Live Commentary: Serena Williams vs. Mandy Minella - as it happened

Live Commentary: Serena vs. Minella - as it happened
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Read how Serena Williams dispatched Mandy Minella in under an hour to begin her title defence at Wimbledon.

Serena Williams went into today's first-round match at Wimbledon against Mandy Minella on a run of 31 consecutive victories.

The defending champion was expected to progress with ease and did so in under an hour against the Luxembourger.

Read how it all unfolded on Centre with our minute-by-minute updates below.


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12.31pmAfternoon all! After a bumper day one at SW19, there's plenty more to come on day two at the All England Club. On Centre today we have the number one seeds in both the men's and women's singles as Serena opens proceedings before Novak Djokovic takes to the famous turf.

12.33pmBeaten French Open finalist and number four seed David Ferrer completes a stellar lineup on the main showcourt today and you can follow all three matches in detail right here on SM.

12.35pmBefore we get our teeth stuck into the opening match on Centre, let's see what's happening on the outside courts at Wimbledon, where play began just over an hour ago at 11.30am...

12.36pmFrom a British perspective, Heather Watson is attracting a big crowd out on No. 2 Court where she's up against another youngster - Madison Keys from across the pond. The American's power helped her to the first set but Watson is now a break up in the second. I'd open this link in a new tab if I were you.

12.38pmElsewhere, the other two big names in action, both from the ladies', are Sam Stosur, who is close to victory at 6-1 4-2 against Anna Schmiedlova, and sixth seed Li Na, who is about to wrap up a place in the second round at 6-1 5-1 against Michaella Krajicek.

12.42pmRighty-ho, back to our feature match on Centre. Even though Serena's opponent Minella is available to back at 100/1 with some bookmakers, I don't think you'll find anyone even sticking a pound on the Luxembourger.

12.43pmSimilarly, Serena's odds of 1/100 would require a hefty sum to even win anything of note so this match may well be left alone by the punters!

12.47pmWHO? There's plenty of famous MMs in the world - Marilyn Monroe, Mick McCarthy (!) - but you might never have heard of Mandy Minella. She is a 27-year-old Luxembourger who has only ever progressed past the first round of a Grand Slam twice. Both times at the US Open in 2010 and 2012. Her highest career ranking was 66 last year and she now lies at 92.

12.51pmWe know a lot more about her opponent today. Serena is one of the all-time greats, winning 16 Grand Slams in her career, including five Wimbledons.

12.56pmBRIT OUT! Madison Keys gets two fortunate net cords to break Watson's serve and progress 6-3 7-5.

12.59pmAlso through are Stosur and Na in the women's, while James Blake eases through against Thiemo De Bakker in the men's.

1.02pmHere come Serena and Mandy out of the doors and on to Centre Court. Even though Serena is on a 31-match winning streak, her off-court comments have hampered her buildup to this tournament. More here.

1.04pmWEATHER WATCH! No danger of rain today in SW19 and it's in fact much brighter than day one yesterday. Lovely jubbly.

1.06pmFollow our updates of Juan Martin del Potro's match against Albert Ramos over on No. 1 Court here.

1.09pm"Time," calls the umpire. Moments away from the off. Williams will serve first.

1.11pmSlight delay as Williams sorts out her shoes but it doesn't make a difference as she starts with an ace out wide. Expect a lot of that.

Williams 1-0* MinellaI was looking at the odds of a love hold in Williams's first game and you could get 4/1! She does just that to move ahead. Can Minella hold serve and get on the board? She must be nervous...

1.13pmThe Luxembourger gets a warm round of applause as Serena nets to give her a point.

1.14pmMinella hits long with a backhand and we're at 30-30. Big point for the underdog...

1.15pmWilliams with a rare unforced error off a simple forehand and Minella has the chance to hold.

Williams *1-1 MinellaShe bangs in a first serve and again Serena can only find the net with a forehand so Minella isn't going to be 'double-bageled' (6-0 6-0).

1.17pmIf Williams hits it to Minella's backhand she will win this so comfortably. The Luxembourger doesn't seem to have an on-the-run backhand and just keeps floating it up for Williams to put away.

Williams 2-1* MinellaEight points on serve, eight successes as Williams holds to love once more. The pair sit down for the first prolonged change of ends and Minella will be wondering if she can get a number two next to her name on the scoreboard. I doubt it.

1.19pmIt's a brutal start to the game from Williams as she slaps a crosscourt forehand just inside the baseline and Minella can only net.

1.20pmI mentioned that Minella seems to struggle defensively on the backhand wing, but when her feet are set she possesses a mean two-hander. A couple of solid hits put Serena on the back foot and she can only loop it out. 15-15.

1.22pmThe first prolonged rally of good hitting ends with Minella framing it wide after Williams had plonked it right on the baseline. The Luxembourger challenges but it's unsuccessful and Williams has a break point at 30-40...

Williams *3-1 MinellaBREAK! I said I would be surprised if Minella held for a second time and she hasn't been able to as again she frames the ball high and out of play.

Williams 4-1* MinellaExpect to see 'love hold' and 'Serena Williams' in the same sentence for much of the next two weeks. It's 12/12 on serve for the American as she aces at 40-0.

1.27pmMinella tries to come to the net but her backhand volley loops up for Williams to nudge into the open court. 0-15.

1.27pmNext point and it's Williams who approaches with a naff forehand down-the-middle that Minella swats past the American for a winner that pleases the crowd.

