Murray, Nadal And Roddick Shine

Wimbledon 2011
By Hiland Doolittle, June 23rd, 2011

Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych and three-time finalist, Andy Roddick all advanced via straight set wins.  The biggest names in tennis continue to separate from the pack and present big challenges for the emergence of any Cinderella stories.

On a cloudy, drizzly day, three seeds fell.  Milos Raonic, the promising Canadian and 31st seed was forced to retire leading 3-2 against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.  Raonic and Isner were favored to pull upsets and advance deep into the draw.  Raonic’s dream shattered when he seemed to suffer a muscle tear.
One young American, Alex Bogomolov, jr. upset 25th seed Juan Ignacio Chela in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4.  The veteran Chilean tried to rally in the third by Bogomolov withstood every charge from the Argentine.  This marks the American’s first appearance in the second round of a major and insiders think he may not be finished yet.

Veteran Robin Haase fared a bit better than Chela against a heavily favored Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, whose star continues to dim.  The 21st seed has a history of starting slow, a very dangerous habit against experienced players. Today, Fernando waited until he was two sets down before finding a sliver of his unlimited talent.  Haase, whose ferocious competitiveness is legend, responded with a nearly flawless fourth set to eliminate Spain’s number three, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.  Haase has been around and shows no signs of going away quietly.

Top seed Rafael Nadal knocked out Ryan Sweeting of The USA in straight sets, just as he had done in Melbourne.  This time the young Sweeting put up a better showing but fell to the defending champion, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.  In all, this was  good showing against a quality opponent.  Nadal’s draw improved a little with the retirement of

Raonic who might have been a more dangerous opponent than Muller.
Haase will face another American, 10th seed Mardy Fish.  Fish had his serve working and cruised through Denis Istomin 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-4.  Fish will be leaning on his serve to carry him as far as he can go.  He may need more dimension to overcome the savvy Haase.

Bogomolov will face a big test in his upcoming match against the sixth seed Tomas Berdych.  The Czech blazed through France’s Julien Benneateau, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.  The runner-up last year looks comfortable and composed through his first two matches.  He could well be headed for a quarterfinal pairing with his final opponent, Nadal, last year.

Andy Roddick, a three time finalist and victim to Roger Federer’s classic 16th Grand Slam title, is performing with surprising technique.  In his first match, the American committed just ten unforced errors.  In his straight set second round match against Victor Hanescu, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, Roddick committed just six unforced errors.  His aces were halved to fifteen but his serve was the difference in this one.

The American looks like a probable quarterfinal opponent for the reigning prince of tennis in England, Andy Murray.  The Scotsman continued to show some early nerves but looked more comfortable than in his opening round.  Today, Murray played through German Tobias Kamke, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5.  His next opponent presents a very real threat in the person of Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 winner over Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Murray will have to put his A game on the table early in the next round.  This could well be the early test Murray needs to win to see the gold in the horizon.  We liked Murray to win Wimbledon before play started and we like him more now.


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