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February 28, 2021

Wimbledon: Venus enjoys solid workout before sealing win

LONDON – Holder Venus Williams launched her bid for a sixth Wimbledon title with a competitive 6-3 6-2 victory over Swiss teenager Stefanie Voegele yesterday. Venus, bidding for her third straight championship here, mixed fine athleticism and choice shot selection on Centre Court to book a place in the second round against Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko in an hour and 15 minutes.

Venus cracked 14 winners as she raced through the opening set in just 32 minutes before the Swiss world number 97 found her form and made more of a game in it in the second.

The American finally broke the resistance of Voegele, who cites her foe’s sister Serena as her childhood hero, with a break in the seventh game of the second and she served out for a satisfying victory sealed with a forehand winner. Also yesterday, Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic overcame a medical timeout to get through her first-round match against Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-4 7-6. Jankovic, the sixth seed who has never passed the fourth round here, stormed through the opening set in 45 minutes in her first meeting with the 20-year-old German.

The Serb had a medical timeout at the end of the first set for treatment to the soles of her feet and it seemed to hit her rhythm as her German opponent raced to a 5-2 lead. But Jankovic pulled level and raced away to win the tiebreak 7-0 and set up a second-round clash with either Britain’s Katie O’Brien or Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic.

Yesterday also marked the Wimbledon debut of world number three Andy Murray, who was set to face American Robert Kendrick in the last match up on Centre Court.

Murray is Britain’s best hope of a men’s champion at Wimbledon since Fred Perry cut a thrust to the title three years before World War II broke out, and the snaking queue for tickets is testament to the British public’s desire to see the drought ended.

Officials recorded the 0730GMT total of spectators queuing up at 7,400, compared to 6,137 from the same time on the opening day of the grasscourt championships on Monday.On Monday, Roger Federer turned up at Wimbledon resembling an army general ready to conduct his latest campaign and soon disarmed the opposition on the opening day of the grasscourt championships. The Swiss strolled on court in a white monogrammed military-style outfit, complete with a waistcoat underneath, and was soon firing winners past Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun to secure a 7-5 6-3 6-2 win in the first round.

Raluca-Ioana Olaru qualifies for second round

Romanian tennis player Raluca-Ioana Olaru has qualified on Monday for the second round of the Wimbledon tournament, the third Grand Slam of the year, the competition’s official website informs.

In the first round Olaru (WTA number 75) defeated France’s Natalie Dechy (WTA number 77), score 1-6, 7-6 (7/0), 6-2. In the second round Raluca-Ioana Olaru will play against Victoria Azarenka (Belarus, top seed number 8).

Azarenka took advantage of the fact that France’s Severine Bremond Beltrame abandoned the game at the score of 6-2 for the player from Belarus. For qualifying in the second round Olaru will receive 17,750 GBP.

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