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LONDON: Defending champion Roger Federer marked the start of his 20th successive Wimbledon with a new look and a comfortable 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 win over Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic on Monday.

Top seed Federer marched out on Centre Court dressed for the first time in gear designed by Japanese giant Uniqlo in a deal reported to be worth $300 million after a two-decade association with Nike.

But everything else was familiar for the 36-year-old, eight-time champion as the Swiss cruised past world No 57 Lajovic in just 79 minutes.

It was the second successive year that Federer had knocked out the Serb at Wimbledon.

US Open champion and fourth seed Sloane Stephens became the tournament’s first big name casualty when she slumped to a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Croatia’s world 55 Donna Vekic.

For Stephens, fresh from making the French Open final last month, it was her second successive first round loss at the tournament.

Vekic, who sealed the upset on her fourth match point, faces Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova or Swe­den’s Rebecca Pete­rson in the second round.

Third seed and 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic enjoyed a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

Cilic, who won the Wimbledon warm-up event at Queen’s Club last month, fired 21 aces and 44 winners past his 259th-ranked opponent.

He will face Guido Pella of Argentina for a place in the last 32.

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki, who has never got to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, built on her Eastbourne title at the weekend with a 59-minute, 6-0, 6-3 win over Varvara Lepchenko.

Venus Williams, a five-time champion, made the next round with a 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-1 win against Johanna Larsson of Sweden.

Victoria Azarenka, a former world number one and two-time semi-finalist, defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

There were also wins for Czech seventh seed Karolna Pliskova who defeated Britain’s Harriet Dart 7-6 (7-2), 2-6, 6-1 and 10th seeded American Madison Keys, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia.

However, 2017 semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova lost 7-5, 6-3 to Sorana Cirstea.

Monday’s results (prefix number denotes seeding):

Men’s singles:

First round: 1-Roger Federer (Switzerland) bt Dusan Lajovic (Serbia) 6-1, 6-3, 6-4; Jan-Lennard Struff (Germany) bt 32-Leonardo Mayer (Argentina) 3-6, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5), 6-1; 11-Sam Querrey (US) bt Jordan Thompson (Australia) 6-2, 6-4, 6-3; Sergiy Stakhovsky (Ukraine) bt Joo Sousa (Portugal) 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 1-6, 6-4; 25-Philipp Kohlschreiber (Germany) bt Evgeny Donskoy (Russia) 6-2, 6-4, 7-5; Gilles Muller (Luxembourg) bt Michael Mmoh (US) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-1; 3-Marin Cilic (Croatia) bt Yoshihito Nishioka (Japan) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4; Nicols Jarry (Chile) bt 28-Filip Krajinovic (Serbia) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4; 17-Lucas Pouille (France) bt Denis Kudla (US) 6-3, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3; Dennis Novak (Austria) bt Peter Polansky (Canada) 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7); 13-Milos Raonic (Canada) bt Liam Broady (Great Britain) 7-5, 6-0, 6-1; 9-John Isner (US) bt Yannick Maden (Germany) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.

Women’s singles:

First round: 7-Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) bt Harriet Dart (Great Britain) 7-6 (7-2), 2-6, 6-1; Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (Russia) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3; Alexandra Dulgheru (Romania) bt Kristyna Pliskova (Czech Republic) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2; 9-Venus Williams (US) bt Johanna Larsson (Sweden) 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-1; Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) bt Mona Barthel (Germany) 7-5, 6-4; Donna Vekic (Croatia) bt 4-Sloane Stephens (US) 6-1, 6-3; Sorana Cirstea (Romania) bt 19-Magdalena Rybarikova (Slovakia) 7-5, 6-3; Evgeniya Rodina (Russia) bt Antonia Lottner (Germany) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4; Luksika Kumkhum (Thailand) bt Bernarda Pera (US) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; 10-Madison Keys (US) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (Australia) 6-4, 6-2; Camila Giorgi (Italy) bt 21-Anastasija Sevastova (Latvia) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4; Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) bt Petra Martic (Croatia) 7-6 (7-0), 2-6, 6-3; 2-Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) bt Varvara Lepchenko (US) 6-0, 6-3.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2018