Third seed Simona Halep made the most of the Centre Court stage gifted to her in a scheduling change, disposing of her Brazilian opponent Teliana Pereira 6-2 6-2 in a clinical display on Tuesday.
Runner-up at the French Open last month and a quarter- finalist at the Australian Open in January, Halep called the victory which opened her account at this year’s Wimbledon “pretty easy”.
The 22-year-old Romanian, who has raced up the rankings over the last year, found out her match against world No 88 Pereira had been shifted to the main show court just an hour before play.
“The court is beautiful. I had a good start to this tournament,” she said.
Braving gusty conditions to reach the second round at the All England Club, the Romanian equalled her best past performance at the competition, having also made it beyond the first round last year and in 2011.
This year, though, she said she can progress further.
“Tennis is different on grass but I like to play here. I want to go very far in this tournament,” she said.
Fourth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska also reached the Wimbledon second round on Tuesday with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Romania’s Andreea Mitu.
Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up, will face Casey Dellacqua of Australia for a place in the last 32.
Top seed Serena Williams, coming off a disastrous French Open run, also began smoothly, facing little trouble from Georgian challenger Anna Tatishvili in a 6-1, 6-2 victory. Fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova, too, beat local Samantha Murray 6-1, 6-0.
Former world No 1 Ana Ivanovic and 13th-seeded rising Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard faced stiffer opposition, but also emerged with straight-sets victories. Ivanovic was stretched in a 7-6 (8/6) first-set tiebreak before beating Italy’s Francesca Schiavone 6-4 in the second set, while Bouchard held off Daniela Hantuchova with back-to-back 7-5 winning sets.
No 16 seed Caroline Wozniacki topped Shahar Peer 6-3, 6-0, ninth-seeded Angelique Kerber beat Urszula Radwanska 6-2, 6-4 and No 15 seed Carla Suarez-Navarro eased by Zhang Shuai 6-1, 6-2, as well.
A number of seeds did not fare so well. Most notably seventh-seed Jelena Jankovic was swept aside unceremoniously by Estonian Kaia Kanepi 3-6, 2-6. No 14 Sara Errani (loss to Caroline Garcia), No 21 Roberta Vinci (loss to Donna Vekic), No 26 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (loss to Alison Riske), No 28 Svetlana Kuznetsova (loss to Michelle Larche De Brito) and No 29 Sorana Cirstea (loss to Victoria Duval) were all dismissed in the first round, as well.
The other seeds to win their Tuesday matches included No 19 Sabine Lisicki (d Julia Glushko), No 20 Andrea Petkovic (d Katarzyna Piter), No 24 Kirsten Flipkens (d Tamira Paszek), No 25 Alize Cornet (d Anna Schmiedlova) and No 31 Klara Koukalova (d Taylor Townsend).
Some more high-profile losers included Karin Knapp of Italy (loss to Karolina Pliskova) and Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, who fell to America’s Madison Keys, a first-time WTA title-winner at last week’s Eastbourne International.
Other winners included in-form Camila Giorgi of Italy, who beat Alexandra Cadantu, American veteran Varvara Lepchenko, who topped Tsvetana Pironkova and local hopeful Heather Watson, who beat Alja Tomljanovic.
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