LONDON: Leave all the chatter about Serena Williams’ pursuit of her 22nd major singles trophy to others.
Williams and her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, do not discuss that number.
“We don’t talk about it all. Zero,” Mouratoglou said Tuesday at Wimbledon after watching Williams win her first-round match.
Why is that?
“Because there is nothing to talk about. We have a Grand Slam [title] to win, and that’s what’s most important. We don’t talk about the reward,” he said. “We talk about the work we have to do.”
That is going to include some extra time spent fine-tuning the top-seeded Williams’ serve after she delivered five double-faults, including three in one game, and faced five break points during an uneven 6-2, 6-4 victory over Amra Sadikovic, a Swiss qualifier ranked 148th and making her Grand Slam debut.
“It’s very rare that everything works perfectly the first round. It’s one of the things that were not good today, so we’re going to work on it,” Mouratoglou said. “But it’s not a big deal. I don’t think it’s a big deal.”
It didn’t take long for the first rain of this year’s tournament, which cut short action in the early evening and limited play to the main stadium, the only venue with a roof at the All England Club. In all, 14 matches were suspended in progress and 17 were postponed altogether.
Of the matches that did conclude, zero seeded players lost.
Winners included No. 2 Andy Murray, the 2013 champion, in the first all-British men’s match at Wimbledon since 2001; No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, who eliminated 18-year-old American Taylor Fritz and now faces 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, participating in his first Grand Slam tournament in 2½ years after three operations on his left wrist; No. 7 Richard Gasquet, No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 15 Nick Kyrgios.
Among the top women, No. 6 Roberta Vinci — who stunned Williams at the U.S. Open last year, ending the American’s bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam — beat Alison Riske of the U.S. 6-2, 5-7, 6-3; No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated unseeded Caroline Wozniacki, a former No. 1 who hasn’t won a match at a major in 2016; and No. 27 CoCo Vandeweghe of the U.S. had little trouble getting past Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2, 7-6 (3) under the roof in the day’s last match.
Since earning her sixth Wimbledon championship and 21st Grand Slam title a year ago, Williams has gone 18-3 at majors, with the losses coming in the U.S. Open semifinals, the Australian Open final and the French Open final.