WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — As if all the questions he gets about the recent lack of U.S. success at Grand Slam tournaments weren’t enough, Andy Roddick tours the world with another constant reminder of his country’s glory days: his coach, Jimmy Connors.
So there was Connors, chin on hand, watching intently Wednesday at Wimbledon while his pupil did the sorts of things they’ve been working on. Roddick went to the net, returned well and beat Danai Udomchoke of Thailand 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) to reach the third round at the All England Club for the seventh consecutive year.
“He’s come a long way in a lot of areas,” Connors said while leaving Centre Court.
The No. 3-seeded Roddick, who hit 15 aces while serving at up to 140 mph, was one of five men who completed victories before rain wiped out play. Forget what the calendar says, it didn’t look or feel like summertime at all to fans huddling under plaid blankets and umbrellas for shelter from showers, swirling wind and temperatures in the 50s.
Roger Federer was leading 18-year-old Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-2, 7-5, 2-0 when their match was suspended, putting on hold what would be the Swiss star’s 50th consecutive grass-court win. Federer is bidding for his fifth consecutive Wimbledon championship, and 11th title in the past 17 majors, leaving little room for Roddick — or anyone else — to collect trophies.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams was among the women who reached the third round before the weather worsened. Her 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory over Alicia Molik of Australia ended oddly, thanks to the replay system making its Wimbledon debut this summer.
On Williams’ third match point, Molik hit a forehand that a line judge called wide, but — apparently oblivious to the ruling — they continued hitting until the American put away a forehand volley. The players walked to the net to shake hands, but chair umpire Sandra de Jenken reminded Molik of her right to challenge the call.
Molik did, the replay showed the ball was out, and only then was it over.
“That was a little weird,” said Williams, who showed no apparent signs of the tight hamstring she spoke about after the first round. “I don’t know if that’s in the handbook to suggest to challenge a call.”
Her next opponent is 56th-ranked Milagros Sequera of Venezuela, who knocked off No. 27 Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. In the only other upset of note Wednesday, 77th-ranked Laura Granville of the United States beat No. 20 Sybille Bammer of Austria 6-1, 6-4.
Other women advancing to the third round included No. 1 Justine Henin, No. 3 Jelena Jankovic and 1997 champion Martina Hingis. French Open runner-up Ana Ivanovic, No. 12 Elena Dementieva, No. 13 Dinara Safina and No. 14 Nicole Vaidisova won their openers.