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Live Blog : Monday 25 June 2012

by Caroline Cheese

21:17Time to say goodbye. Cracking first day of action here. Read all about it on a wimbledon.com website near you. See you tomorrow for Kvitova, Nadal, Murray, Tsonga, Hewitt, Serena... It will be HUGE I absolutely guarantee it.

21:08Through the gloom, I can see two white blobs on the screen. One of the blobs is Guillaume Rufin and he has just beaten Steve Darcis in five sets on his Wimbledon debut.

21:06The Live@Wimbledon crew have bravely ventured to Henman Hill where some jovial Aussies proudly announce they're on "roughly" their 10th round. Those that aren't on the hill are over by Court 6 cheering on Steve Darcis and Guillaume Rufin. This is why we love Wimbledon.

21:04Rufin duly takes his 5-3 lead - and they're going to carry on. Amazing. Just as well they're wearing white so we can pick them out.

21:02We're wondering if Guillaume Rufin and Steve Darcis are playing with head torches, because with the darkness quickly descending, that is the only match still going. Rufin serving for a 5-3 lead in the fifth on Court 6.

21:00Unbelievably, Nicolas Mahut has actually been dragged off Court 4. The Frenchman had just taken the fourth set against Paolo Lorenzi but play now suspended.

20:57Jamie Lee Hampton takes the tiebreak 7-1 and out goes Daniela Hantuchova. Wow. Rumours that might even be the American's first match on grass. Meanwhile, play is suspended on No.1 Court where it's a set all between Mona Barthel and Vera Zvonareva.

20:56Jamie Lee Hampton is looking to clinch the upset over No.27 seed and grasscourt specialist Daniela Hantuchova. The American leads the second-set tiebreak 5-1.

Heather Watson on how she will celebrate her win

20:53"I think I'm just going to shower and bed. I'm tired."

20:50Some tense battles still going on out there. Christina McHale and Johanna Konta are at 6-6 in the third. Nicolas Almagro has fought back from two sets down against Olivier Rochus to take it into a fifth.

20:47Heather Watson is the first home winner of the day, beating Iveta Benesova 6-1, 6-1 on her Centre Court debut. She saves a break point with a big first serve and then sends down a booming ace down the middle to set up match point. Benesova obliges with a shanked return and Watson now has a smile on her as wide as the Royal Box.

20:44Watson and Benesova still going in that fifth game of the second set. Love to know how long it's been going on for. Watson with her zillionth break point... AND SHE'S DONE IT! The Brit scrambles along the baseline and whips a forehand down the line. As the crowd erupts, she allows herself a smile. She will now serve for the match...

20:37Iveta Benesova clinging on by the very ends of her fingernails against Heather Watson. With Watson leading 4-1 in the second set, Benesova is trying desperately to hold onto her serve. We've had approximately 100 deuces so far.

20:30Mikhail Youzhny beat Donald Young earlier for a decent 30th birthday present. The Russian was given a cake in his post-match news conference, although he was a bit miffed there was no bubbly to go with. “You are giving me a cake like a kid,” he joked. “I think we are missing something...”

20:25Tweet from tennis journalist @dougrobson: Clijsters said in press that her 4-year-old daughter, Jada, asked if she was required to wear white, too.

20:21Starting to look a bit gloomy out there. Although we don't get much light down here in The Bunker at the best of times. Heather Watson is in a hurry and leads Iveta Benesova 6-2, 3-0. You won't be surprised to learn that Nicolas Mahut is still out there. He'll still be going when we've all gone home I should imagine. He's two sets to one down against Paolo Lorenzi but 3-1 up in the fourth. Looks like the Frenchman fancies a fifth... again.

20:13Roger Federer got a rare chance to experience No.1 Court earlier, and seemed to enjoy it, winning 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 over Albert Ramos. "I actually expected it, to be quite honest," he said afterwards. "You want to get to Centre Court. If you make it down the stretch, you will get your Centre Court matches. It was as nice on Court 1 today."

20:05Not looking good for 2010 finalist Vera Zvonareva by the way. She trails 6-2, 1-1 against Mona Barthel. That match is on No.1 Court. Over on Centre, Heather Watson now 5-2 up against Iveta Benesova. No sign of nerves from the Brit on her Centre Court debut. Deep trouble for Daniela Hantuchova, who trails 6-4, 3-1 against American Jamie Lee Hampton.

19:58We've already lost the No.6 seed, and now No.12's hopes are hanging by a thread. Nicolas Almagro - not the biggest fan of Wimbledon's grass - is two sets down against teeny-tiny Belgian Olivier Rochus.

