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Wimbledon: Day 4

June 27, 2008|Chuck Culpepper

A look at who won, who lost and what's next at the All England Club. World rankings in parentheses:

Who won

Venus Williams (7) beat Anne Keothavong, Britain (92), 7-5, 6-2 -- Even on a day of melodramatic upsets, Williams held court. Then again, queens tend to.

Rafael Nadal, Spain (2) beat Ernests Gulbis, Latvia (48), 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (2), 6-3 -- Gulbis, 19, who hails from an ice hockey country, could've been a semifinalist with a better draw. If he persists with his powerful, exhilarating and thoughtful game, Latvia might become an ice hockey country that sometimes watches a bit of tennis.

Andy Murray, Britain (11) beat Xavier Malisse, Belgium (226), 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 -- He's Britain's great hope. The planet knows few greater burdens.

Sunshine (low seed) -- It reigned for a fourth straight day. Global-warming types might cite it as the ultimate harbinger.

Lindsay Davenport (withdrew, painful knee) -- At least she played and won the first round. Well, did you give birth one year and then do that the next?

Who lost

Andy Roddick (6) lost to Janko Tipsarevic, Serbia (40), 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (4) -- Roddick went 0 for 8 on break points, confessed to choking and equated his career trajectory (finalist in 2004 and 2005) to seeing the Rolling Stones from the front row, then "all of a sudden you're like, you know, seven or eight rows back and there's a really tall guy in front of you waving his hands and screaming, you can't see much, it's not going to be as good as the other show." It's hard to witness the death of a daydream for somebody who describes things this well.

James Blake (8) lost to Rainer Schuettler, Germany (94), 6-3, 6-7 (8), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 -- You could say that Blake's loss to this fading, haggard 32-year-old was pitiful, or you could call it lame. You do have the choice.

Maria Sharapova, Russia (2) lost to Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia (154), 6-2, 6-4 -- Sharapova took her earliest grand slam loss since the 2003 U.S. Open, when she was 16, and rated it far from the worst thing in the world. You wonder how a tennis player can recover from such healthy perspective.

What's next

Serena Williams (6) vs. Amelie Mauresmo, France (33) -- This reprise of a taut 2004 semifinal could prove one of the greatest third-round matches ever. Or, not.

Roger Federer, Switzerland (1) vs. Marc Gicquel, France (53) -- This probably won't prove one of the greatest third-round matches ever.

Bobby Reynolds (102) vs. Feliciano Lopez, Spain (35) -- The last American male plays someone from a country that began to take Wimbledon seriously only in recent years. What an unfortunate bit of timing.

Ana Ivanovic, Serbia (1) vs. Jie Zheng, China (133) -- Ivanovic, No. 1 for two weeks now, survived the second round only by a friendly net cord and a 10-8 hang-on in the third set. Being No. 1 just can't be all that great.

Bethanie Mattek (69) vs. Marion Bartoli, France (10) -- The last American female not named Williams opposes the 2007 finalist about whom no one is talking, yet who astonishingly credited her shocking semifinal win over Justine Henin to having seen Pierce Brosnan in the audience. Mattek will hope Daniel Craig doesn't show up.

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