Style wars break out in the Wimbledon tuxedo-and-trench set

June 25th, 2008 - 5:02 am ICT by IANS  

London, June 25 (DPA) Maria Sharapova raised the fashion stakes in the style wars at Wimbledon, claiming a second-round spot in her all-white tuxedo-style top and boy-shorts 6-1, 6-4 over Stephanie Foretz Tuesday. The 2004 champion’s new look turned up the heat in what has become a three-way competition versus the white cardigan of Roger Federer and the trenchcoat worn to the court by Serena Williams.

Venus Williams stuck to tennis classics as she opted out of the clothing chase Tuesday in a defeat of feisty British number 197 Naomi Cavaday 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

Cavaday, 19, accounted well of herself despite losing in the opening round for the third straight year.

Williams improved to 52-7 at the event, where she has enjoyed the majority of her career success.

“A lot was to her good playing. I had some opportunities and made a couple of errors in a row,” said Williams.

“I felt confident throughout, I always feel good out on Centre Court,” she said.

International icon Sharapova has turned heads with her look, complemented by a game that took her back to the top of the WTA for a brief period last month.

“I love menswear in general,” said the Los Angeles-based player. “I love tuxedo jackets, that are actually a little bit baggier and wide.”

The player who headed home and skipped any grass-court preparation in Europe after the French Open could find little fault with her opening effort.

“It was definitely a good start, considering I didn’t have a warmup tournament like I usually do. My main goal is just to go out there, get a feel for it as fast as I could and get the job done,” she said.

Second seed Jelena Jankovic followed that example in a defeat of Olga Savchuk 6-3, 6-2.

“I had a slow start and was struggling but I found my rhythm and did pretty well,” said the Serb, second in the world. “I’ve never been past the fourth round, so I hope to have a good tournament.”

Number nine French Open finalist Dinara Safina advanced over Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan, 7-6 (10-8), 6-2 while 10th seed Daniela Hantuchova played for the first time since early April after a foot injury, defeating Italian Sara Errani 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

Two-time men’s finalist Rafael Nadal set up match points with a 17th ace as he completed an opening win 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-0) over German qualifier Andreas Beck.

While the number 122 outsider was making his Grand Slam singles debut, compatriot Benjamin Becker was notching the first big upset of the fortnight with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 shock of fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko.

Nadal, the second seed, followed Roger Federer into the second round with a straightforward win a day after the five-time Swiss champion moved through.

Nadal, who has lost the last two finals at the All England Club to the number one, had to work to get accustomed to the game of the 1.90-metre Beck, aged 22 and a quarter-finalist on grass this month in Halle.

“The first match is always very difficult,” said Nadal, who stepped straight from a fourth consecutive French Open title and into his first trophy on grass at Queen’s club a week later.

“I was a little bit nervous today, but I have nice memories here from the last two years. It might be difficult to continue my momentum, but it is one match at a time,” said the Spaniard, now 16-4 at Wimbledon.

Davydenko’s loss to Becker, ranked 116, was his fifth in a first round from seven appearances at the tournament. American sixth seed Andy Roddick, his shoulder still not perfect after a May injury, stopped Eduardo Schwank 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7-0) but French eighth seed Richard Gasquet dispatched Roddick’s good friend Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Brit Andy Murray leaped his first home hurdle as he defeated wily French veteran Fabrice Santoro 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

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