Big names bow out of Wimbledon
By Steven Wine
WIMBLEDON, England ó Moments after Maria Sharapova walked off the court in defeat, her father stomped away from the stadium down a Wimbledon walkway, spitting out words in Russian as he gestured to a companion.
Upon climbing a stairway to the playersí patio, Yuri Sharapov encountered the father of two other former Wimbledon champions, Richard Williams. They shook hands, and Williams began to giggle at the seething Sharapov, who couldnít resist cracking a rare smile.
They belong to a club of dads who know what itís like to watch their little girl struggle as the world watches. Sharapov endured the experience Thursday, when his daughter lost 6-2, 6-4 in the second round to 154th-ranked Alla Kudryavtseva.
iThereís only one winner in the tournament, and everybody else is disappointed,î Sharapova said. iIím one of them.î
While Sharapova never really gave herself a chance, missed opportunities doomed Andy Roddick. The two-time Wimbledon runner-up went 0-for-8 converting break points, squandered three set points in the final set and lost to Janko Tipsarevic 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
iAny chance I got, I pretty much just choked it,î Roddick said. iItís like you want something so bad you almost squeeze too tight.î
American men went 0-for-3. The elimination of Roddick, Jesse Levine and first-time Olympian James Blake ó who lost 6-3, 6-7 (8-10), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Germanyís Rainer Schuettler ó left the United States with one player in the third round of gentlemenís singles: No. 102-ranked Bobby Reynolds.
Second-ranked Rafael Nadal showed a rare flash of anger at a questionable call in the opening set but regained his composure to beat 19-year-old Ernests Gulbis 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.
Williamsí daughter, Venus, seeking her fifth Wimbledon title, needed 26 points to win a single game but eventually shook stubborn Anne Keothavong 7-5, 6-2.
Venus and sister Serena also won their second-round doubles match shortly after being named to the U.S. Olympic team, but 1999 Wimbledon champion Lindsay Davenport withdrew before her second-round match because of a lingering knee injury.
Davenport, back at Wimbledon for the first time in three years after becoming a mother, said she still expects to play in the Olympics.
U.S. fans might want to claim Kudryavtseva, who was born in Moscow but lives in Boca Raton, Fla. She sent Sharapova to her earliest exit at a Grand Slam tournament since 2003.
Adding insult to the result, Kudryavtseva trashed the tuxedo-style ensemble worn by Sharapova that had been the talk of the tournament.
iI donít like her outfit,î Kudryavtseva said. iItís a little too much of everything. … It was one of the motivations to beat her.î
Sharapova walked off wearing a frown and not her warm-up jacket, which instead was tucked in her bag, not to be seen again in the tournament.
Also gone for good is the sixth-seeded Roddick, who failed three times to put returns in play when he had set points in the fourth set. When he chipped one of the returns awkwardly into the net, he cursed himself.
iI just didnít make anything happen out there,î Roddick said. iZero, zero, zero.î
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