Pe’er, Sela suffer early exits in London

Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich record a dramatic comeback in Wimbledon, save multiple match points in the fourth set.

Arantxa Rus 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Arantxa Rus 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The suspension of Shahar Pe’er and Dudi Sela’s matches on Tuesday only postponed the inevitable as they crashed out of Wimbledon a day later, while Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich recorded a dramatic comeback.
Any chance Pe’er may have had of tying her match against Jolie Goerges was effectively over once she got broken in the first game of the day, giving the German a 6-2, 3-1 lead.
The No. 22 seed cruised after that, wrapping up the win in 56 minutes played over two days.
The 25-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 50, has now gone 12 tournaments without progressing past a second round, failing to win two matches in a Grand Slam event since last year’s Australian Open.
Sela (108) stayed around a little longer than Pe’er, but only because rain suspended his match for a second time.
Ivo Karlovic (59) eventually completed a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (5) win, handing Sela his third straight defeat in the first round of a Grand Slam.
There was at least some encouraging news for the Israeli camp on Wednesday, with Ram and Erlich coming back from a set down to claim a 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (6), 9-7 win over Treat Conrad Huey and Dominic Inglot in a match which began on Monday.
Ram and Erlich saved multiple match points in the fourth set, coming back from 0-40 down in the 12th game to send the set into a tiebreak.
The Israeli duo, which was handed an Olympic berth on Tuesday, was living dangerously in the 13th game of the decisive set, but staved off break points and clinched the win with a break.
Next up for the Israelis could be an especially tough second round match against No. 4 seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek, who face Alejandro Falla and Santiago Giraldo in their first round encounter.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Prince Charles made a rare, if fleeting, visit to Wimbledon on Wednesday but stayed just long enough to watch Roger Federer produce another regal performance on Center Court to move serenely into the third round.
Swiss Federer, bidding for a record-equaling seventh men’s singles title at the All England Club, outclassed Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, displaying his full repertoire of shots in front of an appreciative Royal Box.
Samantha Stosur became the highest seed to fall at the championships when the Australian was bundled out in the second round by Dutch player Arantxa Rus.
The fifth seed, the only player from the former tennis power house to reach the second round, lost 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 in a wildly fluctuating match on Court One.
Seventh seed Caroline Wozniacki was also sent packing, losing 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 to Austrian Tamira Paszek in a disrupted first-round clash.
It was the first time Wozniacki, who has never won a Grand Slam title despite getting to the top of the rankings, had lost in the first round at Wimbledon.
Home fans who braved the early-morning queues snaking across the golf course opposite the grounds, were treated to early British cheer when Heather Watson reached the third round of the women’s singles by beating American Jamie Lee Hampton.
Federer bowed to the heir to the throne before his match and Charles and his wife Camilla gave the 30-year-old maestro a standing ovation after he thrashed Fognini.
“We are thrilled for the tennis family that they came to watch today,” Federer said after a victory that resembled a royal procession.
The languid Fognini played more of a part in proceedings in the second and third sets but his body language was that of a man just making up the numbers as Federer treated the crowd in a match that flashed by in 74 minutes.
“I didn’t think it was that easy a match,” Federer said. “I really tried to focus hard and made sure I played sort of a clean match, which I was able to do again today.”
Federer, who last won the title in 2009, will face either Michael Russell or Julien Benneteau in the third round.
Several first-round matches had to be completed on Wednesday after rain and bad light ended play early the previous evening.
Spain’s seventh seed David Ferrer finished off Germany’s Dustin Brown 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 but 25th seed Stanislas Wawrinka lost a five-set cliffhanger to Jurgen Melzer.
Reuters contributed to this report