Roddick, Zvonareva crash out of Wimbledon


Three-time runner-up Andy Roddick and women’s second seed Vera Zvonareva crashed out of Wimbledon on Friday as Maria Sharapova survived a gutsy challenge from British 17-year-old Laura Robson.
Eighth seed Andy Roddick, beloved by the Wimbledon crowd after his epic 2009 final defeat by Roger Federer, looked a shadow of his former self in a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 loss to Spanish serve-and-volleyer Feliciano Lopez. Roddick had won all seven of his previous meetings with Lopez, but the Spaniard, twice a quarter-finalist, served brilliantly and stopped Roddick establishing his all-consuming power game.
The world number 44’s reward is a clash against either French ninth seed Gael Monfils or Lukasz Kubot of Poland for a quarter-final place. Roddick, 28, has now failed to get past the fourth round in three of his last four visits to Wimbledon.
“He played well.
I got beat. He served about as well as someone has,” said Roddick, who watched 57 winners speed past him on Centre Court. “The stuff that’s enabled me to beat him seven times, making passing shots under duress, making him play defence on his forehand, he did well today.” Lopez, who committed just seven unforced errors and out-aced the American 28-23, was overjoyed by his shock win. “It’s probably the best win of my career,” said Lopez, who could face Roddick again in two weeks’ time when the USA take on Spain in the Davis Cup.
World number two Zvonareva followed Roddick out of the exit door when she slumped to a 6-2, 6-3 defeat against Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, the woman she beat in the semi-finals in 2010. Pironkova next faces five-time winner Venus Williams, a year after beating the American 23rd seed in the quarter-finals. Williams reached the last 16 with a 6-0, 6-2 mauling of Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.
“I’m feeling good and it’s great to be ready for the second week and I’ve got a couple of days off to get things in order,” Williams said. “Last year I wasn’t on my best game but this year I’m going to look forward to playing a bit better than I did last time.”
Sharapova, the fifth seed, recovered from 4-1 down in the first set to reach the third round with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 win over Robson, playing on a wildcard and ranked at 254 in the world.
The 2004 champion will face Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic for a place in the last 16 on Saturday. “She started so well. She was going for her shots and serving so well that I couldn’t get too many looks on her first serve,” said Sharapova. “But I played better as the match went on. She’s young and moving up and playing good tennis. I didn’t play my best and I feel like I made more errors than I had to.” Top seed Caroline Wozniacki eased into the third round playing on the same Court Two that sparked Serena Williams’s bitter accusations of favouritism 24 hours earlier.
World number one Wozniacki defeated France’s Virginie Razzano 6-1, 6-3 in a second round match held over from Thursday and next faces Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova for a last-16 place. Russian 12th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova was a third-round loser with the former US Open and French Open champion slipping to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 defeat by Belgian 19th seed Yanina Wickmayer.
German 11th seed Andrea Petkovic was also a third round flop, losing 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) to Russia’s Ksenia Pervak, but eighth seeded Czech Petra Kvitova, a semi-finalist in 2010, eased past Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-3, 6-3.
Later on Friday, defending champion Rafael Nadal tackles Gilles Muller, the Luxembourg journeyman who defeated the great Spaniard in the tournament in 2005. Victory would set up a potential blockbuster fourth-round clash with former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, if the Argentine 24th seed can see off French 15th seed Gilles Simon. Fourth seed Andy Murray, bidding to become Britain’s first men’s champion since Fred Perry in 1936, looks to reach the last 16 by beating Croatian 32-year-old Ivan Ljubicic.