Roger Federer began his campaign for an eighth Wimbledon title Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Paolo Lorenzi, the hapless Italian who has now lost all of his 13 Grand Slam matches.
Fourth-seeded Federer, the 17-time major winner, had lost to Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovksy in the second round 12 months ago for his earliest defeat at the tournament since 2002.
But there was never a hint of a repeat of that disaster on Tuesday as the 32-year-old Swiss took victory on a sixth match point having fired nine aces and 36 winners.
"It's always good to win the first round because the court can be slippery sometimes," said Federer, who goes on to face either Luxembourg qualifier Gilles Muller or Julien Benneteau of France for a place in the last 32.
Defeat for Lorenzi meant the 32-year-old has still to win a match at a Grand Slam in 11 years.
But his run of 13 defeats in 13 matches at the majors is not a record -- that statistic of shame belongs to Costa Rica's Juan Antonio Marin who lost all of his 17 matches at the majors.
Federer's compatriot, Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka also reached the second round with a first win at the tournament since 2011.
Wawrinka, the world number three but seeded five at the All England Club in a reflection of his grasscourt struggles, fired 18 aces and 39 winners in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
Wawrinka, who has never got beyond the fourth round and was without a win in the tournament since 2011, tackles Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun for a place in the last 32.
"It's a quick surface, you have to be relaxed and confident. Sometimes you can be tight and nervous," said the Swiss.
Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 champion, and like Federer playing his 61st major, beat Michal Przysiezny of Poland, 6-2, 6-7 (14/16), 6-1, 6-4
Retired women's champion Marion Bartoli returned to Centre Court only to hear herself introduced as 'Maria' by a blundering announcer.
The Frenchwoman performed the coin toss ahead of the first round match between Sabine Lisicki, the German she defeated in the final last year, and Israel's Julia Glushko.
She broke down in tears as she stood on the court where she won her only Grand Slam title. Once she had finished her ceremonial duties, Bartoli headed for a front-row seat in the Royal Box.
Bartoli retired in the immediate aftermath of her 2013 Wimbledon win and as a result it was Lisicki who was given the honour of opening the action on Tuesday.
- Emotional Bartoli -
Lisicki, yet to get beyond the third round of any event in 2014, was untroubled against Glushko, the world number 79, winning 6-2, 6-1 in just 57 minutes.
"It's such a huge honour to play the first match, I am very thankful," said 19th-seeded Lisicki. "It was very special to see Marion again."
Other early winners on Tuesday were German 20th seed Andrea Petkovic, a semi-finalist at the French Open, who eased past Katarzyna Piter of Poland, 6-1, 6-4, and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, the 16th seeded Dane, who beat Israel's Shahar Peer 6-3, 6-0.
Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up, beat Romania's Andreea Mitu 6-2, 6-1.
Later Tuesday, world number one Rafael Nadal was beginning his campaign, desperate to banish the ghosts of 2013.
Nadal, seeded two, is fresh from a ninth French Open triumph, but where Paris has proved to be a home away from home for the Spaniard, Wimbledon has delivered just bitter-sweet memories.
His two titles of 2008 and 2010 must have seemed like ancient history when he crashed out in the second round in 2012.
Worse was to come in 2013 when he suffered a first ever opening round loss at a major at the hands of Steve Darcis, a Belgian journeyman who hasn't won a match since.
Nadal, seeking a 15th major, faces Martin Klizan of Slovakia, who took a set off the world number one in Paris last year.
Top seed and world number one Serena Williams starts her campaign against Anna Tatishvili, the former Georgian player who has switched allegiance to the United States.
The 32-year-old Williams lost in the last-16 at the Australian Open and suffered an embarrassing second round exit to Spain's Garbine Muguruza at the French Open.
Maria Sharapova, who was champion as a 17-year-old in 2004, takes on British wildcard Samantha Murray looking to go further than last year when she was dumped out in the second round by Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher De Brito.