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Venus brushes off retirement talk

ESPN staff
June 25, 2012 « Watson excels in win over world No. 55 | Chartbeat test »

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Stosur fires early warning
Djokovic slips through the gears
Federer in cruise control

Day One Gallery
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Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams vowed to return next year after she limped out with defeat to Elena Vesnina. The former world No. 1 has struggled for form since she was diagnosed with auto-immune disease Sjogren's Syndrome last year.

"I feel like I'm a great player. I am a great player. I'm up for challenges. There's no way I'm just going to give up. That's just not me. I'm tough, let me tell you, tough as nails. The only thing I can do is be positive. I love this sport. I feel I can play well and I'm not going to give up on that."

Roger Federer was happy to conserve energy as he coasted into the second round with a 6-1 6-1 6-1 win over Albert Ramos: "I thought [the crowd] were excited to see us play and I thought I played a good match. I played a very clean match from start to finish. I'm glad the crowd enjoyed it. It's always nice to save energy if you want to look forward into the draw."

Novak Djokovic risked the wrath of tournament organisers as he swung a junior golf club before kicking off his Wimbledon title defence with a 6-3 6-3 6-1 win over Juan Carlos Ferrero.

"It was a little joke we wanted to do with my sponsor. They provided me with a junior golf club because the bags look like golf bags. You can place them the way the golf bag is standing. So it was a little funny thing. Being creative, that's all. But the fans corrected me right away. They said, 'This is not a golf course'. I said, Okay."

Maria Sharapova was delighted to hit the ground running as she defeated Anastasia Rodionova:"The first one's always tricky," she said. "To go out there after not competing for a couple weeks, the transition from clay to grass, I thought I started off the match really well. I had a few letdowns towards the end of both of those sets. Overall I'm pretty happy with the way I performed, especially for a first match, not having matches coming in."

Sam Stosur was delighted to claim her first win at the All England Club since 2009, enjoying a routine straight-sets victory over Carla Suarez Navarro.

"It was probably one of the best matches I've played on grass in recent years, so that's a good feeling.I've had a bit of a look [at the draw], but I certainly don't look too far ahead at this tournament. Next one's next."

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