Smooth progress for Federer

Roger Federer steered clear of trouble as he cruised to a straight-sets first-round Wimbledon victory over Mikhail Kukushkin from Kazakhstan.

Roger Federer steered clear of trouble as he cruised to a straight-sets first-round Wimbledon victory over Mikhail Kukushkin from Kazakhstan.

Federer, the six-times champion, had to fight back from two sets down against Alejandro Falla at the same stage last year, but after a closely contested opening he rarely looked troubled today as he completed a 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 6-2 victory.

The Swiss third seed is bidding to equal William Renshaw and Pete Sampras’ shared record of seven Wimbledon titles, while Kukushkin was a grass-court rookie and after showing early promise he began to fade.

Andy Roddick began another bid for Wimbledon glory with a 6-4 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 victory over qualifier Andreas Beck on Court One.

The big-serving American eighth seed and three-time runner-up had too much for the German left-hander, with a break in the ninth game of the opening set clearing the way for him to move a set ahead.

Roddick found life tougher in the second as Beck battled hard but edged a tight tie-break and from there it was reasonably straightforward for the finalist of 2004, 2005 and 2009, with two breaks in the third set seeing him safely through to a second-round clash with Romania’s Victor Hanescu.

Hanescu beat Czech player Jaroslav Pospisil 6-4 6-3 6-2.

Germany’s Tobias Kamke set up a second-round clash with fourth seed Andy Murray by beating Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-3 7-6 (7/4) 5-7 6-1.

Gilles Simon, the 15th seed, came out on top in an all-French battle against Edouard Roger-Vasselin, winning 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7/3), while former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro defeated Italian Flavio Cipolla 6-1 6-4 6-3.

Other seeds to go through included Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Juan Ignacio Chela and Viktor Troicki.

Spain’s number 21 seed Fernando Verdasco came from two sets down to beat Czech Radek Stepanek 2-6 4-6 6-3 7-6 (8-6) 9-7.

But there were casualties among the top 32.

The all-Croatian battle on Court Three went the way of Ivan Ljubicic, who put out 27th seed Marin Cilic 7-6 (7/2) 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Bernard Tomic, an 18-year-old Australian of Croatian descent, caused a shock on Court 14 with a 7-5 6-3 7-5 success over Russia’s 29th seed Nikolay Davydenko.

And Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, seeded 23rd, retired when trailing 7-5 3-1 to big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic.

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