The headlines from day two of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships included the safe passage of Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray through to round two, with both lighting up Centre Court with some powerful tennis.
The second seeded Spaniard overcame a sluggish start, in which his opponent Thomaz Bellucci matched him blow for blow, but the 2008 and 2010 champion recovered to take the first set on a tie-break and from there it was plain sailing, with Nadal completing a 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-3 win.
Murray produced a near-perfect performance to open his Wimbledon campaign with a crushing victory over former world number three Nikolay Davydenko.
Fourth seed Murray dominated Davydenko with a succession of huge serves and big forehands to prevail 6-1 6-1 6-4 in 92 minutes. It was his first win on grass this year and he showed no signs of the injuries which have hampered his recent efforts.
Murray was given a standing ovation by the Centre Court crowd and will play Ivo Karlovic or Dudi Sela on Thursday.
Serena Williams was made to work hard for her first-round win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. The four-time champion, whose sister Venus was knocked out on Monday, had few problems in the first set but was broken twice in the second.
The sixth seed recovered to seal a 6-2 6-4 success to join defending champion Petra Kvitova in round two. Kvitova fought back from a shaky start to beat Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova in straight sets.
Flying the flag for Great Britain were Elena Baltacha and James Ward, and they are both through to round two after victories at SW19 today.
Ward came through a five-set thriller with Spaniard Pablo Andujar, finally triumphing 4-6 6-0 3-6 6-3 6-3 and Suffolk player Baltacha also came back from a set down, beating Italian Karin Knapp 4-6 6-4 6-0 in front of a passionate British crowd.
There was heartbreak for fellow Brit Laura Robson though, after she lost her epic battle with former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 2-6 6-4 6-4.
Robson gave the 2010 Roland Garros winner a scare before the 24th seed fought back to win in three sets.