LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot during his first round match against Michael Russell of the United States on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 20, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Wimbledon 2011, Day 1: Venus Williams, Rafa Nadal Cruise In Rain-Shortened Opening Round

Wimbledon 2011 is underway from the All-England Club. Day 1 winners include Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray and Venus Williams. Andy Roddick's match was pushed back to Tuesday due to rain.

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Wimbledon 2011, Day 1: Six Things We Learned On Day 1

Though rain abbreviated the opening day of Wimbledon 2011, we still had more than enough time to learn six new things. 

1. Americans Like Grass -- In fairness, we knew this one before today.  But Day 1 was a nice reminder of just how well suited the American style of play is to grass, and how much better Americans would likely be in the rankings if a larger part of the tennis calendar was on turf.  American men only lost once to non-Americans on Day 1, with Michael Russell losing in straight sets to some dude named Rafael Nadal.  American women also did well, with a routine win by Venus Williams and a tremendous upset of No. 28 Ekaterina Makarova by Christina McHale.  Allison Riske also made a name for herself with a valiant effort in defeat, taking a set from 2010 runner-up and No. 2 seed Vera Zvonareva in her 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 loss.  With her aggressive and powerful game, Riske seems sure to find reward (I know, I know) at Wimbledon later in her career.

2. Depth Has Switched Brackets -- Ten and twenty years ago, more bagels were handed out in early round women's matches at grand slams than at the continental breakfast counter of a Best Western.  But depth throughout the field seems to have arrived to the women's game, and at the same time left the men's.  Of the three top sixteen seeds on the women's side who finished matches on Day 1, all three needed three sets to secure the win.  On the men's side, of the six top sixteen seeds who finished matches, all but one of them won in straight sets.  The only one to drop a set, No. 4 Andy Murray, compensating by winning his third and fourth sets by the score of 6-0.

3. Philipp Kohlschreiber Peaked Too Early -- When he won the big grass court event in Halle two weeks ago, the always dangerous Philipp Kohlschreiber entered the conversation for Wimbledon.  Kohlschreiber wasn't considered a real threat to win the title, but he was definitely a dangerous floater, and was given pretty good odds of beating No. 10 Mardy Fish in the second round.  That won't happen, though, because Kohlschreiber lost to the struggling Denis Istomin in the first round, falling to the Uzbek 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.  Istomin was a lowly 5-14 in 2011 heading into this match, and how Kohlschreiber managed to lose to him is not something I can begin to understand.

4. Alex Bogomolov Jr. Has Incredible Bounceback -- American Alex Bogomolov Jr. earned his first grand slam win since the 2006 Australian Open, beating fellow American Donald Young 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.  The match was without the contentiousness of his previous grand slam victory, as Bogomolov opted to let his racquet fly instead of obscenities. And fly it did, right over the back fence.

5. Drawn And Quarterfinalisted -- Here's a weird stat from the women's draw that I doubt means much, but is still sort of cool: All three women whose best career run at a slam was to the quarterfinals who completed matches on Day 1 (Shahar Peer, Sorana Cirstea, Kaia Kanepi) lost. Wimbledon 2010 quarterfinalist Kanepi, the No. 17 seed, lost in especially spectacular fashion, winning only five games against Sara Errani.

6. Monday Showers Bring Tuesday Flowers (Or Something) -- Almost half (31 of 64) of the matches scheduled for Day 1 did not finish, meaning that Day 2 will be absolutely packed with action.  Andy Roddick, Juan Martin del Potro, Fernando Verdasco, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Andrea Petkovic, and Jelena Jankovic highlight the rollover action, all taking the court in addition to the bevy of previously scheduled matches from the bottom half of the Gentlemen's Singles draw and top half of the Ladies' Singles.

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Wimbledon 2011 Scores: No. 4 Andy Murray Drops First Set, But Finishes Strong

British hope Andy Murray, the fourth-seeded player in the men's Wimbledon 2011 draw, lost the opening set of his first round match against ATP No. 59 Daniel Gimeno-Traver, and things were looking grim. But Murray recovered brilliantly, winning the last 15 games of the match for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 victory.

With rain cancelling play on all other courts, Murray's early struggles under Centre Court's retractable roof had the full attention of the tennis world.

Murray has made it to the semifinals of the last two Wimbledons, and has never lost before the third round at SW19 in his career.  If he were to have lost this match, the British press would likely refer to him solely as "Scottish" for the rest of time.

On his third break point, Gimeno-Traver secured the lone break of the set in the ninth game, and held to take the first frame 6-4. Murray went 0 for 1 on break points in the opening frame.

But at 3-3 in the second set, something seemed to click for Murray.  Adding just a bit more pace and risk to his shots paid enormous dividends, and his first break of the match in the eighth game of the second set seemed to completely take Gimeno-Traver out of it.

