Stakhovsky cut down to size; Robson sparkles

Stakhovsky cut down to size; Robson sparkles

Stakhovsky cut down to size; Robson sparkles

Sergiy Stakh-ovsky tumbled from cloud nine at rainy Wimbledon on Friday as the man who dethroned Roger Federer returned to relative obscurity but British teenager Laura Robson was in no mood to waste the spotlight.

Wimbledon’s Centre Court roof operators were busy as Day Five of the championships began in soggy fashion and the canopy was in place for Robson as she served up a tasty starter before title-chasing Andy Murray provided the main course later.

Robson, who along with Murray was one of only two home players to reach the second round of the singles, had been upgraded to the main show court after her match with Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Marino was delayed the night before.

A powerful 6-4, 6-1 victory justified her top-billing and made sure Murray, bidding to become the first British man to win the title since 1936, will not have to shoulder the hopes of a nation alone yet.

Murray, whose side of the draw has been stripped of big names, defeated Spanish 32nd seed Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-4, 7-5.

Two days after Stakhovsky caused one of Wimbledon’s greatest upsets by taking out Federer in a Wednesday Wipeout of seeds and former World No 1s, he failed to hit the heights in a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 third-round defeat by Austrian Jurgen Melzer on a drizzly Court Three.

The shelf life of giant-slayers has proved a short one so far at the championships with Ukraine’s Stakhovsky, the World No 116, going the same way as Rafael Nadal’s conqueror Belgian Steve Darcis who withdrew injured from his next match.

Maria Sharapova’s vocal chords were working strong on Friday as she continued to support Bulgarian boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov in his rain-interrupted battle against Slovenian Grega Zemlja.

However, there was to be no escape as the solid Zemlja crunched a running forehand winner down the line.

“At a few points I heard her Maria screaming behind my back which wasn’t very pleasant!” Zemlja, the 26-year-old son of a former ski jumper, told reporters.

He was not distracted and held on to beat 29th seed Dimitrov, winning 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-4, 11-9, having resumed at 9-8 ahead in the decider after rain had delayed the start of play on the outside courts.

World No 4 David Ferrer avoided any mishaps as he moved into the third round with a straight sets victory over fellow Spaniard Robert Bautista Agut. He will face Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round.

Pole Jerzy Janowicz, the 24th seed lurking dangerously in the bottom half of the draw, gave a vivid demonstration of his talent on Centre Court to reach round four for the first time, overpowering Spanish 15th seed Nicolas Almagro to set up a clash with Melzer.
Hesh-Hantuchova exit

Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek had to work hard to beat Daniele Bracciali and Jonathan Erlich in the men’s doubles first round even as Mahesh Bhupathi and Daniela Hantuchova bowed out of the mixed doubles event.

Fourth seeds Paes and Stepanek won the match, stretched to second day after being suspended due to rain, with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-7 (1-7), 6-4 win.

However, it was not a good day in office for Bhupathi and his Slovakian partner Hantuchova as they suffered a first round defeat in the mixed doubles. The Indo-Slovakian pair lost 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 4-6 to Mark Knowles of Bahamas and Sabine Lisicki of Germany.

Results (prefix denotes seeding): Men’s singles: Third round: 2-Andy Murray (Gbr) bt 32-Tommy Robredo (Esp) 6-2, 6-4, 7-5; 24-Jerzy Janowicz (Pol) bt 15-Nicolas Almagro (Esp) 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 6-4; Jurgen Melzer (Aut) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (Ukr) 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Second round: 4-David Ferrer (Esp) bt Roberto Bautista (Esp) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5; 13-Tommy Haas (Ger) bt Jimmy Wang (Twn) 6-3, 6-2, 7-5; 28-Jeremy Chardy (Fra) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (Ger) 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4); 26-Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukr) bt Santiago Giraldo (Col) 6-4, 7-5, 6-3; Grega Zemlja (Slv) bt 29-Grigor Dimitrov (Bul) 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-4, 11-9.

Women’s singles: Third round: 15-Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt Camila Giorgi (Ita) 6-4, 7-5; 19-Carla Suarez Navarro (Esp) bt Eugenie Bouchard (Can) 7-5, 6-2; Flavia Pennetta (Ita) bt 29-Alize Cornet (Fra) 0-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2; 20-Kirsten Flipkens (Bel) bt Vesna Dolonc (Srb) 6-4, 6-2.

Second round: Alison Riske (US) bt Urszula Radwanska (Pol) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Kaia Kanepi (Est) bt 7-Angelique Kerber (Ger) 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3; Laura Robson (Gbr) bt Mariana Duque (Col) 6-4, 6-1.