19:53Back from my foraging. What's happening? Well, Christina McHale is fighting back and has taken her match against Britain's Johanna Konta into a decider. Super start from Guernsey girl Heather Watson though. She's 4-1 up against Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic, who it's fair to say is not a massive fan of grass although she did win the mixed dubs title last year.

19:41Off in search of food. Back very soon.

19:37The game is up for Britain's Oli Golding, who loses out in four sets to Igor Andreev. Decent effort by the Brit on his Wimbledon debut though. And we also lose Naomi Braody, who goes down in two close sets to Lourdes Dominquez Lino.

19:30Novak Djokovic was in cruise control earlier after going down an early break against Juan Carlos Ferrero. He explained afterward why he took a golf club out of his bag before the match. "All the Head players, they have the bags which look like golf bags because you can place them the way the golf bag is standing, you know. So it was a little funny thing. Being creative, that's all. But fans corrected me right away. They said, 'This is not a golf course.' I said, OK."

19:27More on that Venus story here. She promised she was planning to be back at Wimbledon in 2013. Before that though, she will be in the doubles here with her sister Serena.

19:24As you probably know already, five-time champion Venus Williams was beaten in the first round earlier by Elena Vesnina. The American gave the most dignified media conference you could imagine. "I feel like I am a great player. I am a great player. Unfortunately, I had to deal with circumstances that people don't normally have to deal with in this sport. But I can't be discouraged by that, so I'm up for challenges. I have great tennis in me. I just need the opportunity."

19:20Some cause for home crowd optimism as Johanna Konta snaffles the first set against Christina McHale. Oli Golding still battling away against Igor Andreev. It's 4-4 in the fourth, with Andreev up two sets to one. Naomi Broady down a set against Lourdes Dominguez Lino.

19:14Tweet from Israel's @shaharpeer WOW!!! Ernests what a match His 2nd serve averege is much faster than my 1st serve :-)

19:12Tweet from world No.2 @vika7: go Ernests! what a match…congrats

19:11Paging Heather Watson and Iveta Benesova. Put down your sarnies. You're next up on Centre Court.

A deeply ironic Ernests Gulbis

19:10"I'm really well known for mental strength. Watch my previous matches."

19:08I think some people might have been wondering why Gulbis-Berdych was put on the Centre Court schedule today. Gulbis just answered that question emphatically. Berdych was a potential quarter-finalist for defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Gulbis wins!

19:06Wow. Was Ernests Gulbis put off his stride by missing those three match points earlier? Er, no. He wins the tiebreak 7-4 to complete a 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 win over No.6 seed and former finalist Tomas Berdych. Huge, HUGE shock.

19:02No.1 Court ticket-holders get to see Vera Zvonareva against Mona Barthel, which has just been moved. Still waiting to find out where Heather Watson against Iveta Benesova might end up...

18:59Warm applause over on No.1 Court as Kim Clijsters completes a 6-2, 6-4 win over 18th seed Jelena Jankovic. Andrea Hlavackova up next for the Belgian, who could meet eighth seed Angelique Kerber in the quarter-finals.

Isner goes out

18:56Alejandro Falla saves a match point in the fourth set tiebreak and comes through 6-4, 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 against John Isner. He also saves us from Isner-Mahut Episode 3, for which we are all thankful.

18:53Live@Wimbledon still going strong on your radiowaves and in just over five minutes time, Mats Wilander and Annabel Croft will be back on your screens with the TV version. With all that plus this live blog, you literally don't need to watch any of the tennis...

18:51Tomas Berdych finds a serve down the middle and he pumps his fist as he levels the set at 5-5. High drama on day one.

18:49Second serve to look at now for Ernests Gulbis and he absolutely pummels a forehand return down the line. Third match point... He goes down the line... Is it in? NO! It's a millimetre out. Berdych somehow survives. For now.

18:48Two match points for Ernests Gulbis but Tomas Berdych serves an ace and then swings a drive volley into the open court behind another massive serve.

18:43Nadia Petrova didn't hang around on Court 18, racing past Maria Elena Camerin 6-0, 6-2, and Ryan Harrison is also through, the American seeing off Yen-Hsun Lu in four sets to make it a really bad day for Chinese Taipei after Jimmy Wang's sad exit earlier.

18:41Incredible scrapping by Tomas Berdych, who somehow pops a monstrous forehand by Ernests Gulbis back over the net and sees his shocked opponent net. It's 4-4 in the third, with Gulbis leading by two sets to love. Britain's Oli Golding drops the third set against Igor Andreev after a crucial double fault in the tiebreak and the Russian leads by two sets to one.

