Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Two-time champion Rafael Nadal and
British hopeful Andy Murray were a pair of first-round winners Tuesday at
The second-seeded former world No. 1 Nadal was tested mightily in the opening
set before ultimately cruising to a 7-6 (7-0), 6-2, 6-3 victory over Brazilian
fellow lefthander Thomaz Bellucci on the famed Centre Court at the All England
Club. Nadal lost the first four games of the match before turning things
around on Day 2.
Nadal moved on in 2 hours, 15 minutes with the help of six service breaks,
compared to three breaks for Bellucci.
The great Nadal owns 11 Grand Slam titles, including seven French Opens and a
the pair of Wimbledon championships. The super Spaniard has appeared in the
last five major finals, going 2-3, including another big win in Paris a few
Nadal is now 36-5 lifetime at Wimbledon and a perfect 33-0 in his career
first-round Grand Slam matches.
Up next for Nadal will be Czech Lukas Rosol.
The fourth-seeded Murray mauled fading former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko of
Russia 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 on Centre Court.
Murray is a three-time Grand Slam runner-up and has appeared in the Wimbledon
semifinals the last three years. He's trying to give Britain its first male
major titlist since Fred Perry in 1936.
Also on Tuesday, flashy Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, former U.S. Open champ
Juan Martin del Potro and on-the-mend American Mardy Fish reached the second
round at tennis' most prestigious event.
The fifth-seeded former Australian Open runner-up Tsonga whipped fading Aussie
star Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Court 1. The two-time major titlist
Hewitt, a wild card this week, is a former No. 1 and was the Wimbledon champ
back in 2002. He hadn't lost in the first round here since 2003, when he
was the defending champion.
Tsonga was a Wimbledon semifinalist last year.
A ninth-seeded del Potro defeated Dutchman Robin Haase 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3),
7-5. The towering Argentine "Delpo" has never made it past the fourth round at
the All England Club.
Meanwhile, the 10th-seeded world No. 12 Fish handled 34-year-old Spaniard
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) on Court 12.
Fish serve-and-volleyed his way past Ramirez Hidalgo, striking 43 more winners
(61-18), including 24 aces, than his overmatched Spanish counterpart, who was
the oldest player in the men's draw here.
The 30-year-old Fish had been sidelined with fatigue-like symptoms since late
March and had to undergo a medical procedure called a cardiac catheter
ablation to correct a heart problem, which involved misfiring electrical
pulses in his heart.
Fish, who was a Wimbledon quarterfinalist last year, will meet British wild
card James Ward on Thursday.
Meanwhile, 12th-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro outlasted diminutive Belgian
Olivier Rochus 6-7 (4-7), 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-4 in a match that was
suspended because of darkness on Monday, and Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen
took out 14th-seeded Spanish fellow lefthander Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-4), 3-6,
7-6 (7-5), 6-4. Almagro survived Rochus in 3 hours, 24 minutes with the help
of a whopping 48 aces.
In other action involving seeds, No. 16 Croat Marin Cilic dismissed German
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2; No. 19 rising Japanese Kei Nishikori
bested Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5, 6-3, 6-4; Belgian David Goffin
upset No. 20 Aussie Bernard Tomic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; No. 22 Ukrainian
Alexandr Dolgopolov handled Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-3, 6-4, 7-5; and
No. 27 Philipp Kohlschreiber outlasted fellow German Tommy Haas 3-6, 7-6
(10-8), 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-1), 6-2. The talented Tomic was a surprise Wimbledon
quarterfinalist last year. The oft-injured former world No. 2 Haas was a
surprise grass-court titlist in Halle two weeks ago, stunning Swiss icon Roger
Federer in the final.
The Sports Network