Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams cruised through to the second round at Wimbledon on Tuesday, while the men's fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Benjamin Becker.
Second seed Nadal, bidding to become the first Spanish men's champion since 1966, enjoyed a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/0) win over German qualifier, and fellow left-hander, Andreas Beck.
The second seed, fresh from his fourth successive French Open title and first grasscourt trophy at Queen's, is also bidding to be the first Roland Garros-Wimbledon back-to-back winner since Bjorn Borg in 1980.
"My opponent was another leftie and his second serve was difficult to read. He served to the body and that was hard for me," said Nadal.
"It was a strange match. There weren't many points from the baseline."
Nadal, who has lost the last two Wimbledon finals against Roger Federer, will face Latvia's Ernests Gulbis, a quarter-finalist at Roland Garros, for a place in the last 32.
Sharapova, the third seed and 2004 champion, took to Court One in a tuxedo-style jacket and trousers which she peeled off before playing in a pair of shorts.
The Russian wasted little time in ending French opponent Stephanie Foretz's involvement with an untroubled 6-1, 6-4 victory.
Sharapova, seeded three, will face fellow Russian Alla Kudryavtseva in the second round.
"It was my first match on grass this year so I did pretty well," Sharapova said.
Defending champion Venus Williams successfully launched her bid for a fifth title.
The 28-year-old recovered from 1-3 down in the first set to see off Britain's Naomi Cavaday 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 and will meet another Briton, Anne Keothavong, for a place in the last 32.
Men 1st rd
Sebastien Grosjean (FRA) bt Potito Starace (ITA) 6-2, 7-5, 6-1
Marin Cilic (CRO) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Nicolas Kiefer (GER x27) bt Julien Benneteau (FRA) 6-1, 7-5, 6-3
Tommy Haas (GER) bt Guillermo Canas (ARG) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
Richard Gasquet (FRA x8) bt Mardy Fish (USA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Tommy Robredo (ESP x23) bt Kristof Vliegen (BEL) 6-1, 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4
Radek Stepanek (CZE x16) bt Jan Hernych (CZE) 6-3, 7-5, 6-0
Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA x14) bt Oscar Hernandez (ESP) 3-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-2
Benjamin Becker (GER) bt Nikolay Davydenko (RUS x4) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
Xavier Malisse (BEL) bt Denis Gremelmayr (GER) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Andreas Beck (GER) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/0)
Gilles Simon (FRA x28) bt Dawid Olejniczak (POL) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) bt Frederico Gil (POR) 7-5, 6-7 (1/7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
Arnaud Clement (FRA) bt Jonas Bjorkman (SWE) 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) bt Thierry Ascione (FRA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-2
Andy Roddick (USA x6) bt Eduardo Schwank (ARG) 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7/0)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS x17) bt Sergio Roitman (ARG) 6-1, 6-4, 6-0
Andy Murray (GBR x12) bt Fabrice Santoro (FRA) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)
James Blake (USA x9) bt Christophe Rochus (BEL) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS x25) bt Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (9/7), 3-6, 7-5
Date created : 2008-06-24