Tennis News
The Official Tennis Newswire

Wimbledon: Men's Preview - Friday, June 29

Tennis News Links
Collector Tennis Ball Cans
Hard to Find Racquets
Free Breaking Tennis News
Daily Tennis $37 - 3 months
Advertise on
Wimbledon LIVE





Friday 29 June 2007

Third Round Top Half



Featured matches


No. 1 Roger Federer (SUI) v No. 26 Marat Safin (RUS)

No. 3 Andy Roddick (USA) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

No. 5 Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) v Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)

No. 9 James Blake (USA) v No. 20 Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP)

No. 12 Richard Gasquet (FRA) v (Q) Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

No. 13 Tommy Haas (GER) v No. 21 Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)

No. 15 Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) v Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)

Feliciano Lopez (ESP) v (WC) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)



On court today…


·         A clash of Grand Slam winners when ten-time champion Roger Federer plays two-time champion Marat Safin for a place in the round of 16. This will be the pair’s tenth meeting and Federer dominates their series 7-2; however it was Safin who won their last Grand Slam match, memorably saving a match point to defeat the Swiss in the 2005 Australian Open semifinals on his way to the title.


·         Two-time runner-up Andy Roddick bids to extend a 6-2 record against Fernando Verdasco, having won his last four match-ups with the Spanish lefthander. Roddick was upset in the third round here last year by Andy Murray; Verdasco went on to a career-best round of 16 finish at 2006 Wimbledon.


·         Australian Open runner-up and No. 5 seed Fernando Gonzalez meets Janko Tipsarevic for the second time in just over two weeks. Tipsarevic is bidding to avenge his defeat on that day and reach the round of 16 at a major for the first time.


·         Another player bidding to reach the Wimbledon round of 16 for the first time, James Blake, who with Roddick is one of just two American men remaining in the draw. Like his countryman Roddick, Blake takes on a Spaniard, in his case 2003 Roland Garros champion Juan Carlos Ferrero.


·         ’s-Hertogenbosch winner Ivan Ljubicic hopes to win his eighth consecutive match when he plays Paul-Henri Mathieu. The Frenchman is through to the Wimbledon third round for the first time, and if he wins today will equal his best Grand Slam result.


·         Spanish lefthander Feliciano Lopez faces the last remaining wild card, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Frenchman is bidding to put two years of injury misery even further behind him, and become just the seventh wild card to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon in the Open Era.


·         After defeating two qualifiers, No 13 seed Tommy Haas takes on No. 21 seed Dmitry Tursunov, who has reached the Wimbledon round of 16 for the last four years.


·         Richard Gasquet comes up against qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the fourth all-French match-up at 2007 Wimbledon. This is the highest number of matches between French players at the same Wimbledon in the Open Era.






Head-to-head: Federer leads 7-2

2001           AMS Rome                          Clay (O)            R32                Federer                             46 64 76

2002        Davis Cup WG 1R          Clay (I)           R1              Federer                      75 61 62

2002        AMS Hamburg               Clay (O)         FR              Federer                      61 63 64

2002        Moscow                        Carpet (I)        QF              Safin                          75 64

2004        Australian Open             Hard (O)         FR              Federer                      76 64 62

2004        Dubai                            Hard (O)         R32            Federer                      76 76

2004        Tennis Masters Cup       Hard (O)         SF              Federer                      63 76

2005        Australian Open             Hard (O)         SF              Safin                          57 64 57 76 97

2005        Halle                             Grass (O)       FR              Federer                      64 67 64


This is the tenth meeting for these two Grand Slam champions, and second on grass, Federer having won their first grass court match-up in three sets in the final at Halle two years ago. The set that Federer lost in that match was one of the 13 that he has dropped during his record-breaking 50-match winning streak on grass (see his note below).


The pair have met twice previously at a Grand Slam, each time at the Australian Open. They had their closest encounter in the semifinals of the 2005 Australian Open, on Safin’s 25th birthday, when the Russian defeated the world No. 1 and defending champion after saving a match point at 5-6 in the fourth set tiebreak, ending Federer’s 26-match winning streak. Safin went on to become the first man for 20 years to win the Australian Open title having saved match point during the tournament.


                       FEDERER                                           v                                          SAFIN


                            25                                              Age                                           27

                             1                                        ATP Ranking                                    24

                            48                                             Titles                                          15

                         127-22                         Career Grand Slam Record                       83-28

                           34-4                                 Wimbledon Record                              11-7

                        519-133                                  Career Record                               376-218

                          66-11                              Career Record - Grass                           20-15

                           32-5                                      2007 Record                                  16-12

                            2-0                                 2007 Record - Grass                              3-1

                           9-10                             Career Five-Set Record                          26-11

                             3                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          0

                        194-108                          Career Tiebreak Record                       186-151

                           10-3                               2007 Tiebreak Record                             8-9


·         Federer began the fourth defence of his Wimbledon title with a 63 62 64 victory over Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili in the first round, then defeated Juan-Martin Del Potro 62 75 61 in the second round.


