Wimbledon: 61 straight for Federer
WIMBLEDON, England ó
Five-time champion Roger Federer has advanced to the third round at Wimbledon with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Robin Soderling.
Top-ranked Federer only had a minor hiccup ó dropping serve once, the first time since Roland Garros to extend his streak on grass to 61 matches.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic was upset in straight sets by Marat Safin in the second round Wednesday, ending the Serb’s chances of testing his theory about Federer’s vulnerability at Wimbledon.
The 75th-ranked Safin won 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-2 on Centre Court. It was a stunning loss for the third-ranked Djokovic, who came to the All England Club confident after beating top-ranked Federer in the semifinals at this year’s Australian Open en route to his first Grand Slam tournament title.
Women’s No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, another Serb, struggled but won. The French Open champion saved two match points ó including one that bounced off the net chord for a winner ó in the second set before overcoming 29-year-old Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 10-8.
Two-time champion Serena Williams had less trouble, advancing 6-4, 6-4 over Urszula Radwanska on Court 2, called the “graveyard of champions” for its history of upsets.
In other women’s matches, 2006 champion Amelie Mauresmo recovered to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 over Virginia Ruano Pascual and 2007 finalist Marion Bartoli beat Tatiana Perebiynis 6-2, 7-5.
Also advancing were No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 8 Anna Chakvetadze, and No. 18 Nicole Vaidisova, a quarterfinalist last season.
Lleyton Hewitt, the only other Wimbledon champion in the men’s draw, survived Court 2 with a 7-6 (4), 6-0, 6-2 win over Albert Montanes of Spain.
Others advancing were No. 10 Marcos Baghdatis, No. 13 Stanislas Wawrinka and American Bobby Reynolds, who had a 4-6, 7-6 (10), 6-4, 6-4 victory over Canadian Frank Dancevic.
Another former No. 1, Juan Carlos Ferrero had to retire with a leg injury in the third set when he trailing Mischa Zverev.
Safin is a dangerous opponent now, even though grass isn’t his favorite surface and Wimbledon is the only major where he hasn’t advanced beyond the quarterfinals.
He next plays 29th-seeded Andreas Seppi, who beat Florent Serra 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4.
“I had opportunities, but I just made some unforced errors, which were really uncharacteristic,” said Djokovic, who shook his head while walking to the net to hug Safin. “Safin has his ups and downs, and is known for his mental instability in some ways, but he’s still a great player.”
Djokovic reached the semifinals last year but had to retire against Nadal with blisters. He was hoping to meet Nadal in the final this time.
“A lot of expectations from my side and all the people that are following my career,” he said. “I just have to take the best things out of it and use it for the future ó certainly I expected to go far.”