Updated: June 23, 2010 23:29 IST

Roddick advances amid English football fever

print   ·   T  T  
Andy Roddick of the US, celebrates after defeating France's Michael Llodra, during their men's singles match on the Centre Court.
Andy Roddick of the US, celebrates after defeating France's Michael Llodra, during their men's singles match on the Centre Court.

Andy Roddick kept his focus to reach the third round at Wimbledon on Wednesday while many tennis fans were also eager to know the running score of England’s simultaneous World Cup football match.

The day was something of a disappointment to football fans at the tennis, where a strict football news blackout was imposed inside the tightly guarded grounds.

Three-time finalist Roddick completed his 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) defeat of serve-and-volley Frenchman Michael Llodra shortly after England took a 1-0 first-half lead in a must-win match in South Africa against Slovenia.

So afraid were officials of the football intruding that they ordered blinds in a ground-level workroom lowered in order to prevent the public from peeking in at dozens of television screens — most showing the football.

Roddick, defeated in 2004, 2005 and 2009 finals by Roger Federer, was pleased to go through after dropping his first set against Llodra.

“You start over every two days here,” said the winner. “You just survive and try to give yourself a chance.

“Centre court is an unbelievable place; it’s so nice to get back out there. I was glad to play today, win and get it done.” Roddick’s good friend Mardy Fish was eliminated by German Florian Mayer 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, an ill-tempered contest.

Austrian 16th seed Jurgen Melzer beat Serb Viktor Troicki 6-7 (5-7), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.

Two—time women’s finalist Justine Henin called upon experience to get out of trouble as she beat German Kristina Barrois 6-3, 7-5 on the women’s side after throwing away a 5-2 lead in the second set.

The former number one, who quit the sport at the top two years ago and returned at the start of 2010, remains in the hunt for the title a week after winning a grass trophyin the Netherlands.

But the cautious Henin, 27, who played Wimbledon finals in 2001 and 2006, said she cannot be counted as a favourite.

“I just see myself as an outsider this year, a year with ups and downs. I don’t know how I’m gonna deal at the very high level. It’s very hard to predict what could happen.

“I really don’t see myself as one of the favorites. I hope Wimbledon will be a goal for me one day. It’s a dream at the moment.” Eighth-seeded compatriot Kim Clijsters, another comeback player who also reversed a retirement after having a child, eased past Croatian Karolina Sprem 6-3, 6-2.

“I’m playing probably my best on grass, compared to even a few years ago,” said Clijsters. “My serve and my returns are going well.

That’s the key I think on grass. You have to be on target those first few shots.” The two-time semi-finalist, who won the US Open last year only weeks after making her comeback, was joined as a winner by 11th seed Marion Bartoli.

The Frenchwoman advanced when Petra Martic retired before their match with an abdominal injury.

German Angelique Kerber scored a minor upset as she put out Israeli 13th seed Shahar Peer 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Keywords: Wimbledon 2010

More In: Sport | Tennis



Recent Article in Sport

Royal Challengers Bangalore's Chris Gayle and Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard, who put a tap on his mouth during IPL 8 match, have a moment on field.

Pollard’s tape-on-mouth act was not in bad taste: Harbhajan

Pollard was warned by one of the on-field umpires to stay away from any banter after he was seen trying to unsettle RCB opener Chris Gayle. »