18:36People are eating food around me. I don't know what it is, but it sure smell good. I'll battle on though. John Isner and Alejandro Falla still on serve in the second set. Isner starting to look a bit leggy out there. But then he's 6ft 9ins, he was born leggy. Tomas Berdych trailing 4-3 and facing break points against Ernests Gulbis....

18:29Ernests Gulbis has won ONE Grand Slam match in the last three years. He has won three ATP matches this season. It is quite astonishing what he is doing against world No.6 Tomas Berdych. He leads 7-6, 7-6, 3-3 on Centre Court.

18:26Tuesday is a great, great day to have No.2 Court tickets. The schedule there starts with Australian wonderboy Bernard Tomic v Belgian wonderboy David Goffin. Then it's four-times champion Serena Williams v Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Robin Haase v Juan Martin Del Potro follows and we finish with a Brucey bonus of Caroline Wozniacki against Tamira Paszek - which could be upset o'clock.

Tuesday Order of Play

18:20It's out! As is traditional, women's defending champ Petra Kvitova opens play on Centre. She's up against Akgul Amanmuradova. Then we have Rafael Nadal against Thomaz Bellucci, with the small matter of Andy Murray against Nikolay Davydenko to finish. No.1 Court looks like this: Tsonga v Hewitt, Azarenka v Falconi, Roddick v Jamie Baker.

18:16John Isner on Court 3. Nicolas Mahut on Court 4. They just can't stay away from each other. As they look to set up a second-round meeting that no one really wants, Mahut leads Paolo Lorenzi 5-2. Isner has just lost the fourth-set tiebreak against Alejandro Falla and they will go into a fifth set. Uh-oh.

18:13Some treatment for Tomas Berdych on his thigh at the changeover. No medical timeout though. Kim Clijsters, meanwhile, doesn't look ready to bow out of Wimbledon for the final time as she rattles through the first set 6-2 against Jelena Jankovic.

18:10Over to Centre Court where the upset is ON.The unpredictable Ernests Gulbis is having one of those days and he leads Tomas Berdych by two sets to love after taking the second on a tiebreak. Some gigantic hitting on Centre.

18:06Sssshhhh everyone. Roger Federer is speaking. He reckons the last time he played a first-round match here at Wimbledon away from Centre Court was in 2000. Didn't seem to do him much harm as he came through for the loss of just three games.

18:04Couple of match moves to tell you about: Eric Butorac and Jamie Murray (Stretch and Booty) will play Andre Begemann and Igor Zelenay on Court 11. Nicolas Almagro and Olivier Rochus are heading to Court 19.

18:01I'm thinking of printing Yes He Klizan t-shirts for his second-round match against Viktor Troicki. Let me know if there's any interest. Kim Clijsters off to a good start against Jelena Jankovic, leading 4-1.

17:56Can he do it? Yes he Klizan! Martin Klizan bends down and kisses the hallowed turf of Court 16 after beating Argentine veteran Juan Ignacio Chela 11-9 in the fifth after nearly five hours on court.

17:52Incidentally, there are some sensational photos in today's gallery on the website. And more to come.

17:49Um, bad news Brits. Oli Golding, last year's U.S. Open junior champ, drops the second set against Igor Andreev on the tiebreak so that's a set apiece there. And epic hunters should now head to Court 16 where Juan Ignacio Chela and Martin Klizan are locked at 9-9 in the fifth...

17:38John Isner is right back on track now against Alejandro Falla and is up two sets to one. Kim Clijsters holds at the start of the match against Jelena Jankovic - hopefully she's over the abdominal injury that forced her to pull out of a tournament last week.

17:38Tweet from last year's semi-finalist @sabinelisicki: Won my match in straight sets. :-D Simply LOVE playing @Wimbledon !!!

17:26Kim Clijsters is out on No.1 Court, warming up against Jelena Jankovic. Clijsters is bowing out of tennis at the end of the year so this could be her last match at The Championships - although she'll be back for the Olympics.

Federer wins

17:19Not bad from the six-times champ. Roger Federer makes it a triple breadstick, beating Albert Ramos 6-1, 6-1, 6-1. Not a bead of sweat on His Fedness. Next up for the Swiss is Italian Fabio Fognini. Good luck with Fabio.

17:17Now then... Could we have an upset brewing on Centre Court? Ernests Gulbis snatches the first set against sixth seed and 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych on the tiebreak.

17:13This is Albert Ramos's first appearance at Wimbledon. It hasn't gone brilliantly. Roger Federer plonks himself down in his chair having established a 6-1, 6-1, 5-0 lead. Anyone tipping the comeback?

Wimbledon.com reporter Ian Baker

17:12Falla receiving medical timeout treatment on lower back. A retirement will be the only thing to stop this match going five sets.

