(CNN) -- For the first time in 78 years, a British man took to the grass courts of the All England Club as reigning Wimbledon champion.
If 2013 winner Andy Murrray was feeling the weight of history on his shoulders, it didn't show as he secured a comfortable 6-1 6-4 7-5 victory over Belgium's David Goffin on the first day of the tournament Monday.
Last year Murray became Britain's first men's singles champion since Fred Perry won the last of his three consecutive crowns in 1936.
The third seed began his defense by seeing off the challenge of world No. 105 Goffin in two hours and two minutes.
It was a milestone success for the Scot, who registered the 450th win of his career to set up a second round meeting with 92nd-ranked Slovenian Blaz Rola.
Novak Djokovic also began his 2014 campaign in convincing fashion with a straight sets win over Andrey Golubev.
Last year's losing finalist is ranked no. 1 for this year's tournament and showed why taking the opening 11 games of the match before going onto thrash his Kazakhstani opponent 6-0 6-1 6-4.
Sixth seed Tomas Berdych also booked a second round spot with victory over Romania's Victor Hanescu.
The big Czech, who reached the 2010 Wimbledon final, lost the opening set on the tiebreak on Court No. 2 before coming back to win in four sets 6-7 (7/5) 6-1 6-4 6-3.
Berdych's reward is a second round match with Australia's Bernard Tomic who beat Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 6-4 6-3 6-2.
Spain's David Ferrer eased through to the second round with a four-set win over his compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta.
The seventh seed -- a two-time quarter finalist -- lost the second set on the tiebreak but was otherwise untroubled in a 6-0 6-7 (7/3) 6-1 6-1 victory.
No. 11 seed Grigor Dimitrov is also safely through to the second round after comfortably beating Ryan Harrison of the U.S.
The Bulgarian carried the good form he displayed in winning the Queen's Club title edging the first set on the tiebreak before notching a comfortable 7-6 (7/1) 6-3 6-2 win.
Maria Sharapova's other half will play Luke Saville in round two.
But 18th seed Fernando Verdasco is out though following defeat to Australia's Marinko Matosevic.
The Spaniard, who lost to Murray in an epic five-set quarterfinal on Center Court 12 months ago, was dumped out in four sets (6-4 4-6 6-4 6-2) on court no. 8 by the Bosnian-born Matosevic.
Italy's Fabio Fognini prevailed in a marathon match against America's Alex Kuznetzov out on court no. 18.
Kuznetzov looked odds on to progress after taking a two-set lead but the Italian, seeded 16, won the next two before clinching the deciding set 9-7.
Sloane and Sam slip up
The women's competition also got under way with former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka battling past spirited Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3 7-5.
The Belorussian eighth seed will play Serb Bojana Jovanovski for a place in round three.
Australian Open champion Li Na is also safely through. The no. 2 seed from China beat Poland's Paula Kania 7-5 6-2.
Li's opponent in the final at Melbourne, Dominika Cibulkova made light work of Aleksandra Wozniak dispatching the Canadian 6-1 6-2.
The 10th seed from Slovakia will play Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck in round two.
But there was disappointment for rising American star Sloane Stephens, who failed to advance beyond the first round of a grand slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2011.
The 18th seed was beaten 6-2 7-6 (8-6) by Russia's Maria Kirilenko, who will play China's Shuai Peng.
Sam Stosur won't be improving here poor record at Wimbledon after being dumped out on day one by Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets.
The Australian, seeded 17, has never got past the third round and ended another dismal day in SW19 losing 6-3 6-4.
Five-time champion Venus Williams enjoyed a happier time on court Monday with a three-set win over Spain's Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor.
Williams, seeded 30 this year, took the first set 6-4 before Torro-Flor fought back to take the second by the same scoreline, but it was the 34-year-old veteran who asserted her authority in the final set taking it 6-2.
Younger sister Serena will kick off her quest for a sixth Wimbledon crown on Tuesday.
Williams junior will start her bid for an 18th grand slam title against world no. 114 Anna Tatishvili -- a Georgian-born player now representing the U.S.