LONDON – Dudi Sela’s 16- match winning streak came to an end in the second round
of Wimbledon on Wednesday night after he suffered a 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-5 defeat to
No. 15 seed Gilles Simon.
The 26-year-old Israeli was confident he could
get the better of the Frenchman after coming through his first round match in
However, Sela never really found his rhythm on Wednesday,
and after claiming three straight Challenger events and winning just his second
Grand Slam match in nearly two years to reach the second round, he crashed out
to Simon for his first defeat since April.
Despite the loss, Sela (84 in
the world) will leave Wimbledon in a buoyant mood considering he was ranked as
low as No. 147 less than two months ago.
His recent winning run has given
him a promising platform for the rest of the year and he will be feeling
confident ahead of the upcoming hard court season.
Sela recorded the
first break of serve in the match in the fifth game, winning eight points in a
row at one stage.
However, Simon broke straight back and Sela saved three
set points in the 12th game to force a tiebreak.
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But the breaker was
dominated by the Frenchman and Sela shouted in frustration as he made his way
back to his chair.
The Israeli took an early lead in the second set as
well (2-0), but once more he was broken back immediately and another break by
Simon in the seventh game was all he needed to take the set.
broken in the first game of the third set, Sela denied Simon serving out the
match in the 10th game, but could not hold his own serve in the subsequent game
and dropped to a disappointing defeat.
In other action, it was Venus’s
turn to supply the unique Williams family drama at Wimbledon on Wednesday as she
survived a gripping three-set battle with 40-year-old Japanese Kimiko
A day after her younger sister Serena broke down in tears
after beating Aravane Rezai in three sets, 23rd seed Venus was made to sweat
buckets under the roof for a 6-7, 6-3, 8-6 win that lasted just under three
Date-Krumm, who on Monday became the second-oldest player to win a
singles match at the championships, stood toeto- toe with the American in a
spellbinding duel that ebbed and flowed in front of a packed stadium.
the men’s side, Rafael Nadal had his fans drooling with another muscle-bulging
display of brilliance to crush Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 and stay firmly on
course to defend his All-England title.
Home hope Andy Murray also
reached the third round with a routine 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 win over German Tobias
The fourth seed continued the fluent form which brought him the
Queen’s title this month, serving solidly and denying his opponent many chances
Murray, bidding to become the first British men’s singles
champion at Wimbledon for 75 years, broke serve to lead 6- 5 in the third set
and he sealed victory with a service winner on his first match
With rain in the air and the roof closed, wolf whistles echoed
around Centre Court when the Spaniard changed his shirt and gasps of awe met his
most effortless winners in a one-sided second-round match.
Action was in
short supply elsewhere with rain delaying play on the other courts but Williams
and Date-Krumm provided a whole day’s worth of it in a scrap that was an early
contender for match of the tournament.
“I thought she played unbelievable
today,” Williams, who returned from a five-month injury layoff at Eastbourne
last week, told reporters.
“I thought she had some luck on her side, too,
with net cords, balls hitting lines. I just thought today was a perfect storm
for her to try to get a win.
“Thankfully I had some
Date-Krumm made her Wimbledon debut in 1989 when the Williams
sisters were still bashing balls about on park courts in Compton and a Centre
Court roof was still a pipe dream.
You have to scroll back to 1996 for
her best performance here when she lost to Steffi Graf in the semi-finals before
taking a 12-year break from tennis.
Monday’s win over Britain Katie
O’Brien was actually her first Wimbledon singles victory for 14 years and she
came desperately close to another as she pushed five-time champion Williams to
After breaking the slow-starting American’s first three
service games for a 5-1 lead, she let the advantage slip and was wasteful again
when a 6-2 lead in the tiebreak leaked away.
She eventually clinched the
tiebreak 8-6 but Williams upped her game to level the match before moving 2-0 up
in the decider.
Date-Krumm continued hitting the ball unerringly flat and
close to the lines to work her way back to 2-2 and she stayed with the American
until the death.
Finally, serving at 6-7 Date- Krumm buckled and her fate
was sealed when a backhand narrowly missed the line.
Last year’s men’s
runner-up Tomas Berdych wasted no time when he finally got on court, the sixth
seed cruising past Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 and 10th seeded
American Mardy Fish also progressed with a 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Denis Istomin
In late action, second-seeded Vera Zvonareva took care of
fellow Russian Elena Vesnina 6-1, 7-6(5) and eight-seeded American Andy Roddick
was up two sets on Victor Hanescu as of press time.Reuters contributed
to this report
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