17:08Yes, I'm calling it an upset. Tweet me if you disagree. Timea Babos of Hungary beats American Melanie Oudin, the Birmingham champion who has been in decent form of late, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

17:05Remember that epic on Court 14? All over. Viktor Troicki beats the No.24 seed Marcel Granollers 7-5, 7-6, 3-6, 2-6, 8-6. John Isner has levelled matters against Alejandro Falla by taking the second set 9-7 on the tiebreak.

17:03Tweet from Strictly Come Dancing star @TheAntonDuBeke: Having a wonderful afternoon watching the incredible #federer playing @Wimbledon - amazing talent

16:59"Federer always looks smart and professional" tweets @hassanvaizie. Anyone care to argue? Federer has shunned the gold trim of previous years and has flashes of purple and green on his 2012 threads. Novak Djokovic has gone down a very similar road. #Awkward

16:54If you're out and about searching for an epic, I give you Court 14 where Viktor Troicki and Marcel Granollers are deep into a fifth set at 6-6. Meanwhile, it's time for a nation to hold its breath as Britain's Oli Golding goes 5-1 up in the first set against Igor Andreev.

16:50This must be some sort of record. A medical record. Filippo Volandri becomes the fifth retirement of the day. He was 6-0, 6-1, 1-0 down against France's Jeremy Chardy. We've already lost Eleni Daniilidou, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Sergiy Stakhovsky, and Potito Starace today.

16:48To be fair, I haven't ever seen Rupert Everett play tennis. He might be brilliant. Now then, all of you hoping for Isner-Mahut Episode 3 (which I can't imagine is many of you), "Big" John Isner is 6-4, 5-5 down against Alejandro Falla. Isner and Mahut will meet for the third straight year if they win their first-round matches.

16:46I left No.1 Court just as Roger Federer wrapped up the first set, and he has already rattled through the second set against poor old Albert Ramos - who looks a bit like British actor Rupert Everett, and unfortunately seems to play a bit like him.

16:41Beautiful work from Courtney Nguyen - only ruined slightly by the mispelling of Cheesy at the end there. An Americanism no doubt. I'm Caroline Cheese and I'll be taking you through the rest of the first day's play. See any more upsets coming?

16:36It seems that Ms. Caroline Cheese has returned with a signed note from her psychiatrist saying she's emotionally fit to resume live-blogging. I have a sinking suspicion she forged it, but hey, they don't pay me to make those calls. Handing it over to you, Cheesey. Thanks for letting me play in your sandbox.

16:30"Then I saw her face, now I'm a believer." Why am I humming? America's Melanie Oudin, who won the AEGON Classic in Birmingham just seven days ago, has fought back to level her match at a set a piece against, Timea Babos, another young talent. She's up an early break in the third now, while another smiley young American, Sloane Stephens, is up 4-1 on Karolina Pliskova.

16:27Roger Federer has himself a fancy knit sweater with his famous "RF" embroidered on it and as the temperature drops a bit here at the All England Club, I would suggest he put it back on. He's not exactly getting a workout against Senor Ramos, pocketing the first set 6-1 in 23 minutes and he breaks immediately in the second. Take my advice, Roger. No one wants you catching the sniffles when a title win would launch you back to No. 1.

16:22British wildcard Josh Goodall acquits himself well in taking a set off of Grega Zemlja, but no further luck. Goodall is the first Brit to fall today, losing 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4. Heather Watson, Oli Golding, Johanna Konta, and Naomi Broady still to come.

16:17Shazzam! Nary a grass stain on her bleach-white dress as Maria Sharapova is through 6-2, 6-3 over Anastasia Rodionova in an hour and 10 minutes. No need to move those dinner reservations, Masha. In fact, she might be early.

16:12Has anyone here packed a lunch? And a dinner. And another lunch. And possibly another dinner? If so, you'll be happy to know that John Isner has taken Court No.3 against Alejandro Falla. Your guess is as good as mine as to how long that match might go. What are your thoughts, dear readers? Do you find Isner's penchant for marathoning entertaining? Or would you prefer he keep things simple. Tweet us at @Wimbledon.

16:09Hear ye, hear ye. King Roger is in the building. No, not Centre Court as we've come to expect, but Court No.1. I can't help but wonder if he needed a GPS-aided navigation system to get there. Not that it's put him off. He's up 3-0 on Albert Ramos. A quick yet highly effective poll of the room reveals that Mr. Ramos is a dead ringer for Rupert Everett. Or an owl. Or both.

