WIMBLEDON, England -- Top-seeded Novak Djokovic and reigning champion Andy Murray were a pair of easy opening-round winners on Centre Court at The Championships, Wimbledon.
The former world No. 1 Djokovic won the first 11 games in steamrolling Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 in a mere 87 minutes at the famed All England Club, while the third-seeded Murray also played very clean tennis in taking care of Belgian David Goffin 6-1, 6-4, 7-5. Murray popped eight aces in the predicable just-over-two-hour affair versus Goffin.
The French Open runner-up Djokovic titled here in 2011 and was last year's Wimbledon runner-up to his good friend Murray.
Djokovic, playing his first grass-court tennis of the year, is the top seed at this fortnight, despite being ranked second in the world behind French Open champion and two-time Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal.
"It was a great start," Djokovic said after moving on Monday.
Up next for the six-time Grand Slam titlist will be 35-year-old Czech veteran Radek Stepanek.
Murray has won 14 straight matches at the AEC, where he captured an Olympic gold medal in 2012 before giving Great Britain its first male Wimbledon singles champion in 77 years last year.
Murray entered and exited Centre Court to standing ovations on Day 1.
"It was nice," Murray said. "I was nervous this morning, nervous yesterday. Walking through brings back a lot of good memories. I got a nice round of applause and once you sit down in a chair it's time to get ready for this year and move on from last year."
Among those in the Royal Box for Murray's match were his father and grandparents and former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal.
Murray's new coach, former women's Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo, sat in the front row of the guest box.
Up next for Murray will be 23-year-old Slovenian Blaz Rola, the 2013 NCAA singles champion while playing at The Ohio State University.
Sixth-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych joined Djokovic and Murray in the round of 64 with a come-from-behind 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Romanian veteran Victor Hanescu, while seventh-seeded David Ferrer held off fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-0, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 6-1.
Meanwhile, rising Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov eased past disappointing American Ryan Harrison 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, 6-2 and 12th-seeded Latvian and French Open semifinalist Ernests Gulbis topped Estonian Jurgen Zopp 7-6 (9-7), 7-5, 7-6 (12-10). Dimitrov captured his first-ever grass-court title at The Queen's Club in London two weeks ago
On the women's side, Australian Open champion Li Na and former world No. 1s Victoria Azarenka and Venus Williams posted first-round victories.
The second-seeded Li bested Poland's Paula Kania 7-5, 6-2 on Centre Court, while the eighth-seeded Azarenka handled 32-year-old Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3, 7-5 on No. 1 Court at the venerable All England Club.
The 32-year-old Li has reached at least the semifinals at all of the majors except for Wimbledon, where she's a three-time quarterfinalist, including last year.
Her second-round opponent will be Austrian Yvonne Meusburger.
Azarenka fought to get past the 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist Lucic-Baroni, winning on her fifth match point. The Belarusian struggled with her serve, with eight double faults, but made the most of her opponent's 29 unforced errors.
The two-time Australian Open champion just returned to tour action last week after being sidelined with a foot injury for three months. Monday marked her first match win since the fourth round at the Aussie Open in January.
Azarenka reached back-to-back Wimbledon semifinals before pulling out of her second-round match here a year ago because of an injury.
Next up for the Belarusian star will be Serbian Bojana Jovanovski.
The 30th-seeded Williams picked up her first Wimbledon win in three years with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor.
The 34-year-old Williams owns seven major tiles, including five Wimbledon crowns. She's now 72-11 lifetime at Wimbledon.
Williams' second-round opponent will be Japan's Kurumi Nara.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun