Top seed Swiatek powers past Zhu to launch title quest

Poland's Iga Swiatek celebrates winning her first round match against China's Zhu LinReuters

World number one Iga Swiatek cruised into the Wimbledon second round with a 6-1 6-3 mauling of China's Zhu Lin on Monday in a fine start to her quest for a first Grand Slam title on grass.

The 22-year-old Pole, who won the French Open title for the third time last month to make it four Grand Slam crowns, has yet to get past the fourth round of the London major.

Swiatek looked good in her movement on the surface and showed no signs of any effects of the illness that had ruled her out of her Bad Homburg semi-final on Friday.

"I felt really confident. I felt like I did a very good job," said Swiatek, a former junior champion at Wimbledon. "I feel really good after Roland Garros (French Open). After Roland Garros I took some time to appreciate what happened.

"Last year it was my second Grand Slam (at the French Open) and it felt overwhelming. This time I could focus on celebrating and actually at getting back to work with more peace in my head."

Zhu, ranked 34th in the world, earned a break point in the first game but Swiatek won 11 points in a row to sprint into a 3-0 lead.

Poland's Iga Swiatek celebrates beating China's Zhu Lin during their women's singles tennis match on the first day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on 3 July, 2023

Another break put Swiatek, a renowned slider on clay and hard courts who has often struggled with her movement on grass, firmly in the driving seat.

Zhu saved two set points at 5-0 but Swiatek sealed the first set a game later with a powerful crosscourt forehand winner.

The pair traded breaks early in the second before Swiatek, who pulled out of her Bad Homburg semi-final on Friday due to illness, earned a second one and was 4-3 up when play was interrupted due to rain.

It resumed after the roof on Court One was shut but Swiatek needed only seven minutes to win the two games she needed and sealed victory with a backhand winner.