Wimbledon 2013 Opens, Federer And Sharapova Advance

Patricia Didelot - Author
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Aug. 14 2013, Updated 4:06 a.m. ET

One of the most prestigious tournaments in tennis, Wimbledon, began in England on Monday. Defending champion, Roger Federer made his debut at Centre Court and won convincingly against Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 in a match that took only 68 minutes.

Ten years after his first Wimbledon championship, Federer began his pursuit of a record eighth Grand Slam title at the All England Club.

The match was more of a warm-up for Federer who dominated Hanescu in all areas. He had 32 winners, seven aces, and only six unforced errors. He won 90 percent of the points when he succeeded with his first serve.

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

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The 2004 champion, Maria Sharapova, followed Federer’s match, when she beat Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-6 (5), 6-3 after struggling on a first set tiebreaker.

Once she got over the first set jitters, the Russian dominated the second set and looked more comfortable on court.

As for Federer, he is attempting to become the first man to win eight Wimbledon titles. Last year he passed Pete Sampras and William Renshaw, who each have seven titles.

If successful in claiming the championship, it would be Federer’s 18 Grand Slam title.

“Because I’m stronger, because I have the experience, because I’ve played so much, I’m just overall a more complete player,” he said, speaking of the last ten years of his career.

Commenting on his seventh appearance on Centre Court Federer stated:

“It’s slightly different. Nine years ago when I came out the first time, it was the most special thing in the world. It still feels amazing. It was an absolute pleasure playing on Centre Court.”

Also scheduled to play in Centre Court is crowd favorite and runner up in 2012, Andy Murray from England. Murray is the home boy and will face Benjamin Becker of Germany.

Murray, who lost the final to Federer last year, came back to beat him, in dramatic fashion, on the same court at the London Summer Olympics and became a national hero.

Wimbledon play play continues daily until July 7.

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