Second seed Serena Williams and seed No.24 Maria Sharapova overcame hurdles to move into the second round of Wimbledon 2009.
Williams dominated the first set against Neuza Silva 6-1, but the Portuguese qualifier then lifted up her game, and aided by some errors by her opponent made a fine match of it in the second set, even though eventually losing to the 10-time Grand Slam champion 6-1 7-5. Williams has never lost in the first round of a Grand Slam, but was tested quite a bit by the world No.154 Silva, the first Portuguese to play on Centre Court, who was appearing in her first Grand Slam match.
Sharapova was playing Ukrainian qualifier Viktoriya Kutuzova, who established a 4-1 lead in the first set. The 2004 Wimbledon champion Sharapova almost leveled for 4-4, and despite missing that chance the Russian took four straight games from 3-5. The second set was not straightforward either, however, the player whose comeback from career-threatening shoulder injury everyone is observing eventually won the first-round match 7-5 6-4.
Williams will face Australia’s Jarmila Groth for a place in the third round, while Sharapova will play Argentina’s Gisela Dulko. (photos: Ralf Reinecke)