Roddick, Zvonareva fall by the wayside

Roddick, Zvonareva fall by the wayside

Top seed Wozniacki, Venus make progress

With Nadal relegated to Court One for his third-round clash against Gilles Muller, Lopez gleefully stole the limelight from his close friend with a sensational 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory he described as his best on grass.

Nadal’s match had to be halted because of rain after the Spaniard had won the first set on a tie-break. The weather later forced an early closure to the day’s action with only the Centre Court clash between Andy Murray and Ivan Ljubicic progressing under the roof.

Big names were also tumbling across the All England Club in the women's draw with second seed Vera Zvonareva sent packing by Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in a repeat of last year's semifinal which Zvonareva won before losing to Serena Williams.

Svetlana Kuznetsova also lost but fifth seed Maria Sharapova is still eyeing a repeat of her 2004 title here despite a scare against British wildcard Laura Robson.

Five-times champion Venus Williams made life easier for herself after her second-round epic against Kimiko Date-Krumm, dropping a mere two games against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez to move menacingly into the last 16. World number one Caroline Wozniacki is still a round behind after getting snagged by rain delays but the Dane made up for lost time by thrashing Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano 6-1, 6-3 and committing just one unforced error in the match.

Lopez, whose Hollywood looks have earned him the nickname "Deliciano" was simply irresistible as he served and volleyed eighth seed Roddick to pieces. American Roddick has become a fixture at Wimbledon where his grass-scorching serve and all-action style have fired him to three runner-up finishes at the hands of Roger Federer. He had no answer against the net-prowling Lopez who had lost all seven previous clashes with Roddick and who has never gone beyond the last eight here despite a style that appears purpose-built for grass. Roddick, whose most recent final was a marathon defeat by Federer in 2009, had no complaints.

"This year's a lot easier to deal with than last year where I feel like I gave it away," the 28-year-old said, referring to last year's fourth-round defeat by Yen-Hsun Lu. "I got beat. He came out. He served about as well as someone has. He played an outstanding match."

Roddick, who chucked a racket into the crowd as he left the court to a generous ovation, insisted he will be back fighting his corner in 12 months despite admitting he had not played well for a year.

"I figured it was just going to go to waste like a doorstop or something," a jovial Roddick said of his post-match gesture. "I figured a seven-year-old boy would probably get more use out of it than my grasscourt bottoms. At this point I've not decided to stop so I'll keep moving forward."

Sharapova found herself 4-1 down against wildcard Robson, the 17-year-old world number 254 still trying to live up to the hype of her Wimbledon junior title in 2008. The Russian fifth seed got increasingly tetchy as the crowd sensed a shock. She fought back, however, won the tiebreak with the help of a narrow Hawkeye decision at 5-4 and surged ahead in the second set to put Robson back in her place.  Kuznetsova lost to Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-4, 3-6, 4-6.

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