·         This is Federer’s ninth appearance at Wimbledon, having played here every year since making his debut as a wild card in 1999.


·         Federer is bidding to become the fourth player in Wimbledon history to win the men’s singles title for five successive years. He won the 2003 title as No. 4 seed, defeating Mark Philippoussis 76 62 76 in the final. As No. 1 seed, he defended his title for the last three years: in 2004 defeating Andy Roddick 46 75 76 64 in the final; in 2005 again defeating Roddick 62 76 64; and in 2006 defeating Rafael Nadal 60 76 67 63.


·         Only seven men in history have won five or more consecutive titles at one Grand Slam event, and Bjorn Borg is the only player to have achieved this feat in the Open Era. Borg was also the last man to win five or more Wimbledon titles, the Swede collecting all five of his trophies at the All England Club in 1976-80. [For more details see page 1 of the Preview.]


·         Federer is one of eight men in history to win at least four Wimbledon titles in his career, whether consecutive or otherwise. He is now bidding to become just the fifth man in history to win five career Wimbledon titles. Borg and Sampras are the only men to win five here in the Open Era, Sampras going on to win seven titles. [For more details see page 2 of the Preview.]


·         Federer has now won a record 50 consecutive matches on grass court. He established a new Open Era record winning streak on the surface in the first round at last year’s Wimbledon, breaking Bjorn Borg’s previous mark of 41 straight grass court match wins. Federer’s last grass court defeat was in the first round of 2002 Wimbledon, when he lost to qualifier Mario Ancic 63 76 63.


·         During his 50-match grass court winning streak, Federer has defeated 40 different players from 20 different countries through his second round defeat of Del Potro here, and lost 13 sets (dropping no more than one set per match). His pre-Wimbledon total of 48 matches was compiled through winning both Halle and Wimbledon 2003-06.


·         Federer has now won 30 matches in a row at Wimbledon. During that run, he has dropped just five sets and has never been extended past four sets.


·         Federer arrived at 2007 Wimbledon having not played a grass court tournament ahead of The Championships for the first time in his career. (He made his debut here in 1999.) He withdrew from his usual warm-up event, Halle, citing fatigue. The last man to win Wimbledon without playing a grass court tournament ahead of The Championships was Andre Agassi in 1992.


·         Pete Sampras played a grass court warm-up event ahead of all seven of his Wimbledon triumphs. The only year in his entire career that he did not play a warm-up event, in 1996, Sampras failed to win the Wimbledon title, losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Richard Krajicek.


·         Federer’s eight career grass court titles put him in joint-third place on the list of grass court titles won in the Open Era.

Open Era grass court title leaders

No. of titles



Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras


Roger Federer, John McEnroe


Boris Becker


Mark Edmondson, Lleyton Hewitt


·         Although Federer has won three titles so far in 2007, at the Australian Open – where he became the first man to win a Grand Slam title without dropping a set since Bjorn Borg at 1980 Roland Garros – Dubai, and AMS Hamburg. However by his standards this season has been disappointing. In the spring he had a run of four straight tournament losses, his longest streak without winning a title since taking over the No. 1 ranking in February 2004. Federer fell in the second round at AMS Indian Wells to Guillermo Canas 75 62 (after a first round bye), and again to Canas, 76 26 76, in the round of 16 at AMS Miami. He reached the final at AMS Monte Carlo before losing to Rafael Nadal, and was upset by wild card Filippo Volandri 62 64 in the round of 16 at AMS Rome before returning to winning form at AMS Hamburg.


·         Federer reached the Roland Garros final for the second year running, again falling to Rafael Nadal and so narrowly failing in his bid to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time, and complete a career Grand Slam.


·         Only two defending champions, Boris Becker in 1987 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2003, have failed to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon in the Open Era. A defending champion has never lost at the third round stage of the tournament. (Note: The champion did not return to defend the title on three occasions.)


·         Only three No. 1 seeds have failed to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon in the Open Era: Boris Becker in 1987, Jim Courier in 1992 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2003.


·         Safin played successive qualifiers in the first two rounds, defeating South African Rik De Voest 76 64 75 in the first round and Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 64 62 76 in the second round.


·         This is Safin’s eighth Wimbledon appearance. He fell in the second round last year, losing a two-set lead to Fernando Gonzalez 46 67 64 64 64.


·         Safin’s best result at Wimbledon came on his third appearance in 2001, when he reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Goran Ivanisevic 76 75 36 76.


·         Safin is one of six active players – along with Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, Fernando Gonzalez, Rafael Nadal and David Nalbandian – to have made quarterfinal appearances at all four Grand Slams. Wimbledon however is the only major at which he has not progressed to the semifinals.


