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Page last updated at 18:24 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 19:24 UK

Becker sends Davydenko crashing

Wimbledon: Monday 23 June to Sunday 6 July
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Nikolay Davydenko
Davydenko has only once been past the second round in seven attempts

Nikolay Davydenko's miserable Wimbledon record continued on Tuesday when the fourth seed was stunned in straight sets by Germany's Benjamin Becker.

Davydenko, who reached the last 16 in 2007, has now fallen at the first hurdle in five of his seven visits to the All England Club.

Becker converted four of his five break points to seal a fine 6-4 6-4 6-4 win.

Two-time finalist Andy Roddick, seeded six, brushed aside the Argentine Eduardo Schwank 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7/0).

Davydenko will depart SW19 having been completely outplayed by Becker, who had been a first-round loser in each of his previous six Grand Slam tournaments.

"He played good but I played really bad," said Davydenko, who is at the centre of match-fixing allegations that followed his defeat by Martin Vassallo at the Sopot Open last August.

The 27-year-old is confident he will be cleared when the ATP announces the findings of its investigation.

"This has been a bad dream, not for one day but for months," he said. "Nobody can prove anything. My lawyer has been waiting one year but there is no proof.

"I'm confident the ATP will find no proof. I've already played one year. If they decided to investigate for another year, I'll still be playing."

Becker, 27, was broken by Davydenko once but sent down 10 aces to help set up a match with Arnaud Clement after the Frenchman beat Jonas Bjorkman 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Doubles specialist Bjorkman, 36, has announced he will retire at the end of the season after 17 years on the ATP Tour.

Richard Gasquet
I have great memories from this tournament, I love to play in London and I'm ready

Richard Gasquet

"I've been reflecting on my professional career and I have decided that this will be my last Wimbledon," said the Swede, who has won nine Grand Slam doubles titles and reached the Wimbledon singles semi-final in 2006.

"I have been blessed with a long and successful career and I look forward to another great experience here at Wimbledon, for my last time as a competitor.

"At the age of 36 I now feel it is time to begin the next chapter of my life, being at home with my family and pursuing other interests."

Another big name to fall was number 26 seed Ivan Ljubicic.

Ljubicic fought back from losing the first two sets against Jurgen Melzer, only to succumb to the unseeded German in the fifth.

Roddick, meanwhile, fired 17 aces and did not face a single break point during a convincing display against Schwank.

Although the 25-year-old converted only two of 12 break-point chances, he proved unstoppable in the third set tie-break and now does battle with Janko Tipsarevic.

"First round matches are always a little uncomfortable at any grand slam," said Roddick, who is joined in the second round by ninth seed James Blake after he beat Christophe Rochus 3-6 6-3 6-1 6-4.

Eighth seed Richard Gasquet beat Mardy Fish 6-3 6-4 6-2, offering a performance that will go some way to dismiss concerns over his form and fitness.

Gasquet, a semi-finalist in 2007, missed the French Open with a knee injury but looked comfortable against Fish and faces fellow-Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean for a place in round three.

"I played pretty well, it was a good match for me because Mardy is a great player and it was really difficult to play against him," he told BBC Sport.

"I was really disappointed when I was drawn against him in the first round but I played my best match this year.

"I have great memories from this tournament, I love to play in London and I'm ready. I'm fit and I really want to play well."


The unseeded Grosjean enjoyed a similarly comfortable passage, cruising to a 6-2 7-5 6-1 victory over Italy's Potito Starace.

Paul-Henri Mathieu, seeded 14, recovered from an uncharacteristically sluggish first set to drop just four games in the subsequent three to overcome Oscar Hernandez 3-6 6-2 6-0 6-2, while Gilles Simon sailed to a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win over Dawid Olejniczak.

In the battle of the Czechs, 16th seed Radek Stepanek ousted Jan Hernych 6-3 7-5 6-0 and the unseeded Serb Viktor Troicki awaits him in round two after he beat Nicolas Lapentti, who retired hurt.

British number one Andy Murray's French Open campaign was ended by Nicolas Almagro and the Argentine showed his talents extend beyond clay by dispensing of Marcel Granollers-Pujol in four sets.

Tommy Robredo has made only one previous appearance at SW19, which ended in a third-round defeat in 2003, but he generally seemed at ease during his 6-1 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 win against Kristof Vliegen of Belgium.

Finland's Jarkko Nieminen was the first man through on day two when the 24th seed benefited from Wayne Odesnik's retirement at 6-3 0-0.

Another seed to ease through his first-round match was number 27 Nicolas Kiefer, appearing at the All England Club for the 11th time.

The 30-year-old German beat Julien Benneteau 6-1 7-5 6-3 and will now play Argentina's Martin Vassallo Arguello, a five-set winner against Ivo Minar.

see also
Murray gets past tricky Santoro
24 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Briton Eaton continues progress
24 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Sharapova safely into round two
24 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day two photos
24 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Davydenko expects to be cleared
28 Mar 08 |  Tennis

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