1.28pmTwo more break points for the American as she wallops a backhand return just inside the baseline.

Williams *5-1 MinellaDOUBLE BREAK! Minella tries a drop shot but Williams is ready for it and there in plenty of time to stick the ball right at her opponent's feet and move within a game of the opening set.

Williams 6-1 0-0* MinellaSET! Yet another love hold for the American, 16/16 on serve now, and that's the first set wrapped up in 19 minutes.

1.33pmSerena is getting in an impressive 81% of her first serves and has also hit nine winners to Minella's one. The Luxembourger is yet to make an unforced error though and that's admirable considering the circumstances.

1.34pmSo what's the first thing Minella does at the start of the second? Make an unforced error of course, dipping a forehand just out.

1.36Minella has the chance to get herself ahead in the second but Williams rockets a backhand return onto the baseline. Minella isn't fazed though as she bullets an ace on the next to earn another game point.

Williams 6-1 *0-1 MinellaPossibly the largest ovation of the afternoon inside Centre as Minella outlasts Williams to go ahead in the set. Williams still to lose a point on serve, remember.

1.38pmShe picks up where she left off in the first by booming down an ace to start the second.

1.38pmSERENA LOSES A POINT ON SERVE! On the next the American is offered an easy-peasy forehand but finds the net. Next point she finds another ace so I don't think it got to her.

1.39pmMinella with a good return that forces Williams to shoot wide and there's a glimpse of an opening at 30-30 for the underdog.

1.40pmAnd now more than a glimpse as Williams's drop shot is tracked down and then smashed into the open court. Break point...

Williams 6-1 0-2* MinellaBREAK! Wowee wow! Serena DOUBLE FAULTS and that's an early break for the unfancied Luxembourger. She hadn't won a single point on Serena's serve in the first set remember!

1.41pmSerena with a timid net on the first point. Is she flustering? On the next we hear the first big "Come on!" from the defending champion as she finds an elegant crosscourt pass. 15-15.

1.43pmMinella is growing in confidence here and really changing up her game. A low slice means that Williams shoots long and now Minella has the chance to move 3-0 up.

1.43pmNope, says Serena, arrowing a crosscourt backhand to bring it back to deuce.

Williams 6-1 *1-2 MinellaBREAK BACK! A ball boy slips when collecting Minella's missed first serve and that amuses the crowd, meaning that Minella has to wait even longer to deliver her second. When it all settles down the Luxembourger hits the tape again, allowing Serena an easy break back.


1.48pmAt 40-0 you're expecting Williams to ace out another love hold but Minella isn't giving up, dominating a baseline rally before showing great touch with a drop shot. On the next Williams blasts wide with a backhand and now has one game point left.

Williams 6-1 2-2* MinellaChallenge of the day goes to Minella as she successfully says that Williams's first serve was a whisker out. A second serve and the chance to take it to deuce follows but the Luxembourger hits long on the return and we're back level in the second.

1.50pmMinella needs all the luck she can get but it's Williams who is fortunate with the net cord to move 0-30 ahead in game five of the second.

1.51pmAnd now three break points for the American as Minella nets a forehand after a decent exchange of blows between the pair.

Williams 6-1 *3-2 MinellaBREAK! It's three straight games for Williams as yet again Minella fails to keep up with the pace on the baseline, netting a backhand up-the-line. Surely that's knocked the stuffing out of Minella and you'd expect Williams to now reel off three more and progress to round two.

1.53pmOver on No. 2 Court, 13th seed Tommy Haas has just won the first set against Dimitry Tursunov 6-3. The German is now 35 but could be one to look out for this year as he is playing some of the best tennis of his career.

Williams 6-1 4-2* MinellaA hold to 15 this time for Williams. Minella began with some dogged effort in the first point but ultimately she's running out of steam after that encouraging start to the second set.

1.57pmA wail of anguish from Williams as she attempts a drop shot but fails miserably. Stick to the big hitting, Serena.

Williams 6-1 *4-3 MinellaMinella isn't ready to go away just yet as she sends down some first serves, forcing Williams into mistakes and getting a third game on the board in the second set.

Williams 6-1 5-3* MinellaOne game away from a place in round two for Serena as she holds to love with an accurate backhand to the corner from mid-court. Will she have to serve again or can she break Minella?

2.03pmFantastic start to the game from Minella as she dominates, yes DOMINATES, Serena with some bullish groundstrokes.

2.05pmSerena is livid with herself as she can only slap the tape with a forehand up-the-line. Next point she unleashes her frustration with a thunderous return right back at Minella's feet. Deuce.

2.06pmMinella has the chance to close out the game but doesn't quite read the amount of spin on Williams's slice and we're back to deuce.

2.07pmMatch point Williams as Minella hits long...

2.07pmWell played! Minella isn't giving up just yet as she finds the corner with an impressive forehand. Back to deuce.

Williams 6-1 6-3 MinellaGAME, SET AND MATCH!

2.09pmThe crowd groan as Minella pushes a forehand long and the defending champion is through with little drama. It's a 32nd consecutive win for Serena and she'll now face Caroline Garcia of France in the second round.

2.10pmAfter a nervy first set, Minella showed grit and also talent in that second to make it much more competitive. Serena even showed frustration and emotion so she must have felt the pressure. Next up on Centre? Novak Djokovic.

2.12pmThanks for joining SM for updates on this game. Stick around for our commentary on Djokovic, which will be up on site in a few minutes. Before I go, here's the link to all our Wimbledon commentaries, reports and reaction.

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