Fans toasted the home favourite as he arrived on Court One for
his second round match and were then royally entertained as Murray
rolled over Rola 6-1 6-1 6-0 for his 15th win in a row at the All
England Club since his defeat by Roger Federer in the 2012 final -
and the easiest.
Last year's beaten finalist Novak Djokovic will be desperate to
quell the latest outbreak of Murray mania should they meet in the
semis next week, but on Wednesday the Serbian top seed was simply
happy to squeeze past Czech veteran Radek Stepanek.
Djokovic was in control against the wily 35-year-old for two sets,
but his unorthodox opponent dipped into his bag of tricks to snatch
the third on a tiebreak and came within a whisker of dragging the
2011 champion into a nervy decider.
No wonder Djokovic, who showed remarkable sportsmanship by conceding
a crucial point in the fourth set, looked a relieved man as he
walked off with a 6-4 6-3 6-7(5) 7-6(5) victory.
"On the one hand it was fun to be part of, but on the other I should
not have complicated my life," Djokovic said.
A year after the mayhem that saw seeds stumble and fall in all
directions on what became known as Wipeout Wednesday, it proved a
less dramatic third day this time, despite the best efforts of
But there were still plenty of upsets.
Spain's David Ferrer, seeded seven, watched 77 winners fly off
rising Russian Andrey Kuznetsov's racket as he lost a five-setter
that marked his earliest grand slam exit since 2010.
Women's eighth seed and former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka still
looked rusty after a long injury lay-off and was knocked out by
Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski.
SHRIEKS AND GROANS
A match full of shrieks, groans and grunts from two of the noisiest
players on the women's tour seemed to have swung Azarenka's way when
she levelled after a slow start, but she then slipped to a 6-3 3-6
Another to perish was 12th seed Ernests Gulbis, whose hopes of
making an impact similar to his semi-final run at Roland Garros,
ended in a 6-4 6-3 7-6(5) defeat by Sergiy Stakhovsky, the Ukrainian
who played seven-time champion Roger Federer off the court at the
same stage last year.
When Murray lost to Stepanek at nearby Queen's Club a fortnight ago
it caused some furrowed brows among his followers, but Rola, playing
only his fourth grasscourt match, never looked capable of troubling
In total control, Murray pummelled away backhands, produced delicate
lobs and those grass-hugging slices that have driven far better
opponents than Rola to distraction.
Former U.S. college student Rola, playing against a top-20 player
for the first time, had the temerity to earn a break point in each
of the first two sets. Both times Murray responded with a booming
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"When you are in a position to win a match like that, you have to
try and do it as quickly as possible, because all of the players in
this tournament are good players," Murray, whose next opponent is
Spanish 27th seed Roberto Bautista Agut, told reporters.
Lurking in Murray's quarter is 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov, a
Bulgarian who has also yet to drop a set after his confident 6-3 6-2
6-4 defeat of Australian upstart Luke Saville put him in the
Wimbledon third round for the first time.
Tomas Berdych was made to work far harder against Saville's more
established compatriot Bernard Tomic, the Czech prevailing in four
sets, as he did when the pair met in the round of 16 last year, 4-6
7-6(5) 7-6(3) 6-1.
The sixth seed's reward is another tough match-up in the third
round; this time against Croatian Marin Cilic.
American Five-time champion Venus Williams moved on serenely,
reaching the third round of a major for the first time in 18 months
by beating Japan's Kurumi Nara 7-6(4) 6-1.
Illness and injuries have robbed hers of some of her powers in
recent years, but the 30th seed is determined to keep her sister,
world No.1 Serena, company in the singles.
"I guess I haven't held up my end of the bargain," the 34-year-old,
who missed last year's tournament and exited in the first round in
2012, said of her struggles. "I tried. I just haven't had the luck
She will face 2011 champion Petra Kvitova next after the powerful
Czech hurried past Germany's Mona Barthel 6-2 6-0.
Other women's seeds flourished, with world No.2 Li Na untroubled by
Austria's Yvonne Meusburger and 2012 runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska,
seeded four, posting an easy win against Australia's Casey
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar and David Goodman)
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