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Page last updated at 21:06 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 22:06 UK

Blake suffers surprise early exit

Date: 22 June - 5 July
Coverage: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD, Red Button, website streaming (UK only) and text commentary, 5 Live, 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC iPlayer
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James Blake

Highlights - Blake out after tie-break

American James Blake was the first men's seed to fall on the opening day at Wimbledon as Italian Andreas Seppi recorded a 7-5 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory.

Blake, seeded 17, was always on the back foot after unforced errors allowed the world number 50 to take charge.

Seppi pulled clear in the second set as the Queen's Club finalist failed to convert three break points.

And despite taking a five point lead in the third set tie-break Seppi rattled off seven straight points to win.

The Italian will now face Frenchman Marc Gicquel in the second round.

Blake, who was also eliminated in the first round at the French Open last month, admitted he was frustrated to be leaving Wimbledon so early.


"I still feel like I can play with anyone in the world, but it's just for some reason lately it has been very inconsistent," said Blake.

"I know I still have the ability. It's just frustrating, because it's happening at big tournaments where I'm having my not-so-good performances."

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Andrey Golubev on Court Two, although both players were given a standing ovation after a thoroughly entertaining game on the newly-built court.

The ninth seed won the match 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) after being forced into tie-breaks in both of the final two sets by Golubev, the world number 73 from Kazakhstan.

However, it was ultimately the Frenchman's superior serve which made the difference and pulled him through to the second round.

Robin Soderling, playing his first tournament since losing to Roger Federer in the French Open final two weeks ago, progressed to the second round despite making a nervous start.

Robin Soderling
Soderling was beaten in the French Open final by Roger Federer

The 13th-seeded Swede lost his first set to Luxembourg's Gilles Muller on a tie-break and made hard work of the second set before finally blowing his opponent aside to win 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-1 6-2.

On a day when the seeds were pushed hard seed 15, Spaniard Tommy Robredo, was no exception as he was worked hard by Luka Gregorc before overcoming the Slovenian 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 5-7 7-6 (7-3).

Big-serving Ivo Karlovic, seeded 22nd, defeated Lukas Lacko 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

Karlovic, the 6ft 10in Croatian who served a record 55 aces in his first-round defeat by Lleyton Hewitt at the French Open, smashed down another 32 throughout his first-round victory.

Karlovic's compatriot Marin Cilic, seeded 11th, eased past Alberto Martin 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Former semi-finalist Xavier Malisse was forced to qualify for the tournament after dropping to 170th in the world but his run was ended by the German 18th seed Rainer Schuettler, who triumphed 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 6-1.

Fans on Court 18 were treated to a thoroughly entertaining five-set epic as Slovakian Karol Beck beat 21st seed Feliciano Lopez in three hours 45 minutes.

Beck, who was only playing because Marcus Baghdatis had withdrawn from the tournament on Sunday with a knee injury, looked like he would be dispatched easily when Lopez took the first set 6-1.

However, Beck took the next two sets 7-5 6-3 before Lopez won the fourth 6-4 to force a decider.

A dramatic final set swung both ways before it finished 10-8 to the Slovakian ranked 143 in the world.

German Phillip Kohlschreiber had earlier recorded the first men's victory with a 7-6 6-1 6-4 win over Frenchman Florent Serra.

The 27th seed was taken to a tie-break in the first set which he won 7-3 before asserting his superiority in the following two sets.

There was better news for American fans as Mardy Fish progressed to the second round.

The 28th seed won the first two sets 6-3 6-2 and was 4-1 up in the third set when his Argentine opponent Sergio Roitman retired.

In the all Russian encounter on Court Five 29th seed Igor Andreev made it through a tight encounter with Evgeny Korolev 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Elsewhere, Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez beat Agustin Calleri of Argentina 6-2 6-3 6-2.

The tightest match of the day was on Court 13 where Spain's Nicolas Almagro beat Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-7 (3-7) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 8-6.

Former world number three Ivan Ljubicic withdrew from the tournament because of an ankle injury.

The 30-year-old Croatian's place was taken by Thailand's Danai Udomchoke, who will face American Sam Querrey in the first round.

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see also
Federer opens with easy victory
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Verdasco cruises past Brit Ward
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Battling Robson beaten on debut
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Serena powers into second round
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Sharapova battles past Kutuzova
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day one as it happened
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Wimbledon: Live map
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis

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