·         Safin was one of four multiple Grand Slam winners to start in the draw, along with Roger Federer (ten major titles), Rafael Nadal (3) and Lleyton Hewitt (2). Safin won the 2000 US Open, defeating Pete Sampras 64 63 63 in the final, and the 2005 Australian Open, defeating Lleyton Hewitt 16 63 64 64.


·         Safin has a 4-8 career record against the No. 1-ranked player. Federer is the sixth different world No. 1 he has played, having also faced Pete Sampras (0-1), Yevgeny Kafelnikov (0-1), Andre Agassi (0-1), Lleyton Hewitt (2-2) and Andy Roddick (1-0). In Grand Slam events however, Safin’s record versus the world No. 1 is 2-1.

Safin v No. 1 at Grand Slams



Safin’s result

1998 US Open

Pete Sampras

Lost 64 63 62 in R16

2004 Australian Open

Andy Roddick

Won 26 63 75 67 64 in QF

2005 Australian Open

Roger Federer

Won 57 64 57 76 97 in SF


·         The 2005 Australian Open was Safin’s 15th and most recent tournament title. Since then, he has reached two finals without success: at Halle, in his best performance in a grass court tournament (l. today’s opponent Federer 64 67 64) and on home ground at 2006 Moscow (l. countryman Nikolay Davydenko 64 57 64).


·         Safin warmed up for 2007 Wimbledon by reaching the third round at Queen’s. As No. 8 seed, he defeated Sebastien Grosjean 36 64 64 in the second round before losing to Ivo Karlovic 76 76.


·         Safin’s best results in 2007 have been on hard court. He reached the semifinals at Las Vegas (l. Lleyton Hewitt 75 61) and the quarterfinals at San Jose (l. Benjamin Becker 64 63). In Grand Slam play this year, Safin lost in the third round at the Australian Open, as No. 26 seed losing to Andy Roddick 76 26 64 76, and in the second round at Roland Garros, as No. 22 seed losing to Janko Tipsarevic 64 64 75.






Head-to-head: Roddick leads 6-2

2003     AMS Cincinnati              Hard (O)            R64      Roddick            63 62

2005     AMS Indian Wells          Hard (O)            R64      Roddick            63 36 76

2005     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)            R64      Verdasco          76 43 ret.

2005     AMS Rome                   Clay (O)            R16      Verdasco          67 76 64

2006     AMS Indian Wells          Hard (O)            R32      Roddick            63 64

2006     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)            R32      Roddick            63 64

2006     US Open                       Hard (O)            R32      Roddick            67 63 64 67 62

2007     Davis Cup WG QF         Hard (I)              R2        Roddick            76 61 64


Roddick and Verdasco are playing each other for the ninth time, but first time on grass court. Roddick leads their series, but was extended to five sets by the Spaniard at last year’s US Open, which marked their first match-up outside of Masters Series events. The pair met most recently in the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals, held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in April: Roddick won to help USA reach the 2007 Davis Cup semifinals. (The team plays Sweden in Gothenburg in September.)


                       RODDICK                                          v                                        VERDASCO


                            24                                              Age                                             23

                             3                                       ATP Ranking                                      41

                            22                                            Titles                                             1

                          77-25                         Career Grand Slam Record                        23-16

                           25-6                                Wimbledon Record                                7-4

                        388-122                                 Career Record                                 117-108

                          55-10                             Career Record - Grass                             13-9

                           32-8                                      2007 Record                                    11-15

                            7-0                                 2007 Record - Grass                                2-1

                            9-9                              Career Five-Set Record                             3-4

                             2                            Comebacks from 0-2 Down                            1

                        184-109                          Career Tiebreak Record                           50-50

                           22-3                              2007 Tiebreak Record                              3-10


·         Roddick advanced to the third round by defeating Danai Udomchoke 63 64 76 in the second round, having defeated fellow American Justin Gimelstob 61 75 76 in the first round.


·         Roddick is making his seventh successive appearance at Wimbledon, and has always reached at least the third round here. Last year, when he was also seeded No. 3, he was upset at this stage by Andy Murray 76 64 64. Roddick also had third round exits the first two years he played here, 2001-02.


·         Roddick is one of two Americans to reach the third round at this year’s Wimbledon, along with James Blake, who plays No. 20 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero today. This equals the fewest number of Americans to reach the third round here in the Open Era, Todd Martin and Pete Sampras being the sole surviving US men in 1998. Looking ahead to next round, there has been a year here in the Open Era – 2002 – when no American men reached the round of 16.


·         The USA started with 14 men in the draw here, the joint second-highest representation (with Spain) by a nation after France (15 players).


·         Playing lefthanders, Roddick has a 42-11 career record, 7-4 in Grand Slam events.


