Federer, Djokovic Cruise, Soderling & Tsonga Struggle

Wimbledon 2011
By Hiland Doolittle, June 24th, 2011

As in Paris, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer stayed on course for a semifinal meeting. Federer needed just 88 minutes to turn away France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. Federer looks better every time he takes the court

Novak Djokovic, the two seed, overcame Kevin Anderson of South Africa, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Djokovic committed 14 unforced errors but blasted 31 winners in a good old fashioned duel of short points and aggressive play. The two hour twenty minute match was not as close as the score. The Serb converted 5 of 9 break point opportunities.

The fifth seed, Robin Soderling, looked like he was down and out before he constructed a tremendous turnaround against veteran Lleyton Hewitt, who brought the house to their feet time after time. The former world number one started fast in the three hour 43 minute battle to the end.

Hewitt captured the first set in a tiebreaker and then made a break hold up in the second. The Centre Court was in a frenzy as Soderling elevated his game to squeak out the third set at 7-5.

Then, it was Soderling’s time to make one break hold and he did in the fourth set, 6-4. Hewitt jumped ahead in the fifth with an immediate break. Soderling broke right back and Hewitt now seemed aflutter.

The Aussie and the Swede battled to the wire with Soderling registering a key late break at 4-5 to move onto the third round. It was a bitter defeat for Hewitt who is a landmark at Wimbledon.

France’s Jo Willy Tsonga nearly turned a victory into a loss with some reckless play. Bulgarian Gregor Dimitrov threw everything he had at Tsonga but it was too little to late in a match that momentum changed on the dime. The three hour thirty minute match ended in favor of the 12th seed,. 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (8). Tsonga is playing boldly but will need to tighten up his return his serve to make a big splash.

The very dangerous David Nalbandian went about his business and took out Andreas Haider-Mauer, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. The veteran from Argentina looks solid and in top form. Nalbandian is known for his Hewitt-like competitive spirit. He will be a tough out. Nalbandian and Federer will square off in round three. It will be a big test fro the Swiss. Djokovic will face Marcos Baghdatis next and the tenacious Cypriot never leaves quietly.


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