Roger Federer began his quest for a sixth Wimbledon title and record 15th grand slam with a straight sets win over Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan.
The Swiss maestro survived going a break down in the opening set to win 7-5 6-3 6-2 in one hour 44 minutes on Monday. He had been accorded the honor of opening on Centre Court after his arch-rival and defending men’s singles champion Rafael Nadal pulled out through injury. The world number two did not disappoint the crowd as he emerged wearing a dapper new warmup outfit with a gold trimmed jacket and two toned shoes. Who does Tim Henman think will win Wimbledon His initial play did not match his sartorial elegance as he wasted four early break point opportunities and then fell 3-2 down on a break of service. But Federer broke straight back and again in the 12th game of the opening set to take total control. After that his 41st win in his last 42 Wimbledon matches was a formality.
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“There’s less pressure going into Wimbledon not being defending champion,” Federer told BBC Sport after his win. “I played really well and my opponent was good. I could see why he had beaten so many good opponents.” In other first round action on Monday, Queen’s Club runner-up James Blake of the United States became the first seeded player to go out. Blake, the 17th seed, was beaten 7-5 6-4 7-6 by Italy’s Andreas Seppi. The American had a chance to pull a set back in the third but wasted a set point and a 5-0 lead in the tiebreaker. Feliciano Lopez, the 21st seed, also went out to Karol Beck of Slovakia, losing a five-set epic 1-6 7-5 6-3 4-6 10-8. Fourth seed Novak Djokovic was in action later on the opening day with British hope Andy Murray starting his campaign on Tuesday against Robert Kendrick of the United States.