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