15:57It's not really a rash of retirements yet, more like a slightly uncomfortable irritation. But Sergiy Stakhovsky is the fourth player to retire today, joining Paul-Henri Mathieu, Potito Starace, and Eleni Daniilidou. Staks' retirement sends Radek Stepanek through to the second round.

15:47Sad to see Paul-Henri Mathieu forced to retire to Gilles Simon. Mathieu joins fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra in the knockout heap, as Mika loses to Flyin' Fabio Fognini. Their compatriot Virginie Razzano (upsetter of Serena Williams at Roland Garros) is also out, losing to Su-Wei Hsieh. But all is not lost for the Frenchies. Julien Benneteau is through to the second round after defeating Gilles Muller, 6-2, 7-5, 7-6(4). Allez?

15:43Adios, El Ray. A solid performance byJanko Tipsarevic to oust David Nalbandian, 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2. Was quite convinced that would be a much closer match than it turned out to be. That sound you hear is the entire umpiring crew exhaling.

15:37This just in from the legendary Caroline Cheese, whose red eyes haven't stopped her from a good quip: "Eleni Daniilidou has just retired in the third set to Bojana Jovanovski. More like Daniili-don't." She then proceeded to laugh heartily at her joke. I don't have the heart to tell her that's bad form. Am I not merciful?

15:32I'm fairly certain I'm Tsvetana Pironkova's good luck charm. She's stormed back to record the first bagel set of the Championships, taking the second set from Vesna Dolonc, 6-0. I'm not sure she's ready to say good-bye to the grass quite yet.

15:26Venus Williams, subdued yet quick to laugh, is giving a very classy press conference right now. Asked whether we can expect to see her next year at Wimbledon. She smiles. "I'm planning on it." We have our fingers crossed, Venus.

15:18We've received an urgent query from Michael Smethurst via email: "We are considering coming up to queue tomorrow Tuesday, but probably cannot get there until about 9.30am. Do you reckon we stand any chance of getting in - not for show court tickets, just outer courts."

Based solely on my own personal experience, 9:30 am should get you a good spot in the Queue for a groundspass. You might not get in when the gates open, but you should be safe for entry by early afternoon. But again, that's just off my own experience.

15:13In the time that it's taken me to pick up my bottle of peach iced tea, unscrew the cap, take a delicate sip, screw on the cap, and put the bottle down, Shazza has rolled to a 4-0 lead over Rodio in negative 45 seconds*.

*I do not own a a Swiss-made watch.

15:04If you know your Wimbledon then you know of Tsvetana Pironkova. The 24-year old Bulgarian has come out of nowhere the last two years here, making the semi-final in 2010 and the quarter-final in 2011. Along the way she's beaten the likes of Venus Williams and Vera Zvonareva. So why am I talking about good ol' Tsvetana right now? Well she's dropped the first set to Vesna Dolonc, 7-5. Could the ladies lose two grasscourt specialists in one day?

14:56Well hello, Maria Sharapova. The newly-minted French Open champion strides (saunters?) onto Centre Court for her opening round match against the always...how do I say this..."feisty" Anastasia Rodionova. While Sharapova's pokerface is legendary, the Australian chooses to let everyone know, very clearly, when she's unhappy. But on to more important matters: What's the verdict on Shazza's dress? It's got some frilly business (yes, that's very technical fashion-speak) on the bottom and some very modern flourescent trim up top. What say you, internet?

14:50The first big upset of the tournament goes to Elena Vesnina, who knocks out five-time champion Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 on Court No.2. What a huge beaming smile from the Russian, who thoroughly earned that win. Venus wasn't near her best but it still takes strong nerves to serve it out. A tough day for Venus, who is still in the Ladies Doubles with her sister.

14:43Well look at you, David Nalbandian! El Ray keeps pushing and has broken the bespectacled Serb to even the second set. Is it something in the air? The dashing Juan Carlos Ferrero avoids a third-set bagel and just had a look at break point on Novak Djokovic's serve. But Djokovic takes care of business with some strong serving, ending the match in style with an ace down the tee. The defending champion is through to the second round, beating Ferrero 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. I hope he pulls out that 9-iron as he walks off the court. Once a Djoker, always a Djoker.

14:35Well done to Tipsarevic to hold after a 12-minute game. Threw in a second serve ace just for giggles. Have to think Nalbandian must be steaming, and I really couldn't blame him.

Ruh roh, Shaggy. Vesnina is now a break up in the second set over Venus. Could the end be nigh for the woman who bears the same name as the Venus Rosewater Dish?

