Serena in tears, Federer, Djokovic in flying starts
Defending champion Serena Williams broke down in tears as she made an
emotional Wimbledon return on Tuesday while Roger Federer, Novak
Djokovic and Maria Sharapova barely broke sweat.
Four-time winner Williams, watched by US pop superstar Diana Ross and
England's Ashes-winning cricketers in the Royal Box, battled past
Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in what was only her third match
in 11 months.
"I usually don't cry. It's been so hard, I never dreamt I'd be here,"
The great American was sidelined for 11 months after her 2010
Wimbledon triumph. She suffered a foot injury caused by stepping on
broken glass at a German restaurant before needing emergency surgery to
remove blood clots on her lungs, an incident Williams described as being
on her death bed.
"I just wanted to win at least one match here and since I'm not
playing doubles it was a really big win for me. "To be able to come back
at Wimbledon is pretty awesome, I didn't expect to play or do anything,"
added seventh-seed Williams, who next tackles Romania's Simona Halep.
Six-time men's champion Federer, chasing Pete Sampras's record of
seven titles, cruised to a 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-2 win over Mikhail
Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.
Third-seeded Federer, who next faces France's Adrian Mannarino,
suffered a shock quarter-final exit against Tomas Berdych last year, but
never looked in trouble against tournament debutant Kuskushkin. LONDON,