After a very rocky start to the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, things returned back to norm on Tuesday. The top men’s seeds in action all rolled led by 2008 winner Rafael Nadal along with Andy Murray and Robin Soderling.
Nadal had no trouble pounding on 20-year-old Kei Nishikori. Nadal had lost a set to the No. 1 player from Japan a few years ago, but not today in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win.
“I don’t have to defend nothing, no one point,” said the current No. 1 who missed last year. “All the points are in positive for me in this tournament. I go day to day. For me was a very good victory today. Was difficult opponent.”
Nadal now will face the big serve of Dutchman Robin Haase, who trounced James Blake in straight sets. One has to wonder if we’ve seen the last of the 30-year-old Blake at Wimbledon.
Murray got off to an ominus start finding himself quickly down a break to the lightly-regarded Jan Hajek. But Murray’s got his game into gear to pull out a 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 win.
Murray and Nadal will now have the opportunity to play in front of the Queen of England on Thursday who’ll make her much-publicized trip to Wimbledon on Thursday.
“I’ll probably be a little bit nervous, understandably,” Murray said. “I guess I don’t want to mess up at all. But, yeah, the plan was to bow to the Queen, as everybody would. It’s just you wanted to get the right etiquette for what we were doing on the court. A few years back it definitely changed. Both players, when you went on Centre Court bowed, and they went out together. When they left the court, they left together, bowed again. Obviously, it’s changed.”
My pick to beat Nadal in the quarterfinals is Soderling and today the Swede just ripped apart Robby Ginepri 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. I’d have to rate Robin’s win as the most impressive among the top players this far.
Other winners included JW Tsonga, Sam Querrey, Tomaz Bellucci, Philipp Petzchner, Mikhail Youhzny and David Ferrer.
The big surprise on the day was the four-set loss by 8th-seeded Fernando Verdasco to Fabio Fognini. Verdasco has played so well for so long now it was tough seeing him revert back to his old, sloppy ways. Another Spaniard, 14th-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero, was also defeated in a mild upset by former Wimbledon semifinalist Xavier Malisse.
As for tomorrow, Roger Federer is back after his narrow Monday escape against Ilija Bozoljac. Who? “Bozo” I’ll call him. brings a big sever and a unique two-handed style, but Federer has to now be on full alert after Monday. So Federer should ease here.
Novak Djokovic also needed a five-set Houdini act to stay alive. Unfortunately for the Serb tomorrow he may have to pull another one against Taylor Dent. But I actually think Dent matches up well or Novak and I like Djokovic to have a good day.
On the other hand Andy Roddick may be in for a tough early afternoon against Michael Llodra. Lldora just won Eastbourne and if he gets that lefty serve humming he’ll be tough to break – was Roddick able to break Dudi Sela at Queen’s? I cant recall.
I want to pick the upset here but I think Llodra will self destruct and some key moment and Roddick gets through in four, maybe five sets.
My to pick to win – yes, he’s still my pick! – Lleyton Hewitt is also on. Hewitt’s draw looks great and with Federer looking shaky the Australian may never have a chance like this again.
Looking at the women’s draw, Maria Sharapova played well today but I think this is a Williams sisters event. The Belgians – Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters – might get their says as may the Chinese, but Serena and Venus still look too tough on this surface.
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