14:27Janko Tipsarevic fancies himself a rebel through and through, which is why it should surprise no one that the tattooed Serb is wearing bright blue lycra bike shorts under his classic white shorts. Meanwhile, David Nalbandian is in a discussion -- a tempered discussion, I might add -- with chair umpire Pascal Maria. He seems to think he's been robbed of a point when Maria opts for a replay rather than award it to Nalby. He may be right, actually. But the Argentine is trying to calm himself to carry on. It's a big game here, as he's down a set and a break, but at deuce on Tipsarevic's serve.

14:20Five-time champion Venus Williams is officially on upset-watch. She narrowly avoids getting bageled by Elena Vesnina but the Russian eventually closes out the first set 6-1. The ladies are on serve now in the second, with Vesnina up 2-1. Surely Venus finds her legs soon, right? Unlike last year, the 32-year old American opted not to play a lead-up grass tournament, so this is her first go. Cobwebs, be gone!

14:13Greetings to all you Wimbledon lovers out there, who are surely wasting valuable productivity as you valiantly try to follow the action on Day One. My name is Courtney Nguyen, and I'll be pinch-hitting for the one and only Caroline Cheese for a bit. I'm not going to lie to you, she's inconsolable at the moment. Love burns brightly, but it does burn. Stay strong, Cheesey.

14:07Long sigh from me as Fernando Verdasco ends the hopes of Jimmy Wang with a particularly ruthless 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 win. Still there's always the doubles. *Scans doubles draw.* Oh, he's not in the doubles. Never mind. I'm off to sob over a sandwich. I leave you with the extraordinary Courtney Nguyen.

14:04Ripper of a forehand pass from Venus to save the set point and the bagel against Vesnina. And Williams pounds a forehand return crosscourt to win her first game of the match.

14:02Donald Young has made it 12 losses in a row. Something's gone a little bit awry there, my tennis brain tells me. Mikhail Youzhny comes through 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

14:01Email from Matt Smith: Hey Caroline! Greetings from Los Angeles, California. Breakfast at Wimbledon started at 3:30am pacific time for me. It is now 4:17am. It's a marathon, not a sprint. These are the lengths we go to for day #1 of Wimbledon.

13:57Djoko now a break up in the third, and Venus is a Hawkeye challenge away from going 5-0 down against Elena Vesnina. At break point down, she challenges a second serve that was called out and gets another chance... Back to deuce but she balloons a backhand into the trams on another break point. A full-blown crisis for the five-time champ.

13:50If Venus goes out, is it a shock? Williams has been struggling to cope with an autoimmune disease and has played only five tournaments this year - although that's one more than 2011. She trails 3-0 against Elena Vesnina on No.2 Court.

13:48Yes, today's queue might be full but plenty of room if it's tomorrow's tickets you're after, so join @jeremygahagan and the gang - you're all mad, but good mad. David Nalbandian nets and Janko Tipsarevic has the first set in the bag. One brief outburst at the umpire from our unpredictable Argentine friend so far.

13:44Tweet from @jeremygahagan: Plenty of people erecting tents for Tuesday, I'm one of them! Neighbours with a commune of Nadal fans

Djokovic takes first set

13:42Novak Djokovic is right back on track after losing his serve early on and he takes the first set against Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3.

13:39What's Venus wearing? A classic look from the American this year, save for the daring slit up the side of the skirt of her dress. Very stylish. She is just getting under way against Elena Vesnina, watched by mum Oracene, and drops her opening service game.

13:34Fair to say the team at Live@Wimbledon aren't that impressed by Donald Young's efforts against Mikhail Youzhny. The American has lost 11 of the last 13 games and is now two sets to one down. 2007 semi-finalist Richard Gasquet is through to round two, comfortably beating Tobias Kamke.

13:33Oh Jimmy. Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. Not so Wang-tastic today. Our hero Jimmy Wang trails Fernando Verdasco by two sets and 3-0. Still, where there's life there's hope. Not much hope admittedly.

13:26Djokovic breaks straight back. Obviously. Five-times champion Venus Williams, who is unseeded this year, is up against Elena Vesnina. The American is cheekily wearing a long-sleeved top for the warm-up, keeping us waiting to see the outfit.

13:23Totally know what you mean @thestylishheart. Gets me every time. Now, quick switch over to No.2 Court. We're about to find out what Venus Williams is wearing in 2012. Janko Tipsarevic is already testing Wimbledon's famous all-white rule by wearing blue shorts under his white ones.

Djokovic is broken

13:22Wow. Novak Djokovic almost does the splits on the baseline as Juan Carlos Ferrero pounds a backhand into the corner to seal the break and a 2-1 lead in the first set.

13:21Tweet from @thestylishheart: I'm off to @Wimbledon for 3 days tomorrow, I've never been more excited for anything in my life!

