In under an hour, Maria Sharapova had dispatched with her first round opponent at Wimbledon 6-1, 6-0 and firmly established that she was in the hunt for the championship. Another major contender was sending the same message. World and seed No. 1 Serena Williams won her match 6-0, 6-4 by relying on her booming serve.
Sharapova is making up for lost time and opportunities in England. The last two years she has been eliminated in the second round, making her 2004 championship seem longer ago than it truly was. Though she is yet to defeat a top ten player this year, the Russian is boasting an 18-5 record and two tournament titles in 2010. Having dropped in the rankings because of 10-month layoff last year to recuperate from a shoulder injury, Sharapova is now at No. 17 and healthy.
â€œMy body feels good,â€ she said on Yahoo Sports. â€œIâ€™m in much better match condition than I was last year.â€
Defending champion Williams and 2008 winner Rafael Nadal played with power and poise in their opening matches. Both had little trouble defeating their opponents and for Nadal the win, which is his first since winning the championship two year ago, was long awaited. He was forced to miss the tournament last year due to tendinitis in his knee.