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Wawrinka, Nishikori Reach Wimbledon Second Round

Wimbledon, England

Wawrinka© AFP/Getty ImagesStan Wawrinka records his first match win at Wimbledon since 2011.

Fifth seed Stan Wawrinka recorded his first match win at The Championships in three years on Tuesday when he defeated Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 for a place in the second round. 

Wawrinka, who lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the Aegon Championships semi-finals two weeks ago, struck 18 aces and 34 winners. He converted four of his 12 break points opportunities against Sousa, who was making his Wimbledon debut.

I'm really happy," said Wawrinka. "Today was a good match. It's never easy, the first round in a Grand Slam. But I was quite focused, serving well, and confident with my game. I've been practising well for two weeks now, since before Queen's. So it's a perfect start."

Wawrinka made the Wimbledon fourth round in 2008 (l. to Safin) and 2012 (l. to Murray). He will now face Yen-Hsun Lu, who defeated Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1. 

Tenth seed Kei Nishikori, who advanced to the Gerry Weber Open semi-finals (l. to Federer) recently, knocked out Kenny de Schepper – who reached the Wimbledon fourth round (l. to Verdasco) last year – 6-4, 7-6(5), 7-5. He committed just nine unforced errors. It was his 30th match win of the season, which includes two ATP World Tour titles. Nishikori will now play Denis Kudla, who beat fellow qualifier Marsel Ilhan 7-6(3), 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.

"It wasn't fun a match for me," admitted Nishikori. "It was only two breaks of serve. In the second set, especially, I couldn't get any points off his serve. The important thing [is that] you have to really stay calm and concentrate on your service game. I think I did that really well. It was a really close game... [so] I am happy to finish in three sets."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the No. 14 seed, needed just three minutes to complete a love service hold that wrapped up a 6-1, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Jurgen Melzer. The match had been suspended on Monday night due to rain at the All England Club. "It was not easy to come back after yesterday night," said Tsonga, who next challenges Sam Querrey. "I played a good four points and finally I won. It's good."

Watch Tsonga Interview

Video courtesy Wimbledon

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© David G. McIntyre

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