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Wimbledon 2013: Order restored on day four

Roar Guru
27th June, 2013
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Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Juan Martin del Potro and Agnieszka Radwanska avoided becoming caught in the recent tsunami of upsets as they restored order to the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.

Each player cruised through to the third round without the loss of a set between them.

Tournament order was restored just one day after a combined 26 Grand Slam titles and 551 weeks at World No. 1 were lost through the biggest tsunami to ever hit the Championships.

The Wimbledon campaigns of Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, as well as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic and Steve Darcis, the first round victor of Rafael Nadal, have all come to an end.

Del Potro, opening play on Centre Court, became the first seed in three completed matches to win his match on the court, by defeating American-turned Canadian Jesse Levine in straight sets.

However, he will have to wait for another day to find out who his third round opponent will be, with his potential third round adversary, Grigor Dimitrov, having his second round tie against Grega Zemlja suspended at *8-9 in the final set as rain started to strike on the Championships for the first time in the tournament.

Del Potro has never reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon but his last two grass tournament suggest that he could be on his way to his first final eight at the All England Club, where David Ferrer could potentially await.

The former US Open champion defeated Novak Djokovic to win the Olympic Bronze Medal at the London Olympics last year, whilst Lleyton Hewitt proved to be a step too far for him at the recent Queen’s Club Championships.

Following del Potro on Centre Court was last year’s runner-up, Agnieszka Radwanska.

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The Pole, runner-up to Serena Williams last year and the junior champion in 2005, is the second-highest seed behind Williams left in the draw, and they are due to meet in the semi-finals.

Radwanska showed Mathilde Johansson no mercy in dishing out a 6-1, 6-3 thrashing; that suggesting that her first-round loss to Jamie Hampton in Eastbourne was just a one-off.

Once again her grass court qualities were there for all to see, as she takes on an unlikely bid to go one better and lift the Venus Rosewater Dish next Saturday.

To do that, however, she would have to defeat Serena Williams in a likely semi-final next week.

Radwanska, 24, has never defeated Williams in a professional match, save for an exhibition which was played between the two in Toronto towards the end of last year.

Her quick victory was then followed by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who saw two of his biggest rivals for the title crash out within the first three days of the Championships.

The Serbian, who now appears headed for a Sunday showdown against Andy Murray for the title next week, overcame a slow start to defeat the last remaining American in the draw, Bobby Reynolds in straight sets.

Reynolds’ defeat, along with that of James Blake’s, means there will be no American men in the third round for the first time since 1912.

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One would have to think about the state of American men’s tennis after their poor showing at Wimbledon this year, given what it has suffered since the gradual retirements of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi since 2002.

Andy Roddick was always seen as the nation’s greatest hope, having won the 2003 US Open, but overall his career was an underachievement, and if it wasn’t for Roger Federer’s early dominance, the now-retired Roddick may have had more than one Grand Slam title to his name, maybe even a Wimbledon title which eluded him in 2004, 2005 and 2009.

Speaking of American tennis, no such problems in the women’s side of things, as Serena Williams cruised to victory over Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.

Williams is now all but favoured to win a sixth title at Wimbledon, given her two big threats on the other side of the draw, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, were eliminated on what is now known as Black Wednesday.

Other seeded winners included Richard Gasquet, Tomas Berdych and Sabine Lisicki, whilst our own pair of Samantha Stosur and Bernard Tomic also advanced.

Stosur defeated Russian Olga Puchkova in straight sets to set up a last 32 tie with German Lisicki, a semi-finalist in 2011.

Stosur’s only previous trip to the third round prior to this year ended in a straight sets loss to then-recently dethroned French Open champion Ana Ivanovic back in 2009.

The Australian will fancy her chances of reaching the fourth round for the first time, as she holds a 4-1 head-to-head record against Lisicki, and also won their only Grand Slam meeting at the Australian Open four years ago.

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Tomic defeated American James Blake in straight sets and next faces Gasquet, the ninth seed who will be desperately trying to reach his second Grand Slam quarter-final (and first since 2007).

Winners aside, two more retirements were recorded as French pair Michael Llodra and Paul-Henri Mathieu became the latest victims to the injury curse.

Llodra retired after losing the first set to Italian Andreas Seppi whilst Mathieu retired at 3-6, 1-5 down against Spanish three-time quarter-finalist Feliciano Lopez.

Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber are the big names to watch out for on Friday.

Murray’s chances of going one better this year have been dramatically boosted by the exits of Federer and Nadal, and one would have to think about whether he can lift the title next Sunday, a year after his emotional four-set loss to Federer in the final.