas Wawrinka is out after losing world number 49 Daniil Medvedev in four sets.
Three weeks on from his tenth French Open title, won against Wawrinka, Nadal experienced no issues against the unseeded Australian John Millman, winning 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. The Spaniard will face American Donald Young in round two.
Defending champion and top seed Murray beat Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 to set up a second-round tie with Germany’s Dustin Brown, who overcame Joao Sousa of Portugal, coming from behind to win 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4. Murray appeared to be limping slightly between points as he battles with a persistent hip problem, but it didn’t seem to affect his game.
Rafael Nadal had none of Wawrinka’s problems in his first round match
But for Roland Garros finalist Wawrinka, it was an afternoon to forget on Centre Court. Struggling with a knee injury throughout, the Swiss no1 was out-powered by his 21-year-old Russian opponent, losing 4-6, 6-3, 4-6. It was Medvedev’s first ever win at a Grand Slam, an achievement he celebrated by kissing the hallowed Wimbledon turf.
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France beat Britain’s Cameron Norrie in straight sets, while the biggest shock of the opening day came when no20 seed Nick Kyrgios withdrew threw injury. Fernando Verdasco, the no31 seed, was also knocked out, losing to Kevin Anderson.
German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber lost in straight sets to seventh seed Marin Cilic.
Women’s top seeds through – astonishing comeback by Witthöft
In the women’s draw, second seed Simona Halep of Romania is through to the second round after beating Marina Erakovic of New Zealand in straight sets. Fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine is also through – she beat Australia’s Ashleigh Bartley 7-5, 7-6 (8).
It was a less successful opening day for the German women, Andrea Petkovic losing 3-6, 6-3, 7-9 to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and Sabine Lisicki, finalist in 2016, losing 1-6, 4-6 to Ana Konjuh of Croatia.
In more positive news, Carina Witthöft (22) won an incredible match against Croation veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (35) to progress to the second round for the fourth time in her career. With the match tied at one-set-all, the world number 65 from Hamburg found herself 0-5 down in the final set but produced an astonishing comeback against the 26th seed to win 6-3, 5-7, 8-6.
“I just remained calm and tried to step up a gear,” she told German broadcaster Sky. “I’ve come from behind to win matches before and I knew that if I just kept playing my game I could win this too – even from 0-5 down.”
Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the women’s no1 seed, gets her campaign underway against Irina Falconi of the USA on Centre Court tomorrow.