WORLD No1 Rafael Nadal marked his first Wimbledon appearance in two years with a comfortable win to waltz into the second round.
Second seed Nadal clinched his first grass-court title in 2008, but missed the chance to defend his title last year through injury.
But the Spaniard showed he’s not lost any of his flair, sweeping aside unseeded Kei
Nishikori, of Japan, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
“For me it was very special to come back to the nicest centre court in world,” Nadal said.
“The crows here are always amazing so I want to thank them very much, they make me
feel like I’m at home. It’s amazing to come back.”
Nadal was joined in round two by 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who recovered from a blip to beat big-serving Robert Kendrick 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-4, while Queen’s Club winner Sam Querrey is also through along with ninth seed David Ferrer and Mikhail Youzhny, who ended the hopes of Andy Roddick’s conqueror at Queen’s, Dudi Sela.
Women’s top seed Serena Williams began the defence of her title with a comfortable 6-0, 6-4 victory over Michelle Larcher de Brito to book a round two clash with Russia’s Anna Chakvetadze.
The biggest shock of the day saw sixth seed and French Open runner-up Sam Stosur crash out 6-4, 6-4 to Kaia Kanepi.
After Francesca Schivone’s defeat on Monday, it means that both Roland Garros finalists have perished in the first round at Wimbledon for the first time.
Third seed Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska, seeded seven, are both safely through, however.