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Nadal and Federer advance as Querrey answers Thiem

Roger Federer

Roger Federer in action during his first round match at Wimbledon against South Africa’s Lloyd George Harris. Reuters

A first set loss notwithstanding, eight-time champion Roger Federer advanced to the second round at Wimbledon for a 17th straight year on Tuesday.

Third seed Rafael Nadal, in a later match, overcame a sluggish opening game in which he lost his serve, but went on to beat his Japanese opponent Yuichi Sugita in straight sets 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in a little over two hours.

Bidding to become the oldest Grand Slam champion, Federer, 37, beat 86th-ranked South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, who was making his Wimbledon debut, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

Second seed Federer, who now has 96 wins at the tournament, will face British wildcard Jay Clarke who had the better of American qualifier Noah Rubin in four sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4, for a place in the last 32.

Meanwhile, two-time French Open champion Dominic Thiem was knocked out of Wimbledon in the first round on Tuesday when he defeated by veteran American Sam Querrey 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/1), 6-3, 6-0.

The 25-year-old Austrian fifth seed does not find grass to his liking -- his best showing reaching the last 16 in 2017 -- and wilted under the expert serve and volley game of Querrey.

Querrey, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2017, will next play Andrey Rublev of Russia who beat Cristian Garin of Chile, also in a four-set match 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.

Thiem joins fellow top-10 seeds Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev in being toppled in the first round.

Earlier, Nick Kyrgios set up a Wimbledon blockbuster with Nadal with a marathon 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 7-6 (12/10), 0-6, 6-1 triumph over fellow Australian Jordan Thompson. Kyrgios, who stunned Nadal as a 144-ranked wildcard on his tournament debut in 2014, put in a typically raucous and charismatic display on Court 3.

In a match where he fired 23 aces and 63 winners, the 24-year-old argued with the umpire, slumped over the net and played dead.

He also hit an underarm serve on set point in the third set, shaped to imitate a forward defensive cricket shot and celebrated a point by running around madly in a circle.

Kyrgois and Nadal will meet just four months after the Australian defeated the Spaniard in a stormy clash in Acapulco. It was his third win over Nadal in six meetings.

Nadal accused the Australian of “lacking respect” in that match while Kyrgios described the Spaniard as “salty”.

In an earlier outing, Japan’s Kei Nishikori eased into the second round, beating Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

The 29-year-old eighth seed, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon last year, never gave Monteiro a hope of an upset.

Nishikori -- whose best Grand Slam performance was reaching the 2014 US Open final -- plays Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the next round. Norrie breezed past Uzbek Denis Istomin in straight sets 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

In the ladies’ singles, World number one Ashleigh Barty and defending champion Angelique Kerber eased into the second round of Wimbledon on Tuesday.

However, seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams moved into the second round with a hard-fought 6-2, 7-5 win over Italian qualifier Giulia Gatto-Monticone. The 37-year-old American, who if she wins Wimbledon will share the record with Margaret Court of 24 Grand Slam titles.

Meanwhile, unlike second seed Naomi Osaka on Monday, who exited in straight sets, both Barty and Kerber disposed of their opponents with relative ease.

Barty beat China’s Zheng Saisai 6-4, 6-2 while Kerber, the fourth seed, beat fellow German Tatjana Maria 6-4, 6-3.

“The first rond is always very tough and it took a little time to get used to the court,” said Barty.

“It definitely took some time to adjust.” Barty, who is bidding to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to win both the French Open and Wimbledon in the same season, said the weight of being number one did not affect her particularly.

Barty plays tricky Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, who knocked out then defending champion Garbine Muguruza last year in the second round, for a place in the last 32.

Meanwhile, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, left the plush confines of the Royal Box at Wimbledon to watch a British wildcard competing on the lowly outside courts. In a rare move for a member of the royal family visiting the All England Club, Kate took her place in among the 318 regular seats on Court 14 to watch Harriet Dart take on Christina McHale.

Agence France-Presse

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