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Serena Williams, Andre Agassi Win Opening Matches at Wimbledon - 2003-06-24


American tennis stars Andre Agassi and Serena Williams have won their opening matches at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London.

Williams opened defense of her title Tuesday with a relatively easy 6-3, 6-3 win over fellow American Jill Craybas. The top-seeded Williams produced a solid outing in her first grass-court match since her triumph in London last year. Andre Agassi, he hit 16 service aces Tuesday and beat British wild-card entry Jamie Delgado 6-4, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4. Agassi is seeking his ninth Grand Slam title and his second at Wimbledon, but his first in 11 years.

Though they saw the 458th-ranked Delgado ousted by Agassi, the British fans were able to cheer 10th-seeded home-country player Tim Henman to victory over Tomas Zib of the Czech Republic. That match also went four sets, 6-2, 7-6, 3-6, 6-1. Other men's seeds advancing included number-three Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain, sixth-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina and number-11 Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic.

In women's first round action, third-seeded French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium started her bid for a Wimbledon title with an impressive 7-5, 6-1 win over Ukrainian Julia Vakulenko, while eighth-seeded American Jennifer Capriati and number-10 Anastasia Myskina of Russia also advanced.

But a total of eight American women were knocked out of the event Tuesday, including number-19 Meghann Shaughnessy and 26th-seeded Alexandra Stevenson.