Nadal Advances, Henman Thrills at Wimbledon

Posted on June 27, 2007

Rafael Nadal confirmed his grasscourt chops and "Brave" Tim Henman showed flashes of old as a hearty 52 men's matches were completed amidst a break in the rains Tuesday at Wimbledon.

The world No. 2 Spaniard handled the serve-and-volleying American Mardy Fish 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3, while Henman, resuming from the previous day at 5-5 in the fifth set, downed No. 25 seed Carlos Moya 13-11 in the final set when Moya double faulted on match point.

"I always believe that good things are going to happen," Henman said. "I certainly needed a lot of belief at 2-4, 15-40 in the fifth. I stuck to my guns and I played some great points to not only win that game but to break back and get on level terms. It would have been pretty sweet to finish it off last night. But I think now, having gone through that, playing as well as I did, perhaps this scenario is even better."

Nadal, defending his runner-up effort from last year, started hot against the potential American threat.

"I returned very well," Nadal said. "Just one moment in the third set I was serving little bit worst. That's normal. I need improve a little bit that, need improve a little bit the second serve. But the rest, playing from the baseline was very, very good. Very good forehands. Running good. Feeling good."

Other seeded winners Tuesday were (4) Novak Djokovic (d. Starace), (6) Nikolay Davydenko (d. Korolev), (7) Tomas Berdych (d. Massu), (9) James Blake (d. Andreev), (10) Marcos Baghdatis (d. Gulbis in four), (11) Tommy Robredo (d. Kendrick in five), (12) Richard Gasquet (d. Ulihrach), (14) Mikhail Youzhny (d. Pless), (15) Ivan Ljubicic (d. Spadea in four), (16) Lleyton Hewitt (d. Bloomfield), (18) Jarkko Nieminen (d. Russell), (19) Jonas Bjorkman (d. Vicente), (20) Juan Carlos Ferrero (d. Hajek in five), (21) Dmitry Tursunov (d. Almagro in four), (22) Guillermo Canas (d. Navarro Pastor), (23) David Nalbandian (d. Zverev), (24) Juan Ignacio Chela (d. Becker 10-8 in the fifth), (26) Marat Safin (d. de Voest), (28) Robin Soderling (d. O.Rochus), and (29) Agustin Calleri (d. Horna).

Blake said it was a difficult draw facing the 'Russian Roddick.'

"It was a great win. I felt like it was a tough draw to start out with," Blake said. "Andreev is an excellent player, huge forehand, big serve. Not ideal to play him first round. But to get through it is a really good feeling, especially since I maybe got a little tentative towards the end and he fought back and started going for broke and things were going in, which can be dangerous."

Upset-makers Tuesday were un-seeds Nicolas Kiefer (d. (30) Volandri), Andreas Seppi (d. (31) Hrbaty), and Kristof Vliegen (d. (32) Monaco), all in straight sets.

Highlights Wednesday on the men's side at Wimbledon are (3) Andy Roddick vs. Thai Danai Udomchoke, Tim Henman vs. Feliciano "F-Lo" Lopez, (1) Roger Federer vs. Juan Martin Del Potro, (26) Marat Safin vs. Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, (5) Fernando "Gonzo" Gonzalez vs. Alejandro Falla, (9) James Blake vs. Andrei Pavel, (20) Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Gilles Muller, Tomas Zib vs. (13) Tommy Haas, (12) Richard "Baby Fed" Gasquet vs. Nicolas Mahut in an all-French affair, (17) David Ferrer vs. Paul-Henri Mathieu, and Jan Hernych vs. (15) Ivan Ljubicic.