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Published: 15:08 | 27/6/16

Djokovic through at SW19


Novak Djokovic defeated James Ward 6-0 7-6 6-4 to book his place in the second round of Wimbledon.

Bidding for his fourth Wimbledon title and looking to complete a calendar Grand Slam, Djokovic started brightly on Centre Court as he won the first nine games to take the opening set and move clear in the second.

Ward, however, took heart from playing in front of his home crowd and battled back to level the second set before pushing the world number one all the way to force a tie-break.

Djokovic dropped just three points on his way to claiming the tie-break and with it the second set and he only needed one break of serve in the third to close out the match. He will face Adrian Mannarino of France in the second round following his 6-2 7-5 6-4 defeat of Briton's Kyle Edmund.

"There is not really not much to say about the first nine games, it was flawless, I felt great and nerves kicked in for James. He started playing better in the second set and it got close. It was solid performance from me though. James was serving with a lot of precision and it was not easy to break his serve," Djokovic said.

"This is probably the most unique experience in tennis, playing as the defending champion, on untouched grass. It is really special to feel this tradition."

Mannarino broke twice in the opening set, capitalising on three double-faults from his opponent, to move 4-1 ahead and, while he allowed Edmund to break back, he had done enough to move one set clear.

He broke in the second game of the second set and he maintained his advantage until the tenth game when Edmund broke back to level at 5-5. The Briton handed the initiative back to Mannarino in the next game and he served out to claim the second set.

Another break of serve early in the third proved costly for Edmund as the Frenchman eased to a three-set win.

There was an early casualty on the opening day of the 2016 championships as Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber was beaten by Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

The 21st seed, competing in his 12th straight Wimbledon, lost 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-3 to depart in the first round following on from his early exits from the Australian and French Opens.

There were no such problems for ninth seed Marin Cilic, who defeated America's Brian Baker 6-3 7-5 6-3 in straight sets, while Ivo Karlovic progressed 7-6 7-6 6-4.

In the women's draw, Venus Williams booked her place in the second round with a 7-6 6-4 defeat of Donna Vekic.

The former champion was broken in the seventh and 11th games but hit back to take set up a tie-break, which she won 7-3, and she went on to break Vekic in the ninth game of the second set before serving out to complete the victory.

There was disappointment for Ana Ivanovic as she exited the tournament at the hands of Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova in straight sets 6-2, 7-5.

Sabine Lisicki dominated her match against American Shelby Rogers on her way to a 6-1 6-3 success, while Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu was beaten 6-1 6-4 by Carina Witthoeft.

Next up for Lisicki is a tough second round clash against 14th seed Samantha Stosur, who overcame Madga Linette 7-5 6-3 in just 77 minutes.

More to follow

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