Radek “The Worm” Stepanek has an asterisk next to his name at Grand Slams as an upset-maker, and the Czech almost orchestrated another shocker on Wednesday at Wimbledon where he stretched world No. 1 near the limit, coming withing points of taking the match to five sets before falling 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(5).
“I should have not complicated my life in the way,” Djokovic said about a straight-set opportunity that almost turned into a five-setter. “I was two sets up and had break point chances and I should have closed it out in the third set tiebreak.”
No. 3 seed and defending champ Andy Murray breezed into the third round to the delight of British fans, giving former NCAA star Blaz Rola of Slovenia a clinic 6-1, 6-1, 6-0.
“I wanted to make sure that when I was on top I finished the sets off,” Murray said. “It helps not to have expended too much energy. At the French Open, some of the matches where I was ahead, I didn’t finish the sets as fast as I would have liked. I felt like that cost me a bit — not that I would necessarily have beaten Rafa if I’d played perfect — but there were a lot of long matches.”
Other top-seeded winners were No. 6 Tomas Berdych, who dropped a set before taming Aussie Bernard “The Tank Engine” Tomic 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-1, and No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov who ended the hopes of former Wimbledon junior champ Luke Saville 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Also into the third round were seeds No. 16 Fabio Fognini, No. 20 Kevin Anderson, No. 21 Alexandr Dolgopolov, No. 26 Marin Cilic, and No. 27 Roberto Bautista.
Three seeds were sent packing on the day as Russian Andrey Kuznetsov surprised No. 7 David Ferrer in five, Ukraine upset specialist Sergiy Stakhovsky who ousted No. 12 Ernests Gulbis in straights, and Taiwan’s Jimmy Wang, a four-set winner over No. 17 Mikhail Youzhny.
“Today I played second time already on the same court, so probably it was a little bit of an advantage for me as well,” said the Ferrer-killer Kuznetsov, ranked outside the Top 100. “I won the juniors in 2009. Back then it was my first experience on grass, and suddenly I liked it…I’m pretty happy. It was probably the biggest win in my career.”
On Thursday, the four stars of the sport return with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.
Nadal will try to avenge his shock 2012 loss to Lukas Rosol. Rafa came into Wimbledon floundering with a 3-match grass losing streak, but after dropping the first set to Martin Klizan in his opener got back on track.
Rosol, though, isn’t interested in giving in. “”It’s Nadal who has to win, I have nothing to lose… I can create another surprise. I want to impose my style on him. The shorter the rallies, the better for me,” Rosol said.
“Two years ago, everything was perfect, my head was clear and when I am like this, I am very hard to play against. I convinced myself that I was very hard to beat,”
Top matches on Thursday:
Rafael Nadal (ESP)  vs. Lukas Rosol (CZE)
Angelique Kerber (GER)  vs. Heather Watson (GBR)
Roger Federer (SUI)  vs. Gilles Muller (LUX)
Richard Gasquet (FRA)  vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)  vs. Sam Querrey (USA) to finish 9-9 in fifth set
Jerzy Janowicz (POL)  vs. Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
Milos Raonic (CAN)  vs. Jack Sock (USA)
John Isner (USA)  vs. Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)
Klara Koukalova (CZE)  vs. Madison Keys (USA)
Feliciano Lopez (ESP)  vs. Ante Pavic (CRO)
Kei Nishikori (JPN)  vs. Denis Kudla (USA)
Belinda Bencic (SUI) vs. Victoria Duval (USA)
Alison Riske (USA) vs. Camila Giorgi (ITA)
CENTRE COURT – 1:00PM
1. Lukas Rosol (CZE) v Rafael Nadal (ESP) 
2. Angelique Kerber (GER)  v Heather Watson (GBR)
3. Gilles Muller (LUX) v Roger Federer (SUI) 
NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Serena Williams (USA)  v Chanelle Scheepers (RSA)
2. Stan Wawrinka (SUI)  v Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE)
3. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) v Maria Sharapova (RUS) 
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