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Djokovic, Berdych, Del Potro roll on at Wimbledon

3:57 PM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
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Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Former champion Novak Djokovic, 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych and former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro were among those restoring order in the men's draw Thursday at Wimbledon.

The world No. 1 Djokovic was tested in the first set before posting a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, 6-1 victory over American journeyman Bobby Reynolds under the roof on Centre Court. Rain fell for the first time at this 2013 fortnight, prompting the first roof closure of Week 1.

The qualifier Reynolds was the last American man standing at the fortnight, making this the worst Wimbledon for American men in 101 years, or way back in 1912.

Djokovic moved on in 1 hour, 54 minutes, swatting 12 aces and holding his serve throughout.

The super Serb was the Wimbledon champion two years ago, is the reigning Australian Open titlist, and is seeking career Grand Slam title No. 7.

Djokovic will meet the Jeremy Chardy-Jan-Lennard Struff winner on Saturday. Struff was leading the 28th-seeded Chardy 2-6, 7-5, 2-1 when play was called because of rain.

Just one day after both the men's and women's draws were ravaged by upsets and injuries, the seventh-seeded Berdych and eighth-seeded del Potro also managed to post second-round wins at the world's most prestigious tennis event.

The Czech Berdych handled German Daniel Brands 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-2, while the 6-foot-6 Argentine del Potro dismissed former American and now Canadian Jesse Levine 6-2, 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 on the famed grass at the All England Club.

Berdych has failed to get past the fourth round here since reaching the final three years ago, including an opening-round loss last year. The 2009 U.S. Open winner del Potro has never reached a Wimbledon quarterfinal, but was an Olympic bronze medal winner on the grass here at the All England Club last summer.

Up next for Berdych will be South African Kevin Anderson, while del Potro awaits the Grigor Dimitrov-Grega Zemlja winner.

Wednesday's men's carnage included losses by seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and two-time semifinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and an injury withdrawal by 10th seed Marin Cilic.

Ninth-seeded nifty Frenchman Richard Gasquet got past Japan's Go Soeda 6-0, 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, while 12th-seeded rising Japanese Kei Nishikori erased Argentine Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-2 on Day 4.

Another seed was ousted on the men's side when Dutchman Igor Sijsling took out No. 17 Milos Raonic of Canada 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). The big-serving match featured 17 aces by the winner and 22 more from the loser. Raonic was unable to break Sijsling, while the Dutchman notched two keys breaks in advancing.

Meanwhile, 23rd-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi was leading Michael Llodra 7-5 after one set when the quality left-handed Frenchman retired on Thursday and a 27th-seeded Anderson took care of Poland's Michal Przysiezny 6-4, 7-6, 6-4.

Capable Aussie Bernard Tomic advanced by getting past former top-10 American James Blake 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, while Croat Ivan Dodig doused American Denis Kudla 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 and Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez moved past oft-injured Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 5-1, retired. Tomic reached the Wimbledon quarters as an 18-year-old two years ago. Lopez was a grass-court champion in Eastbourne here in England last week.

Five men's matches were either suspended or postponed because of rain, including one for fourth-seeded French Open runner-up David Ferrer, who will have to wait until Friday to face fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

A dramatic match between the 29th-seeded Dimitrov and Slovenian Zemlja was suspended, with the Slovenian leading 9-8 in the fifth set.

The third round will get underway Friday, including a match for second-seeded Andy Murray, who will meet 32nd-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo.

Murray was last year's Wimbledon runner-up to Federer and then beat the Swiss great in last year's Olympic gold-medal match here at the AEC. The British star is the reigning U.S. Open champ and was this year's Australian Open runner-up to Djokovic.

The 26-year-old Murray is trying to give Britain its first men's Wimbledon singles champion in 77 years.

Another Day-5 third-round match will feature a pair of seeds, as No. 15 Nicolas Almagro will battle No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz, a 6-foot-8 slugger from Poland.

The Sports Network

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