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Rediff.com  » Sports » Rusedski slumps out of Slam

Rusedski slumps out of Slam

June 26, 2003 12:09 IST
Britain's Greg Rusedski turned the Wimbledon air blue on Wednesday with a furious outburst of foul language during his 7-6, 7-6, 7-5 loss to Andy Roddick.

The Briton's outrage after the umpire had failed to replay a point when a fan in the crowd made a line call, was broadcast live to millions of viewers watching the second round match on the BBC.

It is likely to cost him the maximum $10,000 fine when Grand Slam supervisors review the situation on Thursday.

Rusedski was contrite afterwards. "I apologise for my language. It is not what was necessary.

"I am disappointed with myself. Sometimes you just want something too much... I apologise for what I did."

The BBC agreed, also apologising to viewers for the language picked up live by courtside microphones.

While not quite a turning point in the match -- Rusedski was two sets down when he let rip at Swedish umpire Lars Graff -- the incident left a stain on a match that failed to live up to its billing.

"He got pretty upset ... I think a fan made a call from the stands and that's pretty unfortunate for him," Roddick said.

"I've had calls like that and I definitely know how he feels."

PRETTY EXPLOSIVE

The flashpoint came after Graff had refused to replay a point when the fan called the line with Rusedski leading the third set 5-2.

Two games later, with the Briton's lead cut to 5-4, Rusedski let rip.

The match was pretty explosive in every sense of the word, the pair thudding violent aces into the backdrop throughout.

Roddick and Rusedski share the world's fastest serve of 149 miles (239.8 km) per hour and, while neither came close to hitting the first 150 miles (241.4 km) per hour delivery, they played out a bruising battle.

"A straight sets victory doesn't do justice to that match," Roddick said.

Rusedski was joined at the exit by a tearful women's ninth seed Daniela Hantuchova. The frustrated Slovak, in the headlines all week for her weight loss and slight frame, lost an energy-sapping match to Shinobu Asagoe 6-0, 4-6, 10-12.

"I have been in this situation before and I didn't handle it well," Hantuchova said. "It was very frustrating for me ... it is hard when a tournament means a lot you."

Earlier, stylish Roger Federer drew on a wealth of flair and elan to slice deeper into the Wimbledon draw.

The Swiss fourth seed's 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 second round win over his good friend Stefan Koubek was the product of clever shot-making, almost from a bygone era, coupled with 21st Century brawn.

VIRTUOSO PERFORMANCE

It was quite simply a virtuoso performance befitting the revered Wimbledon Centre Court.

"That's maybe the best court on this planet, you know? It's very special to go out there, especially with a friend," Federer said.

Venus Williams lit up that same arena with a graceful performance on a blustery day in southwest London.

Elegant in a close-fitting white dress laced at the back, the twice Wimbledon champion started slowly before accelerating past Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik into the third round with a 6-4 6-1 victory.

Long-limbed and lissom, the fourth seed and runner-up to sister Serena here last year looked completely at home on the sport's biggest stage.

"I just did everything I could," the American said. "I am definitely feeling good about my game. That's enough for me.

"I know I have the ability to win any place I play," she said. "I just have to go out and play better than the other player on every day. I am just doing everything I can to do good, to look good every day ... anything it takes."

She was joined by second seed Kim Clijsters, who beat Virginie Razzano 6-1 6-3.

GREEN LAWNS

Less comfortable on the All England Club's lush green lawns is Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten, and the three-times French Open champion slithered out 6-7, 4-6, 4-6 to Todd Martin.

Casting off his underachievers' reputation with each victory -- Federer has lost in the first round here three of his four previous visits -- the Swiss put on a fine performance for tennis purists.

"It was great to be out there, especially with a good friend," he said. "My serve was good. Everything felt good today, good returning. I really feel like I am playing well, you know?"

That fact will not have been missed by the rest of the top of the field, but Federer is remaining level-headed.

"I know I am the highest seed left in the top half of the draw after Lleyton Hewitt lost but I don't see myself straight in the final."

Next up for the stylish Swiss is 45th-ranked Mardy Fish.

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