13:17Double fault now from nervy Nole and another break point. Ferrero thwacks the net with a backhand though. No.3 seed Meanwhile Agnieszka Radwanska is through after a 6-3, 6-3 win over Magdalena Rybarikova. Third break point for Ferrero, but Djoko on the volley this time to see off the danger.

13:15On No.1 Court, I'm hearing there is no truth to the rumours that all the linespeople are wearing shinpads as David Nalbandian takes on Janko Tipsarevic. Djoko misses an easy smash and an easy forehand and has to face a break point - but Ferrero returns long.

13:13Novak Djokovic holds serve comfortably enough on Centre Court to begin the defence of his Wimbledon title. Ferrero responds with a service hold of his own though.

13:10New York Times tennis blogger @BenRothenberg tweets that Donald Young has lost 14 straight points, 6 straight games and 11 straight matches. He is now 2-0 down in the third.

13:07Public information service: The Queue is now full. Organisers are strongly advising anyone intending to Queue not to travel to Wimbledon.

13:04Donald Young is in a BAD mood. The American has just dropped the second set 6-3 against Mikhail Youzhny to level the match. Brighter news for Richard Gasquet who's cruising at two sets up against Tobias Kamke.

12:53It's 1300 BST: enter champion. World No.1 and No.1 seed Novak Djokovic strolls onto a sun-baked Centre Court, followed by his opponent Juan Carlos Ferrero. Djokovic has a new racket bag with a weird stand - and he has the crowd chuckling already as he brings a golf club out of it. And that's why they call him The Djoker.

12:52Time to head over to Court 4 for a riproaring comeback. Jimmy Wang dropped the first set against Fernando Verdasco on the tiebreak. But this is what he does. He toys with you...


12:52And Li Na has done it, the former French Open champ beating Ksenia Pervak 6-3, 6-1.The No.16 seed Flavia Pennetta is out, beaten 6-4, 6-3 by fellow Italian Camila Giorgi. Last year's semi-finalist Sabine Lisicki gets off to a good start with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Petra Martic.

12:44Can't imagine what more of a life you require than two weeks solid in front of the telly @bentoscano. We have another winner and it's Slammin' Sam Stosur who beats Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3. Li Na is closing in on the second round too....

12:42Tweet from @bentoscano: Hello @Wimbledon. Goodbye life for the next two weeks.

Ryan Sweeting after Potito Starace retired in their match:

12:39"It was unfortunate for Potito. He had lower back problems. It's never fun to win a match like that but you'll take a little bit of luck when you can."

12:37Tim picks Novak Djokovic for the men's title - weirdly ignoring the claims of Jimmy Wang - and Maria Sharapova for the women's.

12:33Hold up. What's this? Come-On-Tim Henman is in the queue outside the grounds... Ah, he's just chatting to Live@Wimbledon's Rob Walker. Tiger Tim looking very smart in a grey suit and Wimbledon tie. Must be in the posh seats today.


12:29We have our first result of the day and it's American Ryan Sweeting going into round two courtesy of Potito Starace's retirement while trailing 6-2, 6-0. Sweeting faces Janko Tipsarevic or David Nalbandian next.

12:22Let's have some scores: Sam Stosur racing through at 6-1, 2-0 against Carla Suarez Navarro. Li Na has bagged the first set against Ksenia Pervak. Donald Young has incredibly taken the first set against Mikhail Youzhny. Sabine Lisicki, Ryan Sweeting, Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau are all up a set.

12:18And if you're here at the All England Club, I have exciting news. Over by the Aorangi Park practice courts, you'll find Autograph Island. (It's not actually an island, you don't have to negotiate any water to get there). Here's today's line-up: Dominika Cibulkova (1300 BST), Anne Keothavong (1430 BST), Stanislav Wawrinka (1500 BST), Marin Cilic (1645 BST)

12:14If you're a Wang Fan, please get in touch and join Team Wang. Also eager to hear where you are and what you're up to on Day One of Wimbledon. Tweet @Wimbledon or email socialmedia@aeltc.com.

12:09If you were here with us for qualifying last week, you'll know that I developed an unhealthy obsession with Jimmy Wang - Chinese Taipei's No.3. He's up against 17th seed Fernando Verdasco on Court 4 and he has generously given the Spaniard a head start, trailing 4-2. That's just the kind of guy he is.

11:59Carla Suarez Navarro narrowly avoids munching on the first bagel of the tournament as she pegs Sam Stosur back to 5-1. Meanwhile on Court 7, Julien Benneteau is already a set to the good over Gilles Muller, who beat Rafa Nadal in the second round in 2005 if I remember rightly (yes, I looked it up).

