Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Roddick Advance

Aegon Championships 2010
By Hiland Doolittle, June 10th, 2010
Andy Murray in action

Andy Murray in action

The field finally caught up with the rain at the AEGON Championships as Nadal (1), Djokovic (2) and Roddick (4) advanced with ease while third seed Andy Murray survived a scare. The top seeds transitioned from clay to grass with relative ease.

All eyes were focused on the top ranked player in the world, Rafa Nadal, who cruised past Brazilian Marcos Daniel 6-2, 6-2 in just 50 minutes, which included a 10-minute rain delay. His first service game took one minute five seconds.

Nadal will face 16 seed Denis Istomin, who held off Jamaican Dustin Brown 7-6 (7) 6-4 to earn the third round pairing. Istomin will have his hands full trying to keep the rangy left-hander from playing far inside the baseline as he did against Daniel.

8th seed Feliciano Lopez looked sharp against Grigor Dimitrov in posting a 6-2, 6-4 win in the moisture on a tricky court. Frenchman Julien Benneteau dusted off Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-3 to earn a spot against Lopez.

Perhaps the best matchup in the round of sixteen will be third seeded Andy Murray, a 7-6(8) 6-3 winner over Spain’s Ivan Navarro, against American nemeses Mardy Fish. Fish used his booming serve and experience to oust Columbian Santiago Giraldo 7-6(5), 6-2. Fish had 11 aces on Wednesday and looks poised to give the three seed a tussle. Since the finals at Melbourne, Murray has lacked the fire that had him on the verge of his first major championship. Fish is due for a breakthrough win and Murray appears ripe for the picking.

Fifth seed Marion Cilic had a tough three set win over France’s Nicolas Mahut 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2. Cilic used the rain delay to gather himself against the pressing Mahut. Cilic will next play another Frenchman Michael Llorda, the 12th seed. Llorda survived against upset specialist American Jesse Levine 6-4, 6-2.

Winner Poker

Sixth seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils continued his shoddy play and fell to German Rainer Schuettler 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2. In key service games, Monfils was error-prone. On the quick grass surface, every service game needs to be protected like gold. The German will next entertain yet another Frenchman, eleventh seed Richard Gasquet. The veteran disposed of American Rajeey Ram 6-3, 7-5 in a hard fought match.

Fourth seed Andy Roddick had no trouble reaching the round of sixteen. Four-time Eastbourne champion, Roddick had his big serve in intimidation mode against Russian Igor Kunitsyn racing to a 6-2, 6-1 50 minute win.

Roddick will next face surprising Israeli Dudi Sela, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller. The 14 seed has never faced Roddick and if he blinks, he will be in the shower room before he knows what struck. Roddick is happy to be through the clay court part of the season.

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Novak Djokovic wowed the crowds with his big strokes and heavy serve. The big Serb and number two seed showed Rafa he is ready with a solid 6-3, 6-3 thrashing of Italian Paolo Lorenzi. Belgian Xavier Malisse clawed his way to a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win over Bernard Tomic and will face Djokovic next.

Seventh seed Sam Querrey got revenge for a first round loss at the hands of Robby Ginepri in Paris. Querrey survived a 7-6(4), 6-2 match and was glad it was not the best of five. The American will square off against Spain’s Marcel Granollers, who dominated Marc Ciquel 6-1, 6-4.

The Women

Sesil Karatantcheva

Sesil Karatantcheva

In Birmingham, the AEGON Classic fell further behind on Wednesday with many key matches suspended by rain. What action did take place was eventful as five seeds fell from the ranks. Most surprising was sixth seed Yaroslav Shedova’s fall against lightly regarded qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva 6-4, 6-4.

8th seeded Andrea Petkovic fell to the tour’s 114th ranked player Anna Chakvetadze. The win marked the first time the Russian has had two win in an event since February.

Last year’s champion 10th seed Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia narrowly advanced with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (5) nail-biter over Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Magdalena was leading 7-5, 4-1 before the wheels started to fall away. The champion gathered herself just in time to move on to the round of sixteen.

Fifth seed Sara Arrani, 13th seed Angelique Kerber and Alla Kudryavtseva, who eliminated 16 seed Vania king, 6-1, 6-2 all reached the third round. The UK’s Elena Baltcha could not get her game together and was ousted by qualifier Kaia Kanepi.

British former number one, Anne Keothavong advanced with a nice 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 comeback win against Pauline Parmentier of France. Stars Aravane Rezai, the four seed, Na Li, the top seed and Maria Sharapova (2) were unable to complete their matches and will hope to finish on Thursday. The day’s most anticipated match between 3rd seeded 19-year old Belgian Yanina Wickmayer and young aura Robson of the UK was unable to take the court.

Better luck tomorrow!


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