Djokovic swings into action, Venus star wanes
By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) - Men's champion Novak Djokovic arrived on court with a golf club, Roger Federer with his own unique brand of magic and Maria Sharapova basking in a Parisian glow as Wimbledon's headline acts shone in the opening day sunshine on Monday.
While that trio claimed routine victories to launch the 126th edition of the grasscourt grand slam, five-times women's winner Venus Williams had a forgettable day, ditching out in the first round after losing 6-1 6-3 to Russian doubles specialist Elena Vesnina.
The 32-year-old, who has been beset by health problems, was one of 11 grand slam champions in the women's draw, including current U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur and 2011 French Open winner Li Na, both of whom had comfortable wins.
World number one Djokovic was in a playful mood after a clinical 6-3 6-3 6-1 defeat of Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero.
"I mixed it up with a tennis racket," the amiable Serb told reporters of the stunt where he pulled out a junior club from his racket bag just moments after walking on to a packed Centre Court.
"It was a little funny thing. Fans corrected me straight away, saying 'this is not a golf club'."
Djokovic could probably have used the club to beat former French Open champion Ferrero, such was his dominance of a contest that barely got a mention in the post-match conference which ended with the Serb discussing his pet poodle.
"It's four years old and cute as candy," he said. Continued...