·         Roddick has twice been Wimbledon runner-up, both times losing to Roger Federer. He fell 46 75 76 64 in the 2004 final and 62 76 64 in the 2005 final. He has been defeated by the eventual champion on four of his six previous Wimbledon appearances, losing to Federer 76 63 63 in the 2003 semifinals, and to Goran Ivanisevic 76 75 36 63 in the 2001 third round on his Wimbledon debut.


·         Roddick was one of eight Grand Slam champions to start in the men’s singles draw and one of four to possess a lone Grand Slam title. Roddick won the 2003 US Open, defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero 63 76 63.; he returned to the US Open final last year, losing to Roger Federer 62 46 75 61, taking his total number of appearances in Grand Slam finals to four.


·         For the fourth time in five years, Roddick started Wimbledon having won at Queen’s. He collected the trophy there three straight years 2003-05, and after a semifinal loss to countryman James Blake in 2006, bounced back to win the title this year, saving a match point to defeat Nicolas Mahut 46 76 76 in the final.


·         Queen’s was Roddick’s 22nd career title, and first tournament victory of 2007. He also reached the final this season at Memphis (l. Tommy Haas 63 62) and the semifinals at the Australian Open (l. Roger Federer 64 60 62), San Jose (l. Andy Murray 76 64) and AMS Indian Wells (l. Rafael Nadal 64 63). Another highlight of Roddick’s season is compiling a 3-0 singles record to help the USA reach the Davis Cup semifinals (they play Sweden in Gothenburg in September).


·         For the past five years, a player who has won one of the pre-Wimbledon grass court titles has gone on to win Wimbledon the same year. Federer won both Halle and Wimbledon 2003-06; prior to that, in 2002, Lleyton Hewitt won Queen’s before becoming Wimbledon champion. This year, Federer has not played a grass court warm-up event ahead of 2007 Wimbledon.


·         Roddick is coached by 1974 and 1982 Wimbledon champion Jimmy Connors.


·         Verdasco defeated American qualifier Bobby Reynolds 64 64 63 in the first round and Andreas Seppi 63 62 64 in the second round.


·         This is Verdasco’s fifth appearance at Wimbledon. As No. 28 seed, he reached the third round here for the first time last year, and went on to a round of 16 finish, defeating 2002 runner-up David Nalbandian 76 76 62 at this stage before losing to Radek Stepanek 67 63 46 64 62.


·         The round of 16 is the furthest Verdasco has advanced at any Grand Slam event. As well as reaching that stage here last year, he has also made round of 16 appearances at the 2005 US Open and most recently at 2007 Roland Garros.


·         Verdasco was one of 15 lefthanders to start in the 2007 Wimbledon men’s draw, and one of just two to reach the third round in the top half. The other is his countryman Feliciano Lopez, who plays wild card Jo-Wilfried Tsonga today.


·         Verdasco played one grass court event ahead of 2007 Wimbledon, as No. 16 seed losing in the first round at Queen’s to Max Mirnyi 63 63. He recorded the best grass court result of his career when he reached the last 16 here last year (see above).


·         Verdasco’s best result so far in 2007 was advancing to the round of 16 at Roland Garros, where he lost to Novak Djokovic 63 63 76. That run broke a seven-match losing streak for the Spaniard. By reaching the third round at Wimbledon, Verdasco has won back-to-back tour-level matches for just the third time this season: before winning three in a row in Paris, he won two in a row in the round robin stage at Las Vegas in February before losing in the quarterfinals (to Marat Safin 61 64).





Head-to-head: Gonzalez leads 1-0

2007     Queen’s            Grass (O)          R32      Gonzalez 76 46 76


Gonzalez and Tipsarevic face each other for the second time in just two weeks after their first at Queen’s, where Gonzalez saved one match point before defeating Tipsarevic.


                      GONZALEZ                                                       v                                                    TIPSAREVIC


                                      26                                                             Age                                                            23

                                       6                                                    ATP Ranking                                                  64

                                       7                                                            Titles                                                            0

                                   44-25                                 Career Grand Slam Record                                  9-13

                                    11-5                                          Wimbledon Record                                           4-3

                                258-141                                            Career Record                                              49-60

                                    16-9                                        Career Record - Grass                                       10-9

                                   24-12                                                 2007 Record                                                13-12

                                     4-1                                           2007 Record - Grass                                           5-2

                                    11-9                                      Career Five-Set Record                                       9-3

                                       3                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     3

                                  108-69                                   Career Tiebreak Record                                    23-26

                                    11-5                                        2007 Tiebreak Record                                        5-5


·         Gonzalez advanced to the third round at Wimbledon for the fourth successive year by defeating Robby Ginepri 36 76 62 62 in the first round and Colombian qualifier Alejandro Falla 46 63 64 76 in the second.


·         Gonzalez is making his sixth successive appearance at Wimbledon. Last year as No. 10 seed he fell at this stage to David Ferrer 46 26 62 63 64. He also lost in the third round in 2004, falling to Mark Philippoussis 64 61 67 75.


