Novak Djokovic celebrates his victory over Andy Roddick,
on Tuesday. (Getty Images)
London: Novak Djokovic barely broke sweat to dismiss former Grand Slam winner Andy Roddick 6-2, 6-1 in less than an hour on Tuesday as he continued his quest to better his Beijing bronze medal.
Wimbledon runner-up Andy Murray and three-time Olympic gold medallist Venus Williams also eased through their second round matches under the Centre Court roof.
Second seed Djokovic, already out of the doubles after he and Viktor Troicki lost their opening match to Sweden’s Johan Brunstrom and Robert Lindstedt, at one point won seven successive games against his American opponent.
“Today everything was working perfectly well and I was neutralising his serve by getting a lot of returns back in the court and serving a lot of aces,” said Djokovic.
Murray, who has played both his singles matches under the Centre Court roof due to rain, made light work of Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen to book his place in the last 16, winning 6-2, 6-4. He broke his opponent in the first game and again in the fifth to quickly take a 4-1 lead before wrapping up the set.
Third seed Murray will play Marcos Baghdatis, to whom he dropped a set in their third round meeting at Wimbledon, for a place in the quarter-finals after the Cypriot knocked out France's Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-4.
Venus Williams marched through her second round match against Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak with a 6-1, 6-3 win before stopping at the side of the court to swap Olympic Committee pins with two journalists from the Bahamas.
Maria Sharapova, another favourite for the gold medal, hit 10 aces to beat Laura Robson of Britain, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Sharapova, seeded No. 3, will next play No. 15 Sabine Lisicki of Germany.
In another match, the longest set in Olympic history was played when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Milos Raonic, 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in the second round at Wimbledon. The fifth-seeded Tsonga of France leaped and roared when he won his fourth match point with a drop volley. Raonic of Canada congratulated Tsonga with a smile. The previous record was 30 games, set in 2004 when Fernando Gonzalez defeated Taylor Dent 16-14 in the third set to win the bronze medal.
Moving to other events, Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte became the first 15-year-old Olympic swimming champion for 40 years as she powered to the 100m breaststroke gold medal on Monday.
Meilutyte held off American world champion Rebecca Soni to become the youngest winner of an Olympic swimming gold since Australian great Shane Gould enjoyed a triple triumph at the 1972 Munich Games. The blonde schoolgirl was emotional about her achievement and shed tears on the podium after her country’s national anthem was played to sustained applause from the crowd at the Aquatics Centre.
Meilutyte also became the first swimmer to win a gold medal for Lithuania, once part of the former Soviet Union.
“I put all my strength into that race. I still can’t believe it. I’m shocked, but in a good way. I started crying on the podium, that’s when it started to sink in. I can’t believe it. It’s too much for me. It was hard and difficult. But it means a lot to me and I’m so proud,” she said.
She surged clear off the starting blocks and led all the way to beat Soni in one minute 05.47 seconds, prevailing by just eight-hundredths of a second. Japan’s Satomi Suzuki was third.
Meilutyte, coached in Plymouth, south-west England, arrived at the Games with a best time of 1:07.20 and whittled it down by 1.73secs to become Olympic champion.
In men’s 200m freestyle, Yannick Agnel shredded a star-studded field to win the gold, one day after his sensational swim gave France the Olympic 4x100m freestyle title.
Agnel won France’s third swimming gold of the Games in 1min 43.14sec as Asian rivals Park Tae-Hwan of South
Korea and Sun Yang of China fought to a tie for silver behind him in 1:44.93 — 1.79sec adrift. “I looked at the clock twice to make sure it was correct,” Agnel said. “I was surprised by the time.”
To the delight of the British crowd, a century’s wait was finally over as the country’s gymnasts rewrite history books. A bronze medal in gymnastics had been a long time coming. The last time Britain’s men celebrated medal glory was at the Stockholm Games in 1912, when they also won bronze in artistic gymnastics.
On that occasion they were beaten to the silver medal by Hungary, while Italy carried off the gold.