Raonic gets off on right foot at Wimbledon

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - CHRIS LEHOURITES

LON­DON — Last year’s run­ners-up were up first on the main ten­nis show­courts at Wimbledon on Tues­day, and both came through in straight sets.

An­gelique Ker­ber, play­ing in the spot on Cen­tre Court nor­mally re­served for the de­fend­ing women’s cham­pion, beat Irina Fal­coni of the United States, 6-4, 6-4. On No. 1 Court, Canada’s Mi­los Raonic de­feated Jan-Len­nard Struff of Ger­many, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (4).

No­vak Djokovic, a three-time cham­pion at the All Eng­land Club, didn’t even need three sets to ad­vance. He reached the sec­ond round when op­po­nent Martin Kl­izan re­tired from the match in the sec­ond set.

Ker­ber stepped in to the open­ing spot on Cen­tre Court on Day 2 in place of Ser­ena Wil­liams, the de­fend­ing cham­pion who is out for the rest of the sea­son be­cause she is preg­nant.

Djokovic fol­lowed on Cen­tre Court, lead­ing 6-3, 2-0 when Kl­izan stopped be­cause of in­jury. The vic­tory put Djokovic alone into sec­ond place on the list of Grand Slam match wins, one ahead of Jimmy Con­nors, with 234. Roger Fed­erer, who fol­lowed with his firstround match on Cen­tre Court, leads the list with 314.

Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., came into Wimbledon af­ter play­ing only one match on grass, a first-round loss at Queen’s. The last time he failed to win a match on grass prior to Wimbledon, in 2014, he reached the semi­fi­nals.

Last year he did even bet­ter than that, reach­ing the fi­nal and los­ing to Andy Mur­ray in straight sets.

Juan Martin del Potro needed seven match points, but he also ad­vanced, beat­ing Thanasi Kokki­nakis, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 (2), 6-4.

KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Mi­los Raonic returns to Jan-Len­nard Struff in their match at Wimbledon. Raonic won, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (4).

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