Gimeno-Traver was not to win another game from that point on, eating two bagels and letting the British faithful  breathe easily.  Gimeno-Traver falls to 6-19 in 2011 with the loss, an abysmal record that hardly seems as surprising after witnessing today's disappearing act.

In the second round, Murray will play the winner of the rain-halted match between Blaz Kavcic and Tobias Kamke.  Kamke led 6-3, 7-6(4), 1-5 when the rains came.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more results from Day 1 of Wimbledon 2011. Get live scores at Wimbledon's official website, and watch matches online for free on ESPN3.

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Wimbledon 2011 Results: No. 6 Francesca Schiavone Outlasts Jelena Dokic

We all know it isn't Wimbledon without some rain. But even by London standards, this rain was ahead of schedule. Monday's mid-afternoon downpour on Day 1 halted play on all courts, and set a record for the earliest-ever use of the three-year old retractable roof over Centre Court.

In only the second main stage match of the tournament, No. 6 Francesca Schiavone and Jelena Dokic were halted early in the third set, with Schiavone serving at 6-4, 1-6, 1-1. After a delay of just under an an hour, the two players returned to the court to play under the roof as the only match continuing through the inclement weather.

Dokic has a track record of pulling off big upsets at Wimbledon, most notably with a first round drubbing of top-seeded Martina Hingis at Wimbledon 1999 on her way to a shocking quarterfinal run. But history was not to repeat itself today, as crafty net play and kick serves into Dokic's body were enough for Schiavone to stave off the upset bid and seal a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory.

Dokic made the final of the grass court tournament in s-Hertogenbosch last week, but choked away her shot at the title there in a similar fashion to the way in which she lost today's match, serving double faults at the most crucial junctures of the third set.  Based on the results of these two matches, the tactic of missing serves late is not a strategy Dokic should employ further.

Schiavone next faces the winner of the first round match between Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Aleksandra Wozniak, which has not yet begun.

Andy Murray's predictable romp over Daniel Gimeno-Traver is next up inside Centre Court.

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Wimbledon 2011 Scores: American Ryan Sweeting Comes Back To Earn First Career Wimbledon Victory

Surging American Ryan Sweeting came back from two sets down against Spain's Pablo Andujar, winning their first round Wimbledon 2011 clash on Court 5 by the score of 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-1 to earn his first trip to the second round of Wimbledon.

Sweeting, a Bahamian-born American currently at No. 69 in the ATP rankings, won his first career ATP title on clay in Houston in April.

For his effort, Sweeting is rewarded with a second-round appointment across the net from defending champion No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who hasn't lost at Wimbledon since 2007. Sweeting shouldn't be expected to win the match or even a set, but with his serve he should at least be able to best fellow American Michael Russell's first round total of eight games won against Nadal.

Though grass should help his cause, Nadal dropped only a combined eight games in the five sets (on hard courts) he has played against Sweeting this year.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more results from Day 1 of Wimbledon 2011. Get live scores at Wimbledon's official website, and watch matches online for free on ESPN3.

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Wimbledon 2011 Results: No. 2 Vera Zvonareva Survives Scare From American Allison Riske

One of our early "matches to watch" at Wimbledon 2011 lived up to its billing on Court 1, as second-seeded Vera Zvonareva was pushed to three sets by young American Allison Riske. Riske had previously found her greatest successes on tour thus far on the grass courts of Birmingham, with her dictating style of play paying dividends on the slick lawns.

 

Riske started inauspiciously in her first ever match against a top ten opponent, dropping the first set 6-0 to the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up. But Riske shook off her nerves admirably, using her big serve and aggressive groundstrokes to assert herself in many of the rallies, surprising the No. 2 seed by taking the second set 6-3.

Ultimately experience won out, as Zvonareva's consistently deep, safe shots drew enough errors to break Riske in the eighth game of the third set. Zvonareva served out the match shortly thereafter, booking a spot in the second round against fellow Russian Elena Vesnina. Ironically, Zvonareva and Vesnina were doubles partners during Wimbledon 2010, becoming the most recent team to beat Venus and Serena Williams on their way to an eventual runners-up finish.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more results from Day 1 of Wimbledon 2011. Get live scores at Wimbledon's official website, and watch matches online for free on ESPN3.

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American Christina McHale Upsets No. 28 Ekaterina Makarova In Wimbledon 2011 Day 1

Ninteen-year-old New Jersey native Christina McHale notched one of the biggest wins of her career in Wimbledon 2011 Day 1 action on Court 14, upsetting No. 28 Ekaterina Makarova, 2-6, 6-1, 8-6.

McHale had already developed a reputation for losing heartbreakers in her young career, having previously lost matches 9-7 in the third set at both the 2009 Australian Open and 2011 French Open. Her loss to Sara Errani at the French Open in May was especially heartbreaking, as McHale choked away a seemingly airtight 5-0 lead in the final set.

Makarova won the prestigious grass court tournament in Eastbourne last year, so beating her on the lawns of Wimbledon is an even greater accomplishment for McHale than it would have been anywhere else.

