Wimbledon 2018: Serena Williams battles through opening challenge


The girl had held up a sign saying, "Can I have your headband pleeease!", and a post-match interviewer pointed out that Federer could expect more requests in coming matches after fulfilling her wishes.

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., opened with a 7-5, 6-0, 6-1 victory over Britain's Liam Broady while Peter Polansky, also of Thornhill, dropped his first-round match to Austria's Dennis Novak.

Williams dispatched Arantxa Rus 7-5 6-3 on Monday, a result that sees her join sister Venus in the second round. That success rate surely was a consideration when the All England Club opted to elevate her from a ranking of 183rd to a seeding of 25th.

Williams, who missed last year's tournament while pregnant, will face Tereza Smitkova or Viktoriya Tomova in the second round.

Although Williams did not comment on her legwear, it could very well have served a goal. A year earlier, she rallied from the brink of defeat to end Kim Clijsters' 15-match winning streak at Roland Garros. "Well, I won't think about it, I'll just be out there, yeah". Williams has only played three tournaments and seven matches since. The agency staffer reportedly left eventually without getting a sample from Williams, but Horn told the website that she nevertheless "is in good standing with our program". Until I read that article, I didn't realize it was such a discrepancy with me, as well as against the other players that they listed, at least with the American players, both male and female. "Massive challenge for her, but I'm sure one she's up for".

She did need six match points to finish off the Dutchwoman but a netted backhand finally sealed the American's passage into round two.

"Almost", Rus lamented later, "like a double-break".

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Royalty at Wimbledon is not something new and Serena Williams hopes she can do enough to tempt Meghan Markle to Centre Court.

There was something old, something new and something blue on show on Monday as Serena Williams swapped the skin-tight catsuit that caused a stir in Paris for a more conservative look on her return to Wimbledon for the first time since becoming a mum. "I'm very excited to see her attempting an unbelievable comeback, this time with a baby".

"I was like, 'I'm totally not in the area because my hour is actually a long time from now".

"If it's the shorter days, now that I'm not playing doubles in this event, I have the day off, I think that will help".

She took time out from the game ahead of giving birth, subsequently missing the 2017 tournament. Maybe that's the part I don't like so much: "the inconsistency of the places where they test", Federer said, adding that more funding is needed for doping control. We literally do everything.

Sloane Stephens fared less well as the French Open finalist became an early casualty, while Victoria Azarenka came away with a sore knee after a nasty slip in her win against Ekaterina Alexandrova.

"Looking back I'm glad I had that win".