Fans’ favourite Nishikori outclasses Italian Cecchinato

LONDON: Japan’s Kei Nishikori breezed through his Wimbledon first-round clash with Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 on Monday, demolishing an opponent who was playing his first senior-level match on grass.
The ninth seed did not disappoint the legion of Japanese fans who gave him a hero’s welcome as he walked on to Court Twelve, outclassing his rival from the first point when he powered a backhand winner down the line.
VENUS, HALEP ADVANCE
In the women’s section, Romanian second seed Simona Halep reached the Wimbledon last-64 with a 6-4, 6-1 win over New Zealand qualifier Marina Erakovic. Halep, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2014 and this year’s French Open runner-up, next faces Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maria.
Venus Williams was able to focus on Wimbledon despite her involvement in a recent fatal car crash as the five-time champion beat Elise Mertens 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 in the first round.
Williams is being sued by the estate of an elderly Florida man who died last month after his vehicle was hit by a car driven by the American star.
The world number 11 put the horror crash to one side as she advanced to the second round, where she will face China’s Wang Qiang.
Making her first appearance in the Wimbledon main draw, Mertens, 21, was just one when Venus made her Wimbledon debut in 1997.
Tsonga thrashes Norrie
Twice Wimbledon semifinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga breezed into the second round with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over British wildcard Cameron Norrie, whose first Grand Slam appearance ended in a swift and brutal exit. Tsonga, the 12th seed, was dumped out in the second round last year but was never forced out of second gear as he swatted Norrie aside on Court Two, exposing all the Briton’s inexperience.
For Tsonga, it was an opportunity to find some rhythm on grass having played only two matches at Queen’s after losing in the first round of the French Open. — Agencies
Wimbledon results
Men (first round): Dustin Brown (GER) bt Joao Sousa (POR) 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-4; Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS x20) 6-3, 6-4 — retired; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x12) bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2; Simone Bolelli (ITA) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4; Sam Querrey (USA x24) bt Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, 6-2
Women (first round): Wang Qiang (CHN) bt Kai-Chen Chang (TPE) 6-3, 6-4; Madison Keys (USA x17) bt Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-4, 6-2; Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) bt Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 6-3, 6-4; Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) bt Laura Robson (GBR) 6-4, 6-2