·         Gonzalez achieved his best Wimbledon result in 2005, reaching the quarterfinals before being defeated by eventual champion Roger Federer 75 62 76. He has made appearances in the quarterfinals of all four Grand Slam events.


·         Gonzalez started 2007 by recording the best Grand Slam result of his career, reaching the final of the Australian Open having never previously advanced beyond the quarterfinals at any major. Gonzalez defeated four top 20 players, No. 19 seed Lleyton Hewitt in the third round, No. 5 seed James Blake in the round of 16, No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and No. 12 seed Tommy Haas in the semifinals, before losing in the final to Roger Federer 76 64 64.


·         Gonzalez’s runner-up finish at the Australian Open is the highlight of his season so far. He also won through to the final at AMS Rome (l. Rafael Nadal 62 62), and the quarterfinals at both AMS Hamburg and Queen’s. In contrast to his Grand Slam performance in Melbourne, Gonzalez lost in the first round at Roland Garros as No. 5 seed, falling to Radek Stepanek 62 62 64.


·         Queen’s was Gonzalez’s only grass court tournament this season before Wimbledon. After a first round bye, he defeated Janko Tipsarevic 76 46 76 and Robby Ginepri 62 75, before losing in the quarterfinals to Dmitry Tursunov 63 67 64.


·         The quarterfinals represents Gonzalez’s best finish at any grass court tournament. As well as reaching the last eight here in 2005 and at Queen’s this year (see above), he also fell in the quarterfinals at Queen’s in 2006.


·         Gonzalez achieved a career-high ranking of No. 5 on 29 January 2007, and plays here at No. 6.


·         Gonzalez played in the boys’ singles here on three occasions but only advanced beyond the first round once, on his second appearance in 1997, going on to record a third-round finish (l. Xavier Malisse 62 76).


·         Tipsarevic advanced to the third round by winning two five-set matches and improving his five-set record to 9-3. In the first round he defeated Alexander Peya 46 36 63 64 63 and then Florent Serra 63 62 67 36 62 in the second. Jan Kodes played four consecutive five-set matches at 1974 Wimbledon.


·         Tipsarevic has equalled his best Grand Slam result in reaching the third round here and is bidding to advance to the last 16 of a major for the first time. This is his second appearance in the third round at Wimbledon. In 2005, he lost to Thomas Johansson 62 63 61 at this stage. Tipsarevic advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam for the second time at this year’s Roland Garros, losing to Tommy Robredo 63 64 60.


·         Last year, Tipsarevic lost in the first round at Wimbledon, falling to Andy Roddick 67 64 76 62.


·         Tipsarevic is attempting to win three consecutive matches at a tour-level tournament for the first time in his career, having lost his third match on the six previous occasions when he has won back-to-back matches.


·         Tipsarevic is playing a Top 10 player for the eighth time in his career today and is looking for his first victory over a Top 10 player. The highest-ranked players that he has defeated to date is the then No. 20-ranked Dominik Hrbaty in the first round at 2005 Roland Garros and the then No. 20-ranked Lleyton Hewitt in the second round at 2007 AMS Indian Wells.


·         Tipsarevic warmed up for Wimbledon at Queen’s and ’s-Hertogenbosch. After losing to today’s opponent Gonzalez in the second round at Queen’s, he went on to reach the second grass court quarterfinal of his career at ’s-Hertogenbosch, losing to eventual champion Ivan Ljubicic 63 67 63.


·         After a poor start to the year – he lost his first six matches – Tipsarevic has reached at least the second round of his subsequent seven tournaments including this one. He also won the Zagreb challenger on clay in May and climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 62 on 18 June. He plays here ranked No. 64.


·         Tipsarevic is bidding to become the third different Serbian to reach the last 16 here, after Slobodan Zivojinovic, who reached that stage 1986-89, and Novak Djokovic, who reached that stage last year. (Djokovic is also through to the third round this year, and plays Nicolas Kiefer.)


·         Tipsarevic played in the Wimbledon boys’ singles event in 2000 and 2001. His best performance came in 2001. As top seed, he advanced to the third round before losing to Todd Reid 36 62 64.




Head-to-head: Ferrero leads 2-0

2002     AMS Cincinnati              Hard (O)            R32      Ferrero              64 46 64

2006     AMS Cincinnati              Hard (O)            R32      Ferrero              62 64   


                         BLAKE                                             v                                        FERRERO


                            27                                              Age                                           27

                             9                                        ATP Ranking                                    18

                             9                                              Titles                                          11

                          37-21                          Career Grand Slam Record                       77-28

                            6-4                                  Wimbledon Record                              15-6

                        226-146                                  Career Record                               354-181

                          23-17                              Career Record - Grass                           19-12

                          26-14                                      2007 Record                                  23-14

                            4-1                                 2007 Record - Grass                              2-1

                            0-9                              Career Five-Set Record                          18-13

                             0                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          2

                          80-69                            Career Tiebreak Record                       132-104

                           10-6                               2007 Tiebreak Record                             8-7


·         Blake defeated Igor Andreev in the first round 63 64 64 and Andrei Pavel 64 63 63 in the second.


