Roger Federer began his 63rd consecutive grand slam tournament with a majestic 6-1 6-3 6-3 first-round win over little-known Bosnian Damir Dzumhur at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
The Swiss second seed’s pursuit of a record eighth title at the All England Club could not have started more convincingly as he broke the Wimbledon debutant five times to draw rapturous applause from the Federer faithfuls who had flocked to see their hero on Centre Court.
The 33-year-old started off with an unreturnable serve, threw in some crowd-pleasing volleys before finishing off Dzumhur with a love service game to chalk up his 74th victory at the citadel of grass court tennis.
The world number two will next face either Dutchman Igor Sijsling or big-serving American Sam Querrey.
Elsewhere, Rafa Nadal might have been condemned to a lowly 10th seeding at Wimbledon but he remains a floater everyone will want to avoid after getting his campaign off to an impressive start with a straight-sets dismissal of Thomaz Bellucci.
The twice champion, who has slipped down the sport’s pecking order after 18 months of injury and below-par performances, showed glimpses of his power and determination in a 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over Brazil’s Bellucci on a sun-drenched Number One Court.
If the draw goes to plan Nadal will have to get past Andy Murray and Federer to earn a shot at a third title, potentially against top seed Novak Djokovic in the final.
In the women’s draw, Petra Kvitova began her Wimbledon defence as she left off in last year’s final with a brutal exhibition of power tennis, dismantling Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-1 6-0 in a 35-minute rout on Tuesday.
The Czech second seed has form for leaving the Centre Court crowd feeling slightly short-changed after battering Eugenie Bouchard in 55 minutes to lift the Rosewater Dish trophy 12 months ago.
Bertens was overwhelmed by Kvitova’s relentless barrage of winners and almost went the entire match without winning a point on the Czech’s serve.
Kvitova spared her blushes by serving a double fault when leading 5-0 in the second set but the twice champion swiftly wrapped up the match.
After walking on court under sunny skies to gentle applause, the Czech broke twice to take the first set in 18 minutes and her 108th-ranked failed to win a single game in the second.
Next up for Kvitova will be either Poland’s Magda Linette or Kurumi Nara of Japan.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber handed out the third 6-0 6-0 thrashing so far at Wimbledon when she sent compatriot Carina Witthoeft packing.
Five-times champion Venus Williams and Andrea Petkovic had clocked up the so-called ‘double bagel’ on the opening day of the tournament, against Americans Madison Brengle and Shelby Rogers respectively.
The unfortunate Witthoeft, ranked 53 in the world, had the chance to register on the scoreboard in the final game of the first round match but even then 10th seed Kerber ruthlessly slammed the door shut with a winner.
Two points later it was game over when 20-year-old Witthoeft, who according to the WTA notes models her game on 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, wafted a shot long.