Federer, Roddick Win Wimbledon Openers

Posted on June 26, 2007

World No. 1 Roger Federer and former No. 1 Andy Roddick began their Wimbledon title quests with wins Monday leading to a potential semifinal showdown, finishing amidst showers that suspended or cancelled the majority of matches.

Federer handled Russian grasscourt neophyte Teimuraz Gabashvili, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, while Roddick had a tougher time with fellow American Justin Gimelstob 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(3).

Federer took the court in a white dress blazer and matching pants, but the real thing the media and fans was looking for was rustiness after the Swiss skipped the grasscourt warm-up events for the first time since achieving the No. 1 ranking.

"I'll have to win the tournament to prove it was the right decision," Federer said of skipping the ATP Halle event he had won four years in a row. "My body was hurting after the French...I'm recovered now. It takes about four, five or six days to get everything out of your system, all the little things that hurt a little bit."

Gimelstob, who fought valiantly against Roddick, diving about the court like Boris Becker in his prime, said he was competing in his last match at Wimbledon.

"I think I did a good job hanging in and make him keep holding serve, and he did it, and that's why he's one of the best servers in the world," Gimelstob said of Roddick. I did a good job hanging in that game and holding serve. So I'm proud of that...I couldn't help but think a little bit towards the end of the match that this most likely is my last time I'll ever be on the court playing singles here, and it's just -- that part is tough."

Roddick served 16 aces and went unbroken on serve with a first serve percentage of 74.

"You give me the option to have that number for the tournament," Roddick said, "and I would take it right now. If you're taking care of your own serve, it puts more pressure on the other guy."

Other seeded winners Monday were (5) Fernando Gonzalez (d. Ginepri in four), (13) Tommy Haas (d. Fleishman), and (17) David Ferrer (d. Roitman).

Frenchman Florent Serra cut the only upset of the day on the lawns, straight-setting No. 27 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Winners in all-unseeded contests were Alejandro Falla (d. Querrey), Tomas Zib (d. Hartfield in five), Paul-Henri Mathieu (d. Stepanek), Michael Berrer (d. Montanes), Janko Tipsarevic (d. Peya in five), and Danai Udomchoke (d. Berlocq).

In the match of the day with the crowd roaring, homecountry hope Tim Henman was tied with No. 25 seed Carlos Moya 5-5 in the fifth set when the match was postponed.

Highlights Tuesday on the men's side at Wimbledon are (25) Carlos Moya vs. Tim Henman (to finish), Mardy Fish vs. (2) Rafael Nadal, "You Say" Potito Starace vs. (4) Novak Djokovic, (9) James Blake vs. Igor Andreev, (16) Lleyton Hewitt vs. Richard Bloomfield, Vince "Rappin'" Spadea vs. (15) Ivan Ljubicic, Latvia's own Ernests Gulbis vs. (10) Marcos Baghdatis, (7) Tomas Berdych vs. Nicolas Massu, (6) Nikolay Davydenko vs. Evgeny Korolev in an all-Russian, (12) Richard Gasquet vs. Bohdan Ulihrach, former runner-up (23) David Nalbandian vs. Mischa Zverev, Fabrice "The Magician" Santoro vs. "Dr." Ivo Karlovic, Gael "Force" Monfils vs. former Aussie Open winner Thomas Johansson, Brit hope Alex Bogdanovic vs. Aussie Chris "Penthouse" Guccione, Michael "Iron Mike" Russell vs. (18) Jarkko Nieminen, Rik De voest vs. former No. 1 (26) Marat Safin, and the upset-watch of the day in Robert Kendrick vs. (11) Tommy Robredo.