McHale will face the winner of Tamira Paszek and Ayumi Morita in the second round.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more results from Day 1 of Wimbledon 2011. Get live scores at Wimbledon's official website, and watch matches online for free on ESPN3.

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Wimbledon 2011 Scores And Results: No. 1 Rafael Nadal Breezes Past Michael Russell To Begin Title Defense

As is tradition, the men's defending champion at Wimbledon opened play on Centre Court. And as is tradition, Rafael Nadal rolled past inferior competition early in a slam.

Nadal looks to have gotten his grass court legs back under himself quickly, rolling past American journeyman Michael Russell, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, in his first round match.

The straight set win was Nadal's 15th straight victory at the All-England Club. Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion, has not lost a match at Wimbledon since 2007 (missing 2009 due to a knee injury).

Russell started the match strong, going up a break on Nadal in the first set for 4-3. But Nadal broke back twice successively, winning the set 6-4 and never looking back. Russell's grinding, counterpunching style ultimately offered little resistance once Nadal found his range.

Nadal next faces the winner of Pablo Andujar and Ryan Sweeting, neither of whom should scare him much. But things could get much tougher for Nadal before the week is out, with a potential match against powerful Canadian Milos Raonic looming in the third round.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more results from Day 1 of Wimbledon 2011. Get live scores at Wimbledon's official website, and watch matches online for free on ESPN3.

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Wimbledon 2011 Results: Venus Williams Cruises Past Akgul Amanmuradova

Judged on height alone, the first round Wimbledon 2011 match between 6'1" Venus Williams and 6'3" Akgul Amanmuradova would seem to be a pretty evenly matched one.

But since matches at Wimbledon are decided based on tennis prowess, the five-time champion Williams had a decided advantage from the get-go (once she arrived on court some 10 minutes late, that is). After a somewhat competitive start, Williams cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 first round victory on Court 2 over the No. 97 Uzbek.

The oft-erratic Williams struck only five unforced errors in the 95-minute match, displaying form that should reestablish her place as a perennial contender at the All-England Club.

What will likely grab more headlines than the routine win is Venus' bizarre outfit, which looked like a onesie that might have been worn at Studio 54.  Hopefully this is one of those tournaments where she brings a new outfit for each match, because this one doesn't need to see the light of day ever again.

In addition to Venus, Americans already have a man through to the second round as well. Tenth-seeded Mardy Fish toughed out a tight three-set victory over Spaniard Marcel Granollers, 7-6(3), 7-6(5), 6-4.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more results from Day 1 of Wimbledon 2011. Get live scores at Wimbledon's official website, and watch matches online for free on ESPN3.

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Wimbledon Schedule And TV Coverage For Monday's Matches

First-round play commences Monday, the first day of Wimbledon 2011, at the All England Club, with match coverage beginning at 7 a.m. EDT. Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Venus Williams, and Mardy Fish will all be featured in televised Championships action. Today's TV schedule:

• 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT: First-round play (ESPN2)

2011 Wimbledon matches can also be viewed for free online on ESPN3. Live scores can be found throughout the day on the tournament's official website.

Scheduled Day 1 matches on Centre Court:
• No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. Michael Russell
• No. 6 Francesca Schiavone vs. Jelena Dokic
• No. 4 Andy Murray vs. Daniel Gimeno-Traver

Top-seeded matches on the numbered courts include, in the men's field:
• No. 6 Tomas Berdych vs. Filippo Volandri
• No. 8 Andy Roddick vs. Andreas Beck
• No. 9 Gael Monfils vs. Matthias Bachinger
• No. 19 Mardy Fish vs. Marcel Granollers
• No. 14 Stanislas Wawrinka vs. Potito Starace
• No. 15 Gilles Simon vs. Edouard Roger-Vasselin
• No. 17 Richard Gasquet vs. Santiago Giraldo

And in Day 1 action in the women's draw:
• No. 2 Vera Zvonareva vs. Alison Riske
• No. 4 Victoria Azarenka vs. Magdalena Rybarikova
• No. 8 Petra Kvitova vs. Alexa Glatch
• No. 11 Andrea Petkovic vs. Stephanie Foretz Gacon
• No. 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Zhang Shuai
• No. 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Lesia Tsurenko
• No. 15 Jelena Jankovic vs. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
• No. 17 Kaia Kanepi vs. Sara Errani
• No. 19 Yania Wickmayer vs. Varvara Lepchenko
• No. 23 Venus Williams vs. Akgul Amanmuradova

Other U.S. players in action today will include Ryan Sweeting (vs. Pablo Andujar), Irina Falconi (vs. Stephanie Dubois), Christina McHale (vs. No. 28 Ekaterina Makarova), Vania King (vs. Petra Martic), Donald Young vs. Alex Bogomolov Jr. in an all-American matchup, and Jill Craybas (vs. Alexandra Dulgheru).

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for results from Day 1 of Wimbledon 2011 as matches are completed.

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