·         Blake is making his fifth appearance at Wimbledon and has reached the third round here for the second successive year. Last year he reached the third round here for the first time before losing to Max Mirnyi 64 36 46 61 60.


·         Blake is today bidding to reach the Wimbledon round of 16 for the first time, a stage that he has already reached three times at the Australian Open and twice at the US Open, en route to the quarterfinals there (see below).


·         Blake’s best Grand Slam result to date is at the US Open, losing in the quarterfinals in both 2005 (l. Andre Agassi 36 36 63 63 76) and 2006 (l. Roger Federer 76 60 67 64).


·         Blake is one of the two Americans remaining in this year’s Wimbledon men’s singles, along with Andy Roddick, who plays Fernando Verdasco in the third round today. This equals the fewest number of Americans to reach the third round here in the Open Era, Todd Martin and Pete Sampras being the sole surviving US men in 1998. Looking ahead to next round, there has been a year here in the Open Era – 2002 – when no American men reached the round of 16.


·        USA started with 14 men in the draw here, the joint second-highest representation (with Spain) by a nation after France (15 players).


·         Blake warmed up for this year’s Wimbledon at Halle, reaching the quarterfinals. He defeated Sam Querrey 46 64 63, Evgeny Korolev 75 61, then lost to Phillipp Kohlschreiber 64 63.


·         Blake’s 2007 season started with a win in Sydney (d. Carlos Moya 63 57 61 in the final), and he was also a runner up at Delray Beach (l. Xavier Malisse 57 64 64).


·         In 2007 Grand Slam play, Blake reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open, losing to Fernando Gonzalez 75 64 76, and was defeated in the first round at Roland Garros by Ivo Karlovic 64 46 75 75.


·         Blake has twice reached the final of a grass court tournament at 2002 Newport and 2006 Queen’s.


·         Ferrero advanced to the third round by defeating Jan Hajek 67 46 63 62 75 in the first round and qualifier Gilles Muller 64 64 67 76 in the second.


·         Ferrero is appearing in the third round for the sixth year. He has fallen at this stage three times here, including last year, when he fell to Radek Stepanek 57 67 64 62 119 in the third round.


·         This is Ferrero’s seventh Wimbledon appearance. His best result is reaching the round of 16, in 2003 (l. Sebastien Grosjean 62 46 76 76) and in 2005 (l. Roger Federer 63 64 76).


·         Ferrero’s career highlight was winning the 2003 Roland Garros title, defeating Martin Verkerk 61 63 62 in the final. Roland Garros is the major at which Ferrero has enjoyed most success, having also finished runner-up there in 2002 and reached the semifinals in 2000-01.


·         Ferrero has also reached the semifinals at the US Open, en route to the final there in 2003, and at the Australian Open in 2004.


·         Ferrero was one of eight Grand Slam champions to start in this year’s men’s draw and is one of five already through to the third round. (Three-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal was playing Werner Eschauer at the time of writing and bidding to be the sixth Grand Slam champion through to the third round here this year.)


·         Ferrero is facing a Top 10 player for the 70th time in his career today. He has a 31-38 win-loss record in previous meetings.


·         Ferrero played just one match on grass before coming here, losing in the first round at ’s-Hertogenbosch to Carlos Berlocq 26 63 62.


·         Ferrero’s best results of the year to date have been on clay. He reached the final at Costa do Sauipe in February (l. Guillermo Canas 76 62) and also won four matches to advance to the semifinals at AMS Monte Carlo (l. Roger Federer 63 64).


·         Away from Wimbledon, Ferrero’s best career grass court results are reaching quarterfinals at 2005 Halle and 2006 ’s-Hertogenbosch, winning two matches on both occasions.


·         Ferrero is one of five players to be ranked No. 1 through to the third round at this year’s Wimbledon, along with top seed Roger Federer, No. 3 seed Andy Roddick, No. 16 seed Lleyton Hewitt and No. 26 seed Marat Safin.





Head-to-head: tied 1-1

2003     US Open           Hard (O)            R128                 Ljubicic             64 62 75

2004     Metz                 Hard (I)              QF                    Mathieu             76 64


                       LJUBICIC                                           v                                        MATHIEU


                            28                                              Age                                           25

                            12                                       ATP Ranking                                    39

                             8                                              Titles                                           3

                          30-31                          Career Grand Slam Record                       18-19

                            6-7                                  Wimbledon Record                               3-4

                        314-201                                  Career Record                               129-125

                          17-16                              Career Record - Grass                            9-12

                          34-13                                      2007 Record                                  27-13

                            8-1                                 2007 Record - Grass                              6-2

                           7-14                             Career Five-Set Record                           2-6

                             3                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          0

                        154-154                          Career Tiebreak Record                         56-49

                          21-13                              2007 Tiebreak Record                            13-5


·         Ljubicic defeated Vince Spadea 64 64 46 76 in the first round and Jan Hernych 64 63 64 in the second round to extend his winning streak to seven matches.


