LONDON (Agencies): Andy Murray maintained his record of never losing in the Wimbledon first round with an encouraging victory over fellow Briton Ryan Peniston.
Two-time champion Murray, ranked 40th in the world, started slowly against wildcard Peniston on Centre Court. But the Scot showed his greater class to fight off early break points, then going up a gear to win 6-3 6-0 6-1.
Murray, 36, will face Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem in round two. Their contest was one of many matches scheduled to take place on Tuesday which was cancelled by heavy and prolonged rain in south-west London.
Murray and 268th-ranked Peniston were among the few players who could complete their first-round matches, with the all-British affair taking place under the Centre Court roof. British men’s number one Cameron Norrie was also able to take to the court, playing his opener against Czech opponent Tomas Machac on Court One.
Fellow Britons Katie Boulter and George Loffhagen started their matches on Tuesday morning before being forced off the outside courts shortly after 12:00 BST.
Play was suspended for several hours on day two and the weather was not forecast to improve much over the rest of evening.
Elena Rybakina avoids upset against Shelby Rogers
LONDON: Defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina recovered from a poor start to avoid a first-round exit against American Shelby Rogers.
The Kazakh, whose title defence began with a double fault, won 4-6 6-1 6-2.
Hampered by illness in her build-up, she lacked energy against the world number 49 at the start but a dramatic shift in momentum sealed victory.
Later, Ons Jabeur, runner-up to Rybakina at last year’s tournament, beat Poland’s Magdalena Frech 6-3 6-3. Rybakina’s win means she avoided becoming the first women’s defending champion since 1994 to lose at this stage.
Steffi Graf was the champion who fell at that hurdle 29 years ago when she was beaten by American Lori McNeil – and after an error-strewn first set it had looked as if Rybakina would be joining the German in the history books.
But watched from Centre Court’s Royal Box by both tennis royalty and actual royalty in the shape of Roger Federer and the Princess of Wales, the Moscow-born 24-year-old battled to hold on to her own crown a little longer.
Rybakina got off to a shaky start, dropping serve in the opening game and serving two double faults in her first two service games, and she struggled to recover as a composed Rogers went on to seal the first set with an ace.
But it was soon the Kazakh who held all the aces, delivering five of them in a dominant second set that she whizzed through in 29 minutes as rain hammered down on the court’s closed roof.
She broke in the opening game of the third set when a wide-looking forehand was shown to be in by Hawk-Eye, and maintained the advantage, wrapping up victory when Rogers could only net a return. “It was really tough for me today, I was really nervous,” Rybakina said in her on-court interview. “The double fault said it all at the beginning of the match.”
She will play France’s Alize Cornet or Japan’s Nao Hibino in the second round as she bids to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2016 to defend the women’s singles title here.
Later on Tuesday, Australian Open champion and Wimbledon second seed Aryna Sabalenka is due to open her campaign against Hungary’s Panna Udvardy.