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Djokovic, Murray roll; Tsonga outlasts Raonic at London Games

Tue 31st, July 2012

Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Former Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and this year's Wimbledon runner-up Andy Murray were a pair of easy second-round winners, while France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed a 48-game third set Tuesday to get past Canadian Milos Raonic at the London Olympics tennis event.

In a matchup of former world No. 1s, a second-seeded Djokovic dismantled previously-hot American Andy Roddick 6-2, 6-1 under the roof on Centre Court at the All England Club, where rain fell on Day 4. The 25-year-old Serbian star fired 13 aces among 33 winners and tallied a mere six unforced errors in advancing in what Djokovic called a "perfect match" for him.

The reigning Australian and U.S. Open champion went 4-for-4 on his break-point chances in the comprehensive victory over Roddick, who had won 12 of his previous 13 matches, including a grass-court title in Eastbourne and a hardcourt victory in Atlanta.

Roddick is a three-time Wimbledon runner-up to the great Roger Federer.

Djokovic, who was an Olympic bronze medalist in Beijing four years ago, will meet another fellow No. 1, Lleyton Hewitt, in the third round. The former Wimbledon champ Hewitt, of Australia, upended 13th-seeded Croat Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-5.

Meanwhile, the third-seeded British crowd favorite Murray handled Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court. The world No. 4 Murray lost to the Swiss icon Federer in the Wimbledon finale here earlier this month.

The fifth-seeded Tsonga and Raonic set an Olympic tennis record by playing in the longest-ever set and match at the Games, as the Frenchman finally prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in 3 hours, 57 minutes on Court 1.

Tsonga-Raonic topped the previous Olympic record, which took place in a women's doubles match at the 1988 Seoul Games, when Canadians Carling Basset- Seguso and Jill Hetherington beat Argentines Mercedes Paz and Gabriela Sabatini in three sets, including a 20-18 third.

The powerful Tsonga struck 17 aces among 60 winners, while Raonic hit seven aces among 76 winners. The Frenchman converted two of his five break-point opportunities, while Raonic could only convert 1-of-8.

The match was suspended because of rain at 1:23 p.m. local time, with Tsonga leading 2-1, on serve, in the third set. The bout resumed at 4:03 p.m., with the deciding set lasting exactly three hours.

Raonic saved one match point at 15-16, 30-40. And at 20-21, he fell behind love-30 and was forced to save another match point en route to leveling the stanza.

At 23-24, the Canadian fell behind love-40. Raonic saved another match point with an unreturnable serve, but on the next point he was unable to catch up with a Tsonga drop volley.

Up next for the former Aussie Open runner-up Tsonga will be Spanish southpaw Feliciano Lopez, who knocked out ninth-seeded Argentine Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-4.

Fourth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer advanced without any drama, as he cruised past Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-2, 6-2.

Another former Australian Open runner-up, Marcos Baghdatis, upset 16th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4, as the Cypriot Baghdatis will battle Murray in his next outing.

Another second-round result saw 15th-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori overcome fading former top-five Russian Nikolay Davydenko 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Nishikori should have his hands full with the gritty Ferrer in his next affair.

The current world No. 1 Federer will play his third-round match against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin on Wednesday. The super Swiss captured a men's- record-tying seventh Wimbledon title at the All England Club four weeks ago.

Federer needs an Olympic gold medal to complete a career "Golden Slam."

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