Schiavone bounced; Clijsters cruises

Updated: June 22, 2010, 2:24 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

WIMBLEDON, England -- French Open champion Francesca Schiavone was knocked off Monday by Russian Vera Dushevina in the first round of Wimbledon.

Dushevina, ranked 47th in the world, defeated the No. 6-ranked Schiavone 6-7 (0), 7-5, 6-1 in nearly three hours.

Kim Clijsters, back at Wimbledon for the first time since 2006, easily won her opening match, as did five-time champion Venus Williams.

Clijsters repeatedly ripped service returns to beat Maria Elena Camerin 6-0, 6-3.

The second-seeded Williams beat the 91st-ranked Rossana De Los Rios of Paraguay 6-3, 6-2 to improve to 47-3 for her career in opening matches at Grand Slam tournaments.

The American, who turned 30 last week, took a 5-0 lead in each set before letting up slightly. She hit six aces and compiled a 31-4 edge in total winners against the 34-year-old De Los Rios.

Williams has played in eight of the past 10 Wimbledon finals, winning the championship in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008. She lost to her sister Serena in last year's final.

"It's definitely good to be back," said Williams, seeded second behind Serena, the defending champion. "I love playing on the grass."

In other matches, seven-time major winner Justine Henin beat the 56th-ranked Anastasija Sevastova 6-4, 6-3, and No. 4 Jelena Jankovic beat 16-year-old British wild card Laura Robson on Centre Court, 6-3, 7-6 (5).

American Melanie Oudin, who made a surprising run to the fourth round last year as a 17-year-old, defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-3, 6-0.

Henin is a former No. 1 player who came out of retirement at the start of the year. The Belgian is seeded 17th at Wimbledon and had no problems Monday, not allowing her opponent any opportunities to break serve.

Wimbledon is the only major to elude Henin. She is trying to become just the 10th woman to have won each Grand Slam tournament at least once.

Her next opponent is Germany's Kristina Barrois, who defeated Ukraine's Mariya Koryttseva 6-3, 6-4.

Clijsters ended a 2-year retirement last August and won the U.S. Open in September. She has been sidelined since late April with a left foot injury, but had plenty of spring in her step playing the opening match on Court 2.

Schiavone, a quarterfinalist at the All England Club last year, committed 38 unforced errors and struggled with her serve in the final set.

Two weeks ago in Paris, playing in her 39th major tournament, Schiavone made an improbable run to the title and became the first Italian women's champion in the 126-year history of Grand Slam tennis.

Schiavone has lost both matches she has played since winning Roland Garros. She was beaten in the first round at Eastbourne last week.

Seeded eighth, Clijsters dominated from the baseline and with her return. She never faced a break point and won 12 of 15 points on Camerin's second serve.

The tournament began under partly cloudy skies, with temperatures headed into the mid-70s, but things quickly turned gloomy for Camerin.

The Italian, ranked 121st, finally won a game with the help of a shot from her knees. She slipped and fell at the baseline, then punched back a shot before rising to continue the rally, which she won. She also won the next point for 1-all in the second set.

Otherwise, Clijsters was in control. She lost only 10 points in the opening set and closed out the victory in 65 minutes.

Since 2000, Clijsters has won 25 consecutive first-round matches in Grand Slam tournaments. Her best efforts at Wimbledon were in 2003 and 2006, when she reached the semifinals.

Serena Williams attended a Green Day concert over the weekend and worked on her curtsy. That's her way of getting ready for Wimbledon.

Tennis traditionalists have long derided the Williams sisters' unorthodox preparation for Grand Slam events, but hey, it works. At Wimbledon, Serena and Venus have combined to win eight of the past 10 titles, and they're seeded 1-2.

Serena tweaked her practice regimen by polishing her curtsy in anticipation of a visit Thursday from Queen Elizabeth II. With Green Day in town for a concert Saturday night at Wembley Stadium, she -- Serena, not the monarch -- also made time to take in the show.

It was like a workout, Serena joked.

"Did a little cardio there, jumping around a little bit," she said. "It was amazing. Everyone knows I'm a massive Green Day fan. They were so close; no chance I could have missed it."

Williams has time to catch her breath before her opening match Tuesday as defending champion against Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal.

As in the past, the Williams sisters skipped the grass-court warm-up tournaments and haven't played since the French Open. They took the same approach last year, and it worked: Serena won her third Wimbledon title by beating Venus in the final.

Serena shrugs off the pressure of high expectations, saying Wimbledon's like playing at the Greensboro Open.

"I approach every match the same, really, whether I'm here or at a tournament in North Carolina or South Carolina," she said. "I just kind of look at it all the same. You go here and you do the best that you can and you try to just go for it. ...

"I don't feel pressure. I'm here to win Wimbledon like the other 127 people in the draw. That's kind of how I look at it. Whether I come out with a win or I don't, it's just an opportunity for me to be here."

It could be an opportunity to meet the queen, too. On Thursday, her royal highness is expected to visit Wimbledon for the first time since 1977.

"I found out that she was coming," Serena said. "I thought, 'Wow, this is really, really cool. She hasn't been to this tournament in just forever.' I thought, 'Wow, I just got to make sure I'm here on Thursday.' "

Williams will be scheduled to play Thursday if she wins her opening match. She said her curtsy needs work.

"It's a little extreme," she said. "I have a lot of arm movement. I get really low. So I have to tone it down."

Other women scheduled to play their opening matches Tuesday include 2004 champion Maria Sharapova and French Open runner-up Samantha Stosur.

London rock concerts aside, Sharapova said the lead-up to Wimbledon is special.

"The week before, when there's just the players, the groundsmen getting the last bits and pieces out there, knowing that something big is around the corner, you really feel that atmosphere," Sharapova said. "Then you see the dark clouds coming out. You're like, 'Yeah, that's coming.'"

Even in bad weather, some tennis will be played because of the 1-year-old retractable roof over Centre Court. That's where Nadal will likely face wild card Kei Nishikori of Japan in the opening round.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.