LONDON (AFP) –
Six-time winner Roger Federer and defending champion Novak Djokovic cruised into the Wimbledon third round as the women’s draw was blown wide open with the shock exits of three top seeds.
Federer enjoyed a trouble-free 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini in a regal performance witnessed by Britain’s Prince Charles, who was making his first visit to the All England Club in more than 40 years.
The third-seeded Swiss took just 74 minutes to defeat Fognini, who even received a quick lesson in bowing from Federer before walking onto Centre Court where Charles was watching with his wife Camilla from the royal box.
Federer, chasing Pete Sampras’s record of seven Wimbledon titles, fired 13 aces and 35 winners and has lost just nine games in his first two rounds.
“I’m very happy to have won and to be back on Centre Court. It’s great to have that feeling and to see Charles and Camilla up there is just great for tennis,” said Federer.
“We were told beforehand that they were coming and we were asked to bow. We said no problem.”
Federer, who has lost in the quarter-finals for two years running, next faces France’s Julien Benneteau for a place in the last 16.
World number one Djokovic defeated America’s Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 under the Centre Court roof in a match which finished just before 10:00pm (2100 GMT).
The Serb next tackles either Czech 28th seed Radek Stepanek or Benjamin Becker of Germany.
“It was more difficult than the scoreline suggests. It was a great match and I was in trouble in the second set,” said top seed Djokovic, who fought off six break points in the sixth game of the second set.
“But under the roof, the conditions were difficult and you had to adjust your movements.”
Women’s top seed Maria Sharapova was leading Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova when bad light halted play on Court One. The Russian was 7-6 (7/3), 3-1 in her second round match.
Sharapova had recovered from 5-2 down to take the first set in a tie-break.
The bottom half of the women’s draw opened up with fifth-seeded US Open champion Samantha Stosur and seventh-seeded Caroline Wozniacki both knocked out.
Stosur had not been past the third round in nine previous visits to the All England Club and that miserable sequence was extended with a 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 defeat against world number 72 Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands.
“This year I hated the grass a little bit less than in previous years,” said Stosur, whose defeat meant that there are no Australian men or women in the third round for the first time since 1939.
“I still love playing at Wimbledon, but obviously it hasn’t been my best tournament.”
Tamira Paszek saved two match points to send Wozniacki crashing out in the first round under the Centre Court roof.
The 21-year-old Austrian, fresh from claiming the grasscourt title in Eastbourne at the weekend, prevailed in a three hour, 12-minute marathon to win the first round clash 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
Also making a second round exit for the second successive year was Chinese 11th seed Li Na, the 2011 French Open winner, who slumped to a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.
But there were no problems for third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland who defeated Russia’s Elena Vesnina, the first-round conqueror of Venus Williams, 6-2, 6-1.
Radwanska next meets Heather Watson who ended Britain’s 10-year wait to have a woman in the third round by sweeping to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over America’s Jamie Hampton.
Four-time Grand Slam title winner Kim Clijsters, playing her last Wimbledon before retirement, eased into the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic.
Italy’s 10th seed Sara Errani, the French Open runner-up, needed just seven seconds to complete her 6-1, 6-3 first round win over American qualifier Coco Vandeweghe after the tie had been rained off Tuesday.
Errani had been on match point but on the resumption she didn’t have to hit a ball as her opponent handed her victory with a double fault.
Also making progress was former world number one Ana Ivanovic, the 14th seed from Serbia, who defeated Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, and German 15th seed Sabine Lisicki.
Last year’s semi-finalist Lisicki reached the third round, beating Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski 3-6, 6-2, 8-6.