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Page last updated at 19:39 GMT, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 20:39 UK

Wimbledon 2010: Eighth seed Fernando Verdasco bows out

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
Live on BBC One and Two, HD, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary online and on mobile phones; watch again on BBC iPlayer Full details of BBC coverage

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Tsonga serves up 'hot dog' drop-shot

Eighth seed Fernando Verdasco is out of Wimbledon after losing to Italy's Fabio Fognini in the first round.

The Spaniard, who has reached the fourth round for the last two years, went down 7-6 (11-9) 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 6-4.

Fellow-countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 14th seed, also crashed out, beaten by Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-1.

But seeds Robin Soderling and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both booked their places in the second round.

Soderling, the sixth seed, thrashed America's Robby Ginepri 6-2 6-2 6-3 in his first match since losing the French Open final to Rafael Nadal.

Soderling's exploits at Roland Garros have seen him tagged as a lively outsider for Wimbledon, but the Swede, who has never been beyond the fourth round here, is not getting carried away.

"I played for so many years and so many matches so you never know what to expect, but if I play at this level I have a good chance to do well," he said.

"Winning matches against big players gives you confidence, so my confidence is good and if I can play like this I have a good chance to win a couple more matches."

Tsonga, the 10th seed from France, needed tie-breaks to win the first two sets before beating American Robert Kendrick 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-4.

The 25-year-old, forced to quit the French Open with a hip injury, broke serve just once as Kendrick fired down 28 aces, but he dominated at the net and sent the crowd into raptures with one incredible return between his legs.

Tsonga said afterwards: "He served unbelievable and I didn't return a lot, but enough to win this match. "I'm new on this surface, so maybe I can do something good at Wimbledon."

Verdasco's defeat, to a man ranked 90 in the world and with only two wins on grass, was the surprise of the day. The Spaniard needed treatment on blistered toes during the match but was troubled by Fognini's serve throughout.

Former world number one Ferrero took Malisse all the way and looked to have the edge when he broke in the first game of the final set. But the Belgian, who beat Greg Rusedski on the way to the 2002 semi-finals, came back to win the last five games of the match.

Queen's winner Sam Querrey also went through but James Blake was beaten.

Blake, the 30-year-old former world number four, was overpowered 6-2 6-4 6-4 by Dutchman Robin Haase.

Afterwards the American, who has only just returned from a knee injury, said he would consider his future in the sport.

james Blake
Blake has twice been a US Open quarter-finalist

"To be honest, it's almost embarrassing to go out and play a Grand Slam match like that," he said.

"Maybe it says to me that I came back too soon, or maybe I'm just too far away from where I think I need to be. The knee is not great. If it doesn't get better soon, I'm not sure how much longer I want to play in pain."

Querrey, seeded 18, was leading Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 2-1 when the Ukrainian indicated that he was unable to continue because of illness.

The last few weeks have witnessed a remarkable turnaround for Querrey, 22, who admitted after losing to his compatriot Ginepri at the French Open that he was "mentally not there".

"My coach, David Nainkin, said if you're gonna get angry, yell something out and smash the racquet and move on to the next point. Don't carry it with you," Querrey said.

"Occasionally in practice (I do it). I guess this year, I've probably broken two or three in practice. I can't really remember the specific moments. Sometimes it just needs to be done."

Gilles Simon made light work of his Spanish opponent Guillermo Alcaide. The Frenchman, seeded 26, won in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-0).

Crowd favourite Marcos Baghdatis. a semi-finalist in 2006, was unable to roll back the years as he fell to Lukas Lacko of Slovakia.

The 24th-seeded Cypriot, who missed last year's Wimbledon because of a knee injury, fought his way back into the match after going a set down but eventually succumbed 6-3 2-6 6-3 6-1.


Ninth seed David Ferrer of Spain enjoyed a routine win over Germany's Nicolas Kiefer, 6-4 6-2 6-3, while Mikhail Youzhny, the 13th seed, was taken to four sets by Dudi Sela of Israel before prevailing 6-3 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-2).

Nicolas Almagro was the first of the men's seeds to depart on day two. The Spaniard, seeded 19, was beaten by Andreas Seppi of Italy 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (9-7) 6-2.

But there were no such problems for 25th seed Thomas Bellucci, who won the battle of the Brazilians with a comfortable 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over Ricardo Mello out on court 14.

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see also
Murray eases through at Wimbledon
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Solid Nadal races past Nishikori
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Serena sees off De Brito at SW19
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Three more Britons in early exits
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Sixth seed Stosur in shock exit
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Wimbledon 2010 - day two photos
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day two as it happened
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Grand Slam men singles results
21 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis

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