Djokovic wards off Stepanek

Novak Djokovic survived the shock of losing the first set to beat Czech Radek Stepanek 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 and reach the Wimbledon fourth round on Friday.

With the All England Club still abuzz following Rafael Nadal’s shock loss to Lukas Rosol on Thursday, top seed Djokovic was broken out of the blue by Stepanek in the 10th game to drop the first set.

The world number one from Serbia quickly recovered, however, breaking 28th seed Stepanek in the first game of the second set and he never looked back, sealing victory on his first match point with a clinical crosscourt backhand winner after two hours 50 minutes.

The defending champion will play his fellow Serbian Viktor Troicki in the last 16.  Meanwhile, world number one Maria Sharapova continued to splutter but still beat Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei 6-1, 6-4 to reach the fourth round.

The top seed eased through the first set with few problems but Hsieh improved in the second as Sharapova made several unforced errors and struggled with her serve.

The Russian wasted two match points but she made no mistake on the third when Hsieh sent a backhand wide.

Sharapova will play German Sabine Lisicki, the 15th seed, in the last 16. That's a tough one," Sharapova said. "She did extremely well last year. She is a very good player on grass and I look forward to it."

Sania-Bethanie advance

India’s Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands notched up a straight-set victory to advance to the third round of the women’s doubles.

The 13th seeded Indo-US duo scored a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over unseeded French pair of Stephanie Foretz Gacon and Kristina Mladenovic in just 55 minutes at the All England Club.
Sania and Bethanie converted three of the five breakpoints, while their rivals failed to convert the only opportunity that came their way.

In the first set, Sania and Bethanie went on to win as many as 27 points as against only 17 won by their opponents, to seal the set.

The Indo-US combo continued their domination in the second set as well, where they converted two of the three breakpoints, while managed to save the lone breakpoint that Stephanie and Kristina got.

Sania and Bethanie will next face the winner of the match between Russian duo of Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova and the Williams sisters — Serena and Venus — in the third round.

Results: Men’s singles: Third round: 1-Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt 28-Radek Stepanek (Cze) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2; Viktor Troicki (Srb) bt 15-Juan Monaco (Arg) 7-5, 7-5, 6-3.
Second round: Sam Querrey (US) bt 21-Milos Raonic (Can) 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (10-8), 6-4. On Thursday: Lukas Rosol (Cze) bt 2-Rafael Nadal (Esp) 6-7 (9-10), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Women’s singles: Third round: 1-Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (Twn) 6-1, 6-4; 15-Sabine Lisicki (Ger) bt Sloane Stephens (US) 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 6-2.             
Second round: Jana Cepelova (Svk) bt 26-Anabel Medina Garrigues (Esp) 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
Thursday’s results: 4-Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt Elena Baltacha (Gbr) 6-0, 6-4; 2-Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Romina Oprandi (Sui) 6-2, 6-0; Varvara Lepchenko (US) bt 31-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) 7-6 (7-4), 6-4; 20-Nadia Petrova (Rus) bt Timea Babos (Hun) 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 9-7.

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