The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

June 24, 2013

Nadal falls in 1st round at Wimbledon to 135th-ranked player

(Continued)

This was a grass-court clinic lasting 68 minutes. Federer had 32 winners, seven aces and just six unforced errors. He won 90 percent of the points when he put his first serve in. When his serve is clicking, Federer usually is unbeatable. On this day, he won his first 15 service points and 24 out of the first 25.

“I’m happy to get out of there early and quickly,” Federer said. “So it was a perfect day.”

Last year, Federer equaled Pete Sampras and William Renshaw with seven Wimbledon titles. He is now contending to become the first man to win the tournament eight times, which would bring his total of Grand Slam titles to 18.

Federer came out wearing a white collared jacket with orange trim, then quickly got down to business. He never faced a break point and broke six times.

Federer has a habit of making things look easy. And so it was in the opening game when, stranded at the net, he reached behind him for a reflex forehand volley that landed in for a winner. In the third set, Federer lifted a perfect backhand lob over the 6-foot-6 Hanescu for a break and a 5-0 lead.

Murray, the U.S. Open champion who again tries to become the first British man to win the trophy since Fred Perry in 1936, got off to a strong start with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win over Benjamin Becker of Germany.

“It was a tough start for me. He is a very good grass player,” Murray said. “I was ready and to win in three sets was a good start. There’s always nerves at the start of a Grand Slam and I’m glad to get it out of the way and hopefully I can improve as it goes on.”

It was Murray’s first match on Centre Court since he beat Federer on the grass for the gold medal at last year’s London Olympics — a month after losing to Federer in the Wimbledon final. The two could meet in the semifinals this year.

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