Tsonga, Fish win Wimbledon openers

Flashy Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and on-the-mend American Mardy Fish posted first-round victories Tuesday at The Championships, Wimbledon.

The fifth-seeded former Australian Open runner-up Tsonga whipped fading Aussie star Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Court 1 at the All England Club. The two- time major titlist Hewitt is a former world No. 1 and was the Wimbledon champion back in 2002.

Tsonga was a semifinalist here a year ago.

The 10th-seeded Fish handled 34-year-old Spanish clay-courter Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) on Court 12. Ramirez Hidalgo was the oldest player in the men's draw here.

Fish serve-and-volleyed his way past Ramirez Hidalgo, striking 43 more winners (61-18), including 24 aces, than his overmatched Spanish counterpart.

The 30-year-old Fish had been sidelined with fatigue-like symptoms since late March and underwent a medical procedure called a cardiac catheter ablation to correct a heart problem, which involved misfiring electrical pulses in his heart.

Fish was a Wimbledon quarterfinalist last year.

Meanwhile, 12th-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro outlasted diminutive Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-7 (4-7), 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-4 in a match that was suspended because of darkness on Monday, and Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen took out 14th-seeded Spanish fellow lefthander Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. Almagro survived Rochus in 3 hours, 24 minutes with the help of a whopping 48 aces.

In other action involving seeds, No. 19 rising Japanese Kei Nishikori bested Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, Belgian David Goffin upset No. 20 Aussie Bernard Tomic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, and No. 22 Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov handled Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-3, 6-4, 7-5. The talented Tomic was a surprise Wimbledon quarterfinalist last year.