Canadian tennis players Milos Raonic and Aleksandra Wozniak got their Olympic tournaments off to a winning start.
Raonic posting a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 victory over Japan's Tatsuma Ito, while Wozniak, from Blainville, Que., eased past New Zealand's Marina Erakovic 6-2, 6-1 in her singles opener Monday.
Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., used smooth ground strokes and cut shots to prevent Ito from finding his rhythm. The Canadian picked up an early break for a 3-1 lead and was never threatened the rest of the way.
"For me I'm fortunate enough to play with a big enough game that most of my results are going to depend on me," Raonic said. "I feel like if I step it up, I will have an opportunity to win."
Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil were scheduled to play their opening men's doubles match later Monday against Horia Tecau and Adrian Ungur of Romania.
The draw gets a lot tougher now for Raonic, who at No. 25 is 44 positions higher that Ito in the world rankings. Up next is a second-round match Tuesday against world No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
"Really my job is just going to be go out there, take care of my serve and try to create opportunities," Raonic said. "But I'm going to have to go out there going for the win. He's not going to give it to me."
On the water, the Canadian men's eight rowing crew's found some redemption after a woeful first race over the weekend.
The Canadians finished second in its repechage to advance to the final. It was a bounce-back performance for defending Olympic champions after finishing a disappointing last in a tough four-boat heat Saturday.
Federer breezes by Benneteau
Roger Federer made only a brief appearance Monday on Centre Court at Wimbledon, beating Julien Benneteau of France 6-2, 6-2 in less than an hour to reach the third round.
Routine wins have been elusive at the Olympics for Federer, who is playing in the games for the fourth time and still seeking his first singles medal. He was pushed to three sets in the opening round but he easily eliminated Benneteau, who held a two-set lead against Federer at Wimbledon a month ago before losing.
In the rematch, Federer lost only 13 points in his eight service games. He had 24 winners and only seven unforced errors.
Unseeded Williams in good form
Venus Williams began her bid for a record fourth gold medal in Olympic tennis Monday by beating Sara Errani of Italy, 6-3, 6-1.
It was an impressive showing from Williams, who is unseeded and drew a tough first-round foe. Errani has won four titles this year, was the runner-up at the French Open and is ranked a career-high No. 9.
But Williams was in fine form on the Wimbledon grass, where she has won five of her seven Grand Slam titles.
Despite being diagnosed last year with an autoimmune disease that can cause fatigue, Williams began 2012 determined to make the Olympics for the fourth time. She won the gold medal in singles at the 2000 Games and teamed with sister Serena to take the gold in doubles in 2000 and 2008.
Roddick set to face Djokovic
Andy Roddick quickly took to Olympic grass Monday, winning his first-round match at Wimbledon over Martin Klizan of Slovakia, 7-5, 6-4.
Roddick converted only two of 13 break-point chances but dominated with his serve, as often happens at Wimbledon, where he's a two-time runner-up.
"I served really well," he said. "I would have liked to have converted more break points. But I got a couple and, thankfully, that's all I needed."
The Olympic match, delayed a day by rain, was Roddick's first in eight years. He lost in the third round at the 2004 Games and skipped Beijing in 2008.
As a price for being unseeded, he'll face a daunting challenge in the second round: Novak Djokovic, the 2011 Wimbledon champion.
"The guy has been the best player in the world over the last couple of years," Roddick said. "It's going to be tough. But the situation, we've both been through it a million times. I'm going to have to serve well and take some chances on returns."
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus defeated Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania on Centre Court, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.
Lleyton Hewitt of Australia and Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, both three-time Olympians, won their opening matches. No. 9-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina, No. 13 Marin Cilic of Croatia and No. 16 Richard Gasquet also advanced.
With files from The Associated Press
Bob Erb has written more than 150 cheques in the month since he collected his $25-million lottery prize, Reg Sherren reports
Date 13-12-17, Duration 9:07, Views 22969