Djokovic, Federer on course for semis clash; Serena wins, raises "sexism" issue
Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic and former No. 1 Roger Federer dispatched their respective assignments in straight sets to lead second round winners at All England Club Thursday. Djokovic routed South African Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, while Federer eliminated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.
Wimbledon, England, United Kingdom
June 23, 2011 11:44 pm EDT
Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic and former No. 1 Roger Federer dispatched their respective assignments in straight sets to lead second round winners at All England Club Thursday.
The second-seeded Djokovic toppled the towering Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, while the six-time Wimbledon champion Federer advanced into the third round following a clinical demolition of Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.
It marked the second straight victory for Serbian superstar Djokovic since his 43-match winning streak was snapped by Federer in the French Open semis.
Djokovic, bidding to wrest the No. 1 spot in the world rankings with his first-ever final appearance at Wimbledon, is seeded to face the Swiss maestro Federer in the semi-finals.
Up next for Djokovic will be former Wimbledon semifinalist Marcos Baghdatis (No. 32).
Federer, who owns a men's record 16 major titles, including six of the last eight here at Wimbledon, will renew his rivalry with 2002 All England Club finalist David Nalbandian (No. 28) in the third round. Nalbandian has taken eight of the 18 encounters on the ATP circuit against the Swiss great.
Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Robin Soderling battled back against unseeded former champion Lleyton Hewitt, who stunned the Swedish stalwart by taking the first two sets but slowly crumbled the rest of the match.
Soderling, who reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the first time last year but lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal, eliminated the 2002 champion Hewitt, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.
Also advancing Thursday were Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (12), No. 18 Mikhail Youzhny and No. 19 Michael Llodra.
On the women’s draw, unseeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany overwhelmed French Open champion Li Na with blistering serves that shattered the 120 mph barrier to advance into the third stage.
Lisicki unleashed back-to-back serves in the ninth game of the deciding set that registered 124 mph en route to a 3-6, 6-4, 8-6 triumph.
Defending champ Serena Williams, on the other hand, continues to grope for her potent form after a yearlong absence because of injuries and health issues, as she needed three sets to dispose of Romanian Simona Halep.
The winner of 13 Grand Slam singles titles Williams had to claw back using her renowned intensity and thundering shots after dropping the opening set to clinch a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win.
But the reignited intensity did not end on court as the American superstar raised the issue of sexism after her second-round match was relegated to Court Two.
Serena wondered after the game why she and older sister Venus, a five-time Wimbledon champion, have played once each on Court 2 at Wimbledon this year, instead of Center Court or Court 1.
According to the four-time champion Williams, the reigning men's champion Rafael Nadal and second seed Novak Djokovic would never be treated with the same lack of respect.
"They like to put us on Court 2, me and Venus, for whatever reason. I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe one day we'll figure it out," Serena told AFP.com.
"They (Nadal and Djokovic) are never moved across. Actually, Venus and I have won more Wimbledons together than a lot of the players or by ourselves in doubles even, she added.
"I don't make it a big issue, but I think at some point maybe I should."
Also advancing Thursday were sixth-seeded Francesca Schiavone, No. 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova and 18th-seeded and former No. 1-ranked Ana Ivanovic.
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