11:56Indeed, Live@Wimbledon is up and running with the lovely Annabel Croft and the equally lovely Mats Wilander. They'll be taking you through each and every day - and they'll have live highlights from around the courts too.

11:50Tweet from @R_Hitz: Wow this Live@Wimbledon feature on the website is top notch! Wonderful coverage. Perfect for those of us at work!

11:48Mikhail Youzhny has reached the fourth round six times since 2001, so nearly always.

11:41If you had Donald Young in your Who Will Win The First Point Of Wimbledon 2012 office sweepstake, you're a winner! Young will hope his opening-point form continues. He's on an 11-match losing streak and he's up against Mikhail Youzhny, who I'm pretty sure always makes the fourth round at Wimbledon.*

* May not be factually correct

11:33Smatterings of polite applause around the grounds as players head for courts ready for the warm-up. Not long until we find out who wins the first point of Wimbledon 2012. Stand by your beds.

11:26Brave man, that Voice of Wimbledon. He says he doesn't expect the first day's play to be interrupted by rain. That deserves a small WOOHOO.

11:23The Voice of Wimbledon speaks, with a reminder that play begins at the slightly earlier time of 1130 BST this year on the outside courts. Another change: for all your audio-visual needs, tune to Live@Wimbledon. Radio is already well under way and the video stream follows just in time for the start of play.

11:15Remember any of those events? (I’ll be particularly impressed if you remember Gonzalez-Pasarell) Tweet us your memories @Wimbledon or email socialmedia@aeltc.com. Where were you? What were you doing? Have I missed any?

On This Day

11:07June 25 is an eventful date in Wimbledon’s long history. Pancho Gonzalez beat Charlie Pasarell 22–24, 1–6, 16–14, 6–3, 11–9 in 1969 after 5 hours, 12 minutes in what used to be the longest ever match (before, you know, the other one, THAT one). In 2003, Greg Rusedski swore at someone in the Centre Court crowd. It was also the date of Goran Ivanisevic’s final match at Wimbledon in 2004. "You kick my ass very well," he told Lleyton Hewitt after a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 loss.

11:05Just want to point out that the return of COCGT has nothing to do with me having no fresh ideas. I have got a new idea and it’s coming right up. Stand by...

10:59Now, I once invented a featurette that in a moment of complete self-absorption, I called Cheesy’s Outside Court Golden Ticket (or COCGT for short). Well, guess what? It’s back! Today’s lucky ground pass holders should head to Court 12 to catch former French Open champ Li Na in action. She’s the second highest-earning female athlete in the world, so you could ask her to lend you a tenner while you’re there. Up next, you’ve got veteran American James Blake, and he’s followed on court by The Future Of American Tennis, Ryan Harrison.

10:58Tweet from @davewatson9: And so it begins...2weeks of living on only a few hours sleep each night as @Wimbledon gets under way! Good luck to all #Australian players!

10:56"Tennis-wise, I love the atmosphere that hangs around the courts here, the history, the tradition. You don't feel that vibe in any other Grand Slam." Kim Clijsters summing up how most of us feel about Wimbledon. Clijsters - at the age of 29 - says she is "too old" for professional tennis and will quit at the end of the year.

10:48Tweet from @GemmaPranita: And @Wimbledon kicks off! Excuse me while I go and glue my eyes to the tv and turn nocturnal. #ComeOnRafa

10:44So what takes your eye on today’s Order of Play? Centre Court opens with champ Novak Djokovic against ageing mosquito Juan Carlos Ferrero. Sharapova-Rodionova follows, with Berdych-Gulbis to finish. Six-time champion Roger Federer will have to find his way to No.1 Court to face Albert Ramos. Nalbandian-Tipsarevic is first up there, followed by His Fedness, and finishing with Jelena Jankovic against Kim Clijsters, who's playing in her last Wimbledon.


10:32As always, I’m asking – nay, pleading – for your missives. It saves me a lot of work. Please get in touch via email on socialmedia@aeltc.com or simply tweet @Wimbledon

Especially keen to hear from you if you’re here at the All England Club. Think of yourselves as Wimbledon.com journalists. Unpaid journalists, admittedly, but journalists nonetheless.

Gates open

10:30It's 1030 BST and we are but an hour away from play beginning. The gates have been opened and the mad dash is on for those prized outside court seats/benches.

10:24By the way, if you’re not here for day one of Wimbledon 2012, erm, sorry about that. I am almost impossibly excited to be bringing you daily live text coverage for the revamped and refreshed Wimbledon.com. What's more: IT'S ONLY GONE AND DONE SUNSHINE!


10:15Hello there. Reckon you might be here for Day One of Wimbledon 2012. Welcome along. We’ve been expecting you.

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