·         Ljubicic is making his eighth straight appearance at Wimbledon. He has now equalled his best result at Wimbledon, having advanced to the third round here for the first time last year, as No. 5 seed losing to Dmitry Tursunov 57 46 61 76 62.


·         Before reaching the third round here last year, Ljubicic had suffered four first round losses (2000-01 and 2004-05) and two second round losses (2003-03) at Wimbledon.


·         Ljubicic’s best Grand Slam result was reaching the semifinals at 2006 Roland Garros, losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 64 62 76. One Slam earlier, at the 2006 Australian Open, he finally advanced beyond the third round of a major for the first time in 26 Grand Slam events, falling at the quarterfinal stage to eventual runner-up Marcos Baghdatis 64 62 46 36 63.


·         Ljubicic is attempting to win three successive matches on grass for the second consecutive tournament, having arrived here after winning five in a row to claim the first grass court title of his career at ’s-Hertogenbosch, defeating Peter Wessels 76 46 76 in Saturday’s final. Before advancing to the third round at last year’s Wimbledon, Ljubicic had never had two successive grass court match wins, in 14 tour events played on the surface.


·         ’s-Hertogenbosch was Ljubicic’s eighth career title and second title of the season, and he has maintained his record of having won at least two titles for the last three years. He won at Doha at the start of 2007 (d. Andy Murray 64 64 in the final), and reached two further finals, at Zagreb (l. Marcos Baghdatis 76 46 64) and Rotterdam (l. Mikhail Youzhny 62 64). Ljubicic was also a semifinalist at AMS Miami and a quarterfinalist at AMS Indian Wells.


·         As well as playing at ’s-Hertogenbosch, Ljubicic had more grass court preparation at Queen’s the week before, losing in the round of 16 to eventual runner-up Nicolas Mahut 76 63.


·         Ljubicic was the 1996 Wimbledon boys’ runner-up, losing in the final to Vladimir Voltchkov 36 62 63.


·         Mathieu defeated Radek Stepanek 76 62 62 in the first round and upset No. 17 seed David Ferrer 63 64 63 in the second round.


·         Mathieu is making his fifth appearance at Wimbledon. Last year as No. 32 seed, he lost in the first round to 2003 runner-up Mark Philippoussis 57 76 63 76.


·         By reaching the third round, Mathieu has established a new best performance at Wimbledon. His previous best result was reaching the second round on his debut in 2002, when he defeated Francisco Clavet in the first round before losing to David Nalbandian 76 76 63. In the intervening period, Mathieu has had three straight first round losses here: in 2003, 2005 and 2006. (He missed the 2004 tournament with a wrist injury.)


·         Today Mathieu is bidding to equal his best Grand Slam performance, having made previous appearances in the round of 16 at 2002 Roland Garros as a wild card (l. Andre Agassi 46 36 63 63 63) and at the 2006 Australian Open (l. countryman Sebastien Grosjean 75 62 62).


·         Mathieu played the grass court events at Queen’s and Nottingham ahead of 2007 Wimbledon. He won two matches at Queen’s to reach the round of 16 (l. Dmitry Tursunov 67 63 63) and two matches at Nottingham to reach the quarterfinals (l. Jonas Bjorkman 62 63 64).


·         Before this year, Mathieu had never won back-to-back grass court matches, in ten tour tournaments played on the surface through the end of 2006. He had in fact had seven first round losses in those ten events.


·         Mathieu won his third career title, and first title since 2002, at Casablanca in April this year. He defeated Marc Gicquel 63 75 in the semifinals and Albert Montanes 61 61 in the final. Mathieu’s other highlight this season was reaching the semifinals in Estoril the week after Casablanca, where he retired in the first set with a hip injury while trailing Richard Gasquet 3-1.


·         At this year’s Australian Open, Mathieu was poised to win his first round match against Fernando Verdasco in straight sets when he rolled his right ankle and was forced to retire. He was leading 76 64 66 and 3-0 up in the tiebreak at the time. Mathieu missed the next month of the 2007 season recovering from the injury, returning at Las Vegas at the end of February.




