LONDON -- For a set and a half Tuesday, Rafael Nadal looked in danger of tumbling out in the first round of Wimbledon for the second year in a row. The left-hander dominating play on Centre Court was not the 14-time Grand Slam champion, it was 51st-ranked Martin Klizan of Slovakia.

But the top-ranked Nadal dug deep, scrambled for gets all over the court, slipped and fell and got up and still hit winners, pulling out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory -- the 700th tour-level match win of his career.

"That means that I had a very long and successful career, so I'm happy for that," Nadal said. "But the most important thing for me today more than 700 victories is a victory here in the first round."

Next up for the two-time Wimbledon champion: Lukas Rosol, the hard-hitting Czech player who eliminated him in the same round two years ago.

"He's a very dangerous player, very strong, very powerful shots from the baseline," Nadal said.

While Nadal had to battle, seven-time champion Roger Federer strolled to a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Paolo Lorenzi, an Italian with a career 0-13 record in Grand Slam matches.

In women's play, top-seeded and five-time champion Serena Williams beat 113th-ranked Anna Tatishvili 6-1, 6-2 to begin her 15th appearance at the All England Club. Williams served 16 aces and had 31 winners to overwhelm the 24-year-old American.


Advertisement

Among other straight-set winners on a mostly sunny Day 2 at the All England Club were Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, French Open winner Maria Sharapova and Roland Garros runner-up Simona Halep.

In another mismatch on Court 1, Sharapova sailed to a 6-1, 6-0 win over British wild-card entry Samantha Murray.

The fifth-seeded Sharapova, who lost here in the second round last year to Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito, is bidding for her second Wimbledon title -- a decade after winning her first as a 17-year-old.

The third-seeded Halep beat Teliana Pereira 6-2, 6-2 in the day's last match on Centre Court.

No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard, a semifinalist in the last two Grand Slams, also advanced.

Wawrinka served 18 aces and cruised to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Joao Sousa of Portugal. Other men's winners included No. 8 Milos Raonic, No. 9 John Isner, No. 15 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 15 Jerzy Janowicz and 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt.