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Rediff.com  » Sports » Federer ready to face 'Bozo', Clijsters and Henin roll on

Federer ready to face 'Bozo', Clijsters and Henin roll on

Last updated on: June 23, 2010 20:11 IST

On a day when fans at Wimbledon hope Roger Federer does not clown around again when he plays a challenger nicknamed 'Bozo', Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin wiped the smiles off their opponents in double quick time.

Henin waded her way through a sea of spectators on Wednesday before getting her first glimpse of the All England Club's sunken Court Two, which was unveiled 12 months ago when the former world number one was still savouring retired life.

Once on court, Henin appeared to notice none of the cries of 'Welcome back Justine' or 'We love you Justine' as she dispatched German Kristina Barrois 6-3, 7-5 to reach round three on another day of glorious sunshine in south west London.

Less than an hour later, Clijsters was also a step closer to setting up their much anticipated fourth-round showdown as she hurried past Croatian Karolina Sprem 6-3, 6-2.

Both have maintained an aura of calm during their outings at this year's Wimbledon, unlike six-times champion Federer who set pulses racing for almost four hours on Monday during one of the most astonishing first-round matches seen on a Grand Slam stage.

"Who can believe this? It's the biggest upset you'll ever see," exclaimed John McEnroe as the Swiss came within three points of defeat against little-known Colombian Alejandro Falla.

Luckily for Federer, he averted that danger and 48 hours after that narrowest of escapes, he will be up against Serbian qualifier Ilija Bozoljac.

The world number 152 better come prepared with some heavy armoury as Federer will undoubtedly be keen to prove that he is still the undisputed king of Wimbledon -- albeit in the unfamiliar surroundings for the Swiss on Court One.

Wimbledon officials bumped the 16-times Grand Slam champion off Centre Court for the first time since 2007, as if in punishment for his outrageous showing on Monday.

While Federer will be keen to make sure his exile lasts only one match, it set off alarm bells for one fan who flew non-stop for 12 hours to catch her hero in action.

"My god, my heart has not stopped racing over the past two days. First I thought Roger would lose on Monday I'd miss out on seeing him," American Autumn Bloom, from Sacramento, said as she gulped down a mouthful of strawberries and cream.

"Then my heart sank when I saw he was going to be on Court One today as I had Centre Court tickets. I really thought my trip was going to turn into a disaster but luckily I managed to swap my ticket with another fan on the way in here."

With Federer, his victim in the 2009 final Andy Roddick and five-times champion Venus Williams all in action on the two main showcourts later on Wednesday, people squeezed into the outside courts and climbed on walls to catch other players doing battle.

As they slapped on sunscreen with the mercury soaring towards 28 degrees Celsius, they watched Israeli 13th seed Shahar Peer being ousted 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 by Germany's Angelique Kerber.

Former finalist Marion Bartoli was spared a day out in the sun when she got a walkover after Croatia's Petra Martic pulled out.

Fears that their might be a drop in demand for ground passes on Day Three of the major because of Wimbledon's policy of not showing England's World Cup match against Slovenia on the big screen overlooking the grassy knoll of Henman Hill proved to be unfounded.

As soon as the gates were opened at 10:30 am local time, fans dashed around the grounds to claim their vantage points and were soon tucking into picnic lunches as they looked forward to another day of tennis.

Source:
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