Youzhny sets up Murray clash; Tomic sparkles

Tennis Wimbledon: Djokovic, Robson in pre-quarterfinals

Youzhny sets up Murray clash; Tomic sparkles

Russian Mikhail Youzhny loomed on Andy Murray’s horizon and Australian Bernard Tomic hurtled back on to the Grand Slam radar as an unpredictable Wimbledon neared its halfway point on Saturday.

Youzhny, the 20th seed, beat Viktor Troicki in straight sets to reach the last 16 while bad-boy Tomic continued his impressive form to knock out French ninth seed Richard Gasquet.

Tipped as his country’s next big thing the 20-year-old Tomic has instead gained a reputation as a sports car-driving playboy and was left out of Australia’s Davis Cup team last year for what officials considered a lack of effort.

A quarterfinalist here in 2011, Tomic had lost his last 11 matches against top-10 opponents but produced a display of maturity and skill to win 7-6 (9-7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).

Like a ruthless emperor dismissing an underling, top seed Novak Djokovic ended a highly satisfactory first week by brushing aside Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to continue his serene progress.

In the others, Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, Poland’s Lukasz Kubot and Frenchman Kenny De Schepper also reached the last 16.

Yet another injury blighted the tournament with Dutchman Igor Sijsling’s retirement from his third round match with Croatia’s Ivan Dodig taking the tally of withdrawals to 13 -- already equalling the previous worst toll in 2008.

With the hype beginning to boil as he tries to go one better than last year and become Britain’s first male Wimbledon champion for 77 years, the World No 2 Murray would have enjoyed seeing Laura Robson win to keep him company in the second week.

The unseeded 19-year-old rallied from the brink of defeat against New Zealander Marina Erakovic to win 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, sparking wild celebrations on Court Two and on the slope known as Henman Hill where thousands watched on a huge screen.

There was disappointment, though, for a legion of Japanese fans watching 12th seed Kei Nishikori as he went down in five sets to Italian Andreas Seppi after twice being in front.

Number 23 seed Seppi has now prevailed in his last seven five-set matches.
Former women’s champion Petra Kvitova avoided becoming yet another high seed to perish as she completed a third round victory against Ekaterina Makarova over two days.

American Sloane Stephens moved away from the abyss against lowly-ranked Czech Petra Cetkovska to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time where she will face another last-16 debutant in Puerto Rican Monica Puig.

Another American tipped for a bright future, teenager Madison Keys, was also seeking a last 16 berth but lost out in three sets to Poland’s fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Indians shine

Indian players enjoyed a fine outing with the seasoned trio of Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna winning their respective men’s doubles matches to progress into the third round.

Fourth seeds Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek sailed past Britain’s Jamie Delgado and Australia’s Matthew Ebden 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

Eight seeded Indo-Austrian pair of Bhupathi and Julian Knowle got the better off Nicholas Monroe of the US and German Simon Stadler 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 while Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin fought hard before prevailing over Daniel Brands and Lukas Rosol 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (8-10), 6-4.

In the second round of ladies’ doubles, India’s Sania Mirza and Liezel Huber of United States defeated Flavia Pennetta and Andrea Petkovic 7-6, 6-3, 6-2.

third round results (prefix denotes seeding)

Men’s singles: 1-Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt 28-Jeremy Chardy (Fra) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2; 13-Tommy Haas (Ger) bt Feliciano Lopez (Esp) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4; 8-Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg) bt Grega Zemlja (Slv) 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0; 7-Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt 27-Kevin Anderson (SA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5; Bernard Tomic (Aus) bt 9-Richard Gasquet (Fra) 7-6 (9-7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5); Ivan Dodig (Cro) bt Igor Sijsling (Net) 6-0, 6-1, 1-0 (retd); 23-Andreas Seppi (Ita) bt 12-Kei Nishikori (Jpn) 3-6, 6-2, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1, 6-4; Kenny De Schepper (Fra) bt 22-Juan Monaco (Arg) 6-4, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4; 20-Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) bt Viktor Troicki (Srb) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5; Lukasz Kubot (Pol) bt 25-Benoit Paire (Fra) 6-1, 6-3, 6-4; Fernando Verdasco (Esp) bt Ernests Gulbis (Lat) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

Women’s singles: 6-Li Na (Chn) bt 32-Klara Zakopalova (Cze) 4-6, 6-0, 8-6; 23-Sabine Lisicki (Ger) bt 14-Samantha Stosur (Aus) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1; Kaia Kanepi (Est) bt Alison Riske (US) 6-2, 6-3; 4-Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) bt Madison Keys (US) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3; Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) bt Petra Martic (Cro) 6-1, 4-6, 6-2; Laura Robson (GB) bt Marina Erakovic (NZ) 1-6, 7-5, 6-3; Monica Puig (PR) bt Eva Birnerova (Cze) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; 11-Roberta Vinci (Ita) bt 18-Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) 6-1, 6-4; 17-Sloa-ne Stephens (US) bt Petra Cetkovska (Cze) 7-6 (7-3), 0-6, 6-4; 8-Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt 25-Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

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