The biggest activity on the men’s side Friday at Wimbledon were let-downs.
Let-downs for Sergiy Stakhovsky, who after defeating seven-time champion Roger Federer loses to Austrian Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3, and for Jamaican-turned-German qualifier Dustin “Dreddy” Brown, who after defeating former champion Lleyton Hewitt sees his ‘dream draw’ turn into a nightmare when he loses to Frenchman “Yo” Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.
“I think I just played stupid,” Stakhovsky said. “It would be I think the exact word of showing how I should not play Jurgen, and I should have realized that somewhere in the end of the second set. I should mix up. I should never play the same shot against Jurgen. He was returning much better today than Roger. I’m just a little disappointed that I got so blinded by the game I produced with Roger that I kept going with the same game I played against Jurgen, which was just not right.”
Brown’s serve-and-volleying heroics against Hewitt could not be repeated against Mannarino, who put on a passing shot clinic and otherwise pressured the German’s serve.
“I go out there and try to play my tennis as best as possible,” Brown said. “Yeah, today didn’t work out as well as I would have liked it to.”
Also into the fourth round were now-super-favorite and No. 2 seed Andy Murray, strumming No. 32 Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-4, 7-5, and No. 24 “I’m From” Jerzy Janowicz upsetting No. 15 Nicolas Almagro 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-4.
“There’s a lot more pressure on me now with [Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal] being out,” said Murray, who has won 14 straight matches on grass. “But you need to be professional enough not to let the papers and stuff bother you and just concentrate on each match.”
Janowicz will next meet Melzer in a part of the draw that is wide open.
Seeded winners in second-round action Friday were No. 4 David Ferrer overcoming a gimpy ankle to defeat fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-5; No. 13 Tommy Haas beating Taipei gangster qualifier Jimmy “the” Wang 6-3, 6-2, 7-5; No. 26 Alexandr Dolgopolov rolling Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 7-5, 6-3; and No. 28 Jeremy Chardy who won a tight one over German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(4).
Ferrer will meet Dolgopolov on Saturday.
“I am okay. Of course, I had a little pain in my ankle,” Ferrer said. “But today I fell off just one time. The court is normal. Is good, because was raining sometimes on the match. Yeah, I improving my game in grasscourt.”
Haas, a walking injury waiting to happen for much of his career, was reluctant to play in the conditions Friday.
“It’s dangerous. It’s tough when it’s a little bit humid and wet,” said Haas who argued with officials as to whether his match should go on. “Like today, even when we started playing, you know, we warmed up, it was drizzling a little bit. There’s no way you can play. You can slip and lose the grip underneath your feet, and it’s very dangerous. It’s really tough if you do get injured for quite a bit after an incident like that.”
Another unseeded winner was Slovak Grega Zemlja, who beat down No. 29 Grigor Dimitrov, and by proxy his girlfriend Maria Sharapova watching from the stands, 3-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 in a match resumed from the previous day.
Only one Top 10 match was completed Friday on the women’s side amidst the rains and matches called due to darkness, with Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi coming from a set down to upset No. 7 seed Angelique Kerber.
“I had my chances, but I didn’t take them,” said last year’s semifinalist Kerber. “Maybe I could have been a bit more aggressive on one or two balls but she played good on the important points. Then in the third set she was playing unbelievable and I couldn’t do anything.”
Winners in third-round play were No. 15 Marion Bartoli stopping Italian comer Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-5, No. 19 Carla Suarez Navarro likewise halting the run of Canadian comer Eugenie Bouchard 7-5, 6-2, and No. 20 Kirsten Flipkens likewise beat Jelena Jankovic-ouster Vesna Dolonc 6-4, 6-2.
Suarez Navarro is the first Spaniard through to the fourth round at Wimbledon in 12 years.
Unseeded Italian Karin Knapp was another youngster-spanker on the day, taking out Portuguese qualifier and Sharapova-killer Michelle Larcher de Brito 7-5, 6-2.
Of the second-round winners Friday, Brit Laura Robson sent British fans into various realms of delirium with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Colombian qualifier Mariana Duque-Marino.
“I think I’m handling the pressure and the crowd support fine,” Robson said. “It’s just about getting through a match I should be winning. I knew I was favorite to win this match and I thought I handled it pretty well. I was nervous, but I thought she must be more nervous because I’ve played on the Centre Court before. So I just got away with that one.”
Another second-round winner was American wildcard Alison Riske who came from a set down to top Poland’s Urszula Radwanska.
“I was really nervous, but I tried to keep telling myself that I wasn’t really at Wimbledon,” Riske said. “I was trying to make a scene in my head. I just tried to picture myself just playing my game. I told myself it wasn’t Wimbledon, and just be calm out there and just keep doing what got me to that point.”
Matches suspended due to darkness Friday were No. 25 Ekaterina Makarova leading No. 8 Petra Kvitova 3-6, 6-2, 2-1; No. 17 Sloane Stephens tied with Czech qualifier Petra Cetkovska 7-6(3), 0-6; and Czech qualifier Eva Birnerova leading Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig 6-4, 2-1.
Matches to look for Saturday are (9) Richard Gasquet vs. Bernard “The Tank Engine” Tomic, (23) Sabine Lisicki vs. (14) Samantha Stosur, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (28) Jeremy Chardy, (27) Kevin Anderson vs. (7) Tomas Berdych, (4) David Ferrer vs. (26) Alexandr Dolgopolov, (1) Serena Williams vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm, Brit Laura Robson vs. Marina Erakovic, Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez vs. (13) Tommy Haas, Ernests Gulbis vs. Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, (17) Sloane Stephens vs. Petra Cetkovska to finish at one-set all, (4) Aggie Radwanska vs. Madison Keys, (32) Klara Zakopalova vs. (6) Na Li, and marathon man Grega Zemlja vs. (8) Juan Martin Del Potro.
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