LONDON (Reuters) - Number two seed Agnieszka Radwanska made a shock first round exit from the women’s singles on Sunday while fellow Wimbledon runner-up Britain’s Andy Murray made light work of his match against Stanislas Wawrinka to advance to the second round.
Men’s number two seed Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and fifth seed France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both survived early scares, dropping their first sets before pulling back to win on a day which saw just a quarter of the originally scheduled matches completed due to bad weather.
Poland’s Radwanska, playing under the Centre Court roof due to sporadic heavy rain showers which prevented play on the outside courts for most of the afternoon, crashed out 7-5 6-7 6-4 to world number 24 Julia Goerges.
“I played pretty aggressive and served well,” said the German, who had lost twice to Radwanska this year.
“I know if I play well it’s dangerous for anyone and it was today, a lucky day.”
Fourth seed Murray, back on Centre Court three weeks to the day after losing the Wimbledon final against Roger Federer, made a strong start to his singles medal campaign with a 6-3 6-3 win over Federer’s doubles partner Wawrinka.
The win means Murray, who with his brother Jamie was knocked out of the men’s doubles on Saturday by Austria’s Juergen Melzer and Alexander Peya, has already improved on his Olympic debut in Beijing where he suffered a first round singles defeat to Taiwan’s lowly ranked Lu Yen-hsun in straight sets.
“I know how much that loss hurt me and I wanted to come here best prepared as I could be and today was a good start,” the 25-year-old Scot, whose win was met with a deafening eruption of noise from the home crowd, said after the match.
Wawrinka can now concentrate on defending his Beijing doubles medal with Federer, who was on court to cheer him on, although the pair will have to wait after their opening match was one of the many postponed due to the rain.
On Court One, Beijing bronze medalist Djokovic had reached a first set tie-break against Italy’s Fabio Fognini before rain suspended play at seven points apiece.
When the match finally resumed hours later, with ground staff having taken the protective covers off the court several times during the afternoon only to have to cover them over again as the rain restarted, Fognini quickly wrapped up the set to take the lead against the visibly frustrated Serbian.
The pair slipped and slid their way around the court, which had not fully dried out after its earlier soaking, with both making nasty-looking falls at times, but Djokovic regained his form to take the match 6-7 6-2 6-2.
“It’s a start. I haven’t played an official match since Wimbledon so it took me a set-and-a-half to really get into the rhythm and obviously the rain delay affected the game and I wasn’t sharp enough after the rain delay,” he said.
Tsonga made similarly hard work of his first round tie, losing the first set against Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci in a tie break, before getting back on track to win 6-7 6-4 6-4.
Venus Williams didn’t get the chance to begin her quest for a fourth gold medal, with her first round match against Italy’s Sara Errani, due to follow Djokovic on Court One, cancelled due to the slippery conditions - prompting angry boos from the disappointed crowd.
Others through to the second round included Russia’s Maria Sharapova, making her Olympic debut, who safely secured a 6-2 6-0 win over Israel’s Shahar Peer, while men’s fourth seed David Ferrer beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-4 6-4.
Despite having to play a set each side of a long rain delay, the weather didn’t phase the Spaniard.
“It’s not easy, but we know that. In London it’s always the same,” he said. “We stop, come back again and try to focus in the locker room.”
Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, Editing by Nigel Hunt