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Azarenka bites dust; Murray wins in style

Bojana Jovanovski after her victory over Victoria Azarenka, on Wednesday. (Getty Images)

London: Andy Murray gave Slovenian Blaz Rola a painful lesson in what it takes to be a Grand Slam winner, when he blasted him out of Wimbledon’s second round 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 here on Wednesday.

While the British No.1 was winning Wimbledon last year, Rola was winding up a successful college tennis career for Ohio State University. The contrast in quality was stark.

Some of the biggest cheers on an otherwise partisan Court One were reserved for Rola’s two winning games, the crowd willing him to avoid further embarrassment.

But Murray, blasting winners from both sides of the court, put the 23-year-old firmly in his place.

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka lost 3-6, 6-3, 5-7 to Bojana Jovanovski in a second-round match.

Eighth seed Azarenka had more winners - 46 to 27 - than Jovanovski and also more total points - 104 to 101 - but wasn't able to take advantage of her break-point opportunities.

A two-time semi-finalist at Wimbledon, Azarenka converted only three of 16 chances, while the Serbian player was good on four of her seven opportunities.

Novak Djokovic showed that Wimbledon was no place for a 35-year-old warrior as he beat battle-scarred Czech Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5) in a hugely entertaining contest to reach the third round.

Bidding to become the oldest man to reach the third round at the All England Club since 2007, Stepanek tried practically every shot known to mankind, and then some, as he tried to topple the top seed.

Second seed Li Na proved too powerful for Austrian Yvonne Meusburger as she eased into the third round of the ladies singles with a 6-2, 6-2 win.

Australian Open champion Li arrived at the All-England Club on the back of a dismal clay court season, concluding with a first-round exit at last month’s French Open, her worst display at a Grand Slam for three years.

The Chinese world No. 2, struggled in her first match against qualifier Paula Kania, but showed signs of a return to form against Meusburger, dictating play from the baseline with a range of powerful groundstrokes that have become her trademark.

Divij Sharan and Yen-Hsun Lu blew away a fabulous start while Purav Raja and Marcelo Demoliner went down fighting to crash out of the men’s doubles.

Left-handed Indian Divij and his Chinese Taipei partner Lu squandered a comfortable two-set lead to lose 6-2, 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 2-6 to Briton Jamie Delgado and Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in the first round, which lasted two hours and 29 minutes.

India’s Raja and his Brazilian partner Demoliner lost to 15 th seeds Juan-Sebastian Cabal (Colombia) and Marcin Matkowski (Poland) 2-6, 4-6, 4-6.

Divij and Lu were cruising, being two set up and leading 4-2 in the third, but dropped serve in the seventh game to allow Delgado and Muller to make it 5-5.

Delgado and Muller then opened up a comfortable 3-0 lead in the tie-breaker, won it, and forced a fourth set.

Divij and Lu woke up to the fightback put up by their rivals and got an early break to be in advantageous position, but Delgado and Muller broke back to make it on serve.

The Indo-Taipei pair found themselves trailing 3-5 after losing serve in the eighth game and surrendered the set as the contest stretched to fifth set.

In an ominous start to the decisive set, Divij lost his serve in the third game to hand a mini opening to the rivals, who consolidated the lead with a solid hold in the next.

Delgado and Muller tightened the grip on the match with another break of serve and sealed it easily in the end.

Fourth seeds Sania Mirza and Cara Black advanced to the second round, defeating Martina Hingis and Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-4.

French Open semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis became the highest ranked man to lose so far when the 12th seed went down to Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5).

The colourful Gulbis then denied he had lost all of his $500,000 winnings from the French Open in a Riga casino.

“I went to play blackjack, but there was no word how much I won or how much I lost. They (reporters) asked me how much I lost. I said, A lot. I was joking,” he said. (Reuters)