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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wimbledon PHOTOS: Murray breezes; Divij-Lu, Raja-Demoliner exit

Wimbledon PHOTOS: Murray breezes; Divij-Lu, Raja-Demoliner exit

Last updated on: June 26, 2014 00:24 IST

Wimbledon PHOTOS: Murray breezes, Djokovic struggles

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Andy Murray gave Slovenian Blaz Rola a painful lesson in what it takes to be a Grand Slam winner as he blasted the former college champion out of Wimbledon's second round 6-1, 6-1, 6-0.

While the British No. 1 was winning Wimbledon last year, Rola was winding up a successful college tennis career for Ohio State University.

The contrast in quality was stark on Wednesday.

Some of the biggest cheers on an otherwise partisan Court One were reserved for Rola's two winning games, the crowd willing him to avoid further embarrassment.

But Murray, blasting winners from both sides of the court, put the 23-year-old firmly in his place to set up a third round clash with Czech Jan Hernych or Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.

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Image: Andy Murray of Britain hits a return to Blaz Rola of Slovenia during their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

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Djokovic survives Stepanek scare

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Novak Djokovic showed that Wimbledon was no place for a 35-year-old warrior as he beat battle-scarred Czech Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(5) in a hugely entertaining contest to reach the third round.

Bidding to become the oldest man to reach the third round at the All England Club since 2007, Stepanek tried practically every shot known to mankind, and then some, as he tried to topple the top seed.

His lunging forehands drew wild applause, his silky volleys had the purists purring and his crowd-pleasing shot-selection left fans hollering but all Stepanek had to show for his efforts was a bloodied right knee and the memories of a standing ovation.

By dousing the antics of a man who entertained Wimbledon for more than 3-1/4 hours, Djokovic set up a third round meeting with Frenchman Gilles Simon.

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Image: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates a point during his match against Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic
Photographs: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

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Li Na too good for Meusburger

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Second seed Li Na proved too powerful for Austrian Yvonne Meusburger as she eased into the Wimbledon third round with a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

Australian Open champion Li arrived at the All England Club on the back of a dismal clay court season, concluding with a first-round exit at last month's French Open, her worst display at a grand slam for three years.

The Chinese world No.2 struggled in her first match against qualifier Paula Kania, but showed signs of a return to form against Meusburger, dictating play from the baseline with a range of powerful ground strokes that have become her trademark.

Li broke the current world No.38 in the fifth game and went on to win the next four to take the first set and break again early in the second.

Meusburger battled back with a break of her own to level the set, only for two-time grand slam champion Li to reel off the last four games to secure her place in the third round.

The three-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist will next play either Czech Babora Zahlavova Strycova or 32nd seed Elena Vesnina.

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Image: Li Na celebrates after her victory
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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Queen's champ Dimitrov reaches maiden Wimbledon third round

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Queen's champion Grigor Dimitrov showed the value of extra grasscourt practice on Wednesday, when an assured 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Australian Luke Saville took him into Wimbledon's third round for the first time.

The 23-year-old Bulgarian, who blazed through the Wimbledon warm-up event two weeks ago, showed no Centre Court nerves in dispatching Saville, 20, like him a former junior champion at the All England Club.

After being knocked out in the second round in his last three appearances at Wimbledon, Dimitrov said he was delighted to move further into the tournament.

"I always wanted to do that. I wanted to do well on grass," he said.

"At the moment I'm trying to adapt to each player each day."

Dimitrov has risen through the rankings to 13th this year after winning titles in Acapulco and Bucharest as well as Queen's.

He won the boys' Wimbledon title in 2008 and qualifier Saville, the second youngest man in the draw and now ranked 236 in the world, followed him in 2011.

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Image: Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria plays a backhand shot during his singles second round match against Luke Saville of Australia
Photographs: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

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Venus rolls back years

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Veteran American Venus Williams, another player who thrives at the spiritual home of lawn tennis, if not in recent years because of illness and injury, battled into the third round with 7-6(4), 6-1 defeat of Japan's Kurumi Nara.

Williams, level with younger sister Serena on five Wimbledon singles titles, missed last year's tournament and exited in the first round in 2012 but the 30th seed hopes she can at least join her sibling in the second week this time.

Put through her paces by world No. 41 Nara in the first set, Venus dominated the second after the Japanese player took a medical time out and returned to play with a bandaged thigh.

The American, who rejected speculation that she was late on court because of a brush with Wimbledon's strict playing dress code, took the match in an hour and a half, pumping out seven aces and hitting 46 winners.

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Image: Venus Williams plays a forehand shot against Kurumi Nara of Japan
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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Divij-Lu, Raja-Demoliner pairs exit

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Divij Sharan and Yen-Hsun Lu blew away a fabulous start while Purav Raja and Marcelo Demoliner went down fighting in the men's doubles.

Left-handed Divij and his Chinese Taipei partner Lu squandered a comfortable two-set lead and lost 6-2, 6-2, 6-7(3), 3-6, 2-6 to Briton Jamie Delgado and Luxembourg's Gilles Muller in the first round match that lasted two hours and 29 minutes.

Raja and Demoliner suffered a 2-6, 4-6, 4-6 loss to the 15th seeded pair of Juan-Sebastian Cabal from Colombia and Marcin Matkowski from Poland.


Image: Purav Raja of India (right) and Marcelo Demoliner of Brazil during their doubles first round match against Juan-Sebastian Cabal of Colombia and Marcin Matkowski of Poland
Photographs: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

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