World No. 1 Maria Sharapova eased to a straight-sets win but five-time champion Venus Williams was sent packing on opening day of the Wimbledon Championships on Monday.
Sharapova, who recently completed a career Grand Slam by ruling the French Open, drubbed Anastasia Rodionova, 6-2, 6-3.
Defending men’s champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic downed Juan Carlos Ferrero, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1, and No. 3 Roger Federer whipped Albert Ramos of Spain, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, bowed to No. 79 Elena Vesnina of Russia, 6-1, 6-3. Vesnina’s ranking isn’t too far from Williams, who had been diagnosed with an auto immune disease that has sidelined her for long spells. She has fallen to 58th in the world rankings.
Belgium’s Kim Clijsters beat fellow former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, 6-2, 6-4.
The biggest upset of the day was pulled off by 87th-ranked Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, who sent Czech world No. 6 Tomas Berdych packing. Gulbis won, 7-6 (5) 7-6 (4) 7-6 (4), over the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up.
Alejandro Falla of Colombia won, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5, over 11th-seeded American John Isner.