Head-to-head: first meeting


                         LOPEZ                                             v                                        TSONGA


                            25                                              Age                                           22

                            78                                       ATP Ranking                                   110

                             1                                              Titles                                           0

                          30-22                          Career Grand Slam Record                        2-2

                           14-5                                 Wimbledon Record                               2-0

                        149-149                                  Career Record                                  6-5

                          18-12                              Career Record - Grass                            4-1

                          12-12                                      2007 Record                                    4-2

                            2-1                                 2007 Record - Grass                              4-1

                            8-4                              Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

                             1                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          0

                          87-77                            Career Tiebreak Record                           6-2

                           11-6                               2007 Tiebreak Record                             5-1


·         Lopez defeated British wild card Joshua Goodall 61 64 64 in the first round and then eliminated the last remaining British player at this year’s Wimbledon, defeating Tim Henman 76 76 36 26 61. This victory brought his five-set record to 5-1 at Wimbledon and 8-4 overall.


·         Lopez is playing at Wimbledon for the sixth successive time and has now reach the third round here for the fifth time. Last year was the only year to date that Lopez failed to reach at least the third round here, losing in the first round to No. 5 seed Ivan Ljubicic 63 64 57 36 119.


·         Lopez is bidding to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon for the fourth time. His only third round loss here  came in 2004 (l. Ivo Karlovic 76 76 67 75).


·         Lopez achieved his best Grand Slam result to date at 2005 Wimbledon, advancing to the quarterfinals before losing to Lleyton Hewitt 75 64 76.


·         Lopez played just one match on grass before coming to Wimbledon. He fell in the first round at Queen’s to Paul-Henri Mathieu 63 67 63.


·         Lopez is today bidding to win three consecutive matches for the second time this year – at AMS Miami, he reached the round of 16 before losing to Novak Djokovic 60 63. This is just the third time that he has won back-to-back matches this year. He also advanced to the quarterfinals at Las Vegas, losing to Lleyton Hewitt 63 62.


·         Away from Wimbledon, Lopez has won back-to-back matches just once on grass in his career, doing so to reach the quarterfinals at Nottingham in 2006.


·         Lopez plays here ranked No. 78, some way short of his career-high of No. 20, achieved on 31 January 2005.


·         Tsonga has reached the third round on his Wimbledon debut. He defeated countryman Julien Benneteau 76 75 64 in the first round and Nicolas Lapentti 64 62 63 in the second round.


·         Tsonga is playing only his third Grand Slam event and has always played as a wild card.


·         Tsonga is the only wild card to reach the third round, having been the only one of the eight that started in the men’s draw to advance past the first round. Five different men have reached the last 16 at Wimbledon as a wild card on six occasions in the Open Era: Pat Cash (1986 and 1990), Mark Woodforde (1990), Andrew Foster (1993), Goran Ivanisevic (2001) and Mark Philippoussis (2002).


·         Tsonga’s two victories here are his first at a major. He lost in the first round to Andy Roddick at both 2005 Roland Garros (63 62 64) and the 2007 Australian Open (67 76 63 63). The first-set tiebreak that Tsonga and Roddick played at this year’s Australian Open stretched to 20-18, setting a new record for the longest-known tie break at the Australian Open event and equalling the record for the longest-known tiebreak at any tournament.


·         Tsonga attempted to qualify for 2003 and 2004 Roland Garros and the 2004 US Open but fell in the second qualifying round each time.


·         Tsonga is bidding to win three matches at tour level for the first time. He first won back-to-back matches two weeks ago at Queen’s as a qualifier, defeating Kristian Pless and defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the first two rounds before falling to Marin Cilic 46 63 62.


·         Prior to Queen’s, Tsonga won the Surbiton Challenger on grass, defeating Ivo Karlovic 63 76 in the final. This was Tsonga’s eighth challenger title and his second such title on grass, having won the Nottingham challenger in 2004.


·         From the Surbiton Challenger through the second round here Tsonga has won 12 of his 13 matches on grass this year (including qualifying at Queen’s).


·         Tsonga is one of five Frenchmen through to the third round at this year’s Wimbledon. This equals the highest number of Frenchmen through to the Wimbledon third round in the Open Era. Five players from France (Arnaud Boetsch, Thierry Champion, Jean-Philippe Fleurian, Guy Forget and Henri Leconte) reached the third round here in 1991.


·         Tsonga reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at 2003 Wimbledon (l. eventual champion Florin Mergea 64 67 64). He finished No. 2 on the ITF Junior World rankings behind Marcos Baghdatis in 2003, having won the US Open boys’ singles title that year.


·         Tsonga has suffered with injuries to his back, shoulder and knee since November 2004. He didn’t play between November 2004 and March 2005 and then contested just three tournaments between July 2005 and February 2006, retiring in one and conceding a walkover in another. As a result of this inactivity, his ranking dropped from No. 133 on 23 May 2005 to No. 404 on 3 April 2006. Since then his ranking has risen to a career-high of No. 110.


·         Since returning to the circuit in February 2006, Tsonga has won five Challenger titles and four Futures titles.


Can't find what you're looking for? Try Google Search! 




Forward This Article to a Friend

Back to Home Page