Federer blows away plucky Kukushkin

By Mark Meadows

LONDON (Reuters) - Roger Federer overcame a plucky Mikhail Kukushkin and a chilly breeze to book his place in the Wimbledon second round with a classy 7-6 6-4 6-2 victory on Tuesday.

The six-times champion had a tough start last year against Alejandro Falla and his opponent from Kazakhstan served powerfully to cause Federer a few problems on Center Court.

"The first match at Wimbledon is never easy. I struggled to get enough returns in during the first set. He played well," Federer said in a televised interview.

"It was tricky conditions, a lot of wind. It was really strange how the wind came in."

The Swiss had to wait until the first set tiebreak to see a glimpse of an opportunity and he took it with gusto when the world number 61 netted and then sent a wild shot whistling through the biting wind.

With the England cricket team watching on from the Royal Box, Federer began to produce his own array of cultured strokes in the second set as the fine form he showed to finish runner-up to Rafa Nadal at the French Open continued.

Two impudent volleys and a sublime passing shot were followed by a remarkably low-bouncing slice on the grass which helped the third seed steal the break for 3-2.

From there on it was largely a procession for the record 16-times grand slam champion, who last lifted his cherished Wimbledon trophy in 2009 and next plays either Conor Niland of Ireland or France's Adrian Mannarino.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)