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Roddick Fires Warning Shot To Rivals; Safin Upset

London, England

Andy Roddick© Getty Images

Two-time runner-up Andy Roddick began his ninth tilt at The Championships on Tuesday with a devastating display against Jeremy Chardy of France for a 6-3, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3 victory in two hours and 11 minutes.

Roddick committed only nine unforced errors and hit 46 winners, including 20 aces, in his first meeting against 2005 junior champion Chardy. The 26 year old lost just eight points on his first serve and improved to 29-8 at the All England Club.

He will next meet Russian Igor Kunitsyn, who advanced after wild card Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria retired in the third set. Kunitsyn was leading 3-6, 6-0, 4-0.

Former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero also moved into the second round, converting three of his five break points to defeat Russian Mikhail Youzhny in under two hours. Ferrero, a quarter-finalist at the grass-court major in 2007 (l. to Federer), takes a 4-2 head-to-head record into his next match against French veteran Fabrice Santoro.

The 36-year-old Santoro, who will retire at the conclusion of the 2009 season, advanced with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory over German No. 33 seed Nicolas Kiefer. Santoro is making his 14th appearance in the Wimbledon singles draw, and made his event debut in 1990.

Russian Marat Safin saw his final Wimbledon appearance come to an abrupt end in a stunning 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 loss to American qualifier Jesse Levine. The former World No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion had achieved his best Wimbledon result last year when he reached the semi-finals (l. to Federer).

“Was not really my day. Not the perfect thing. Not the way to finish [the] Wimbledon story,” said Safin, who has announced that he will be playing his final year on the ATP World Tour. “But anyway, it's okay. That's life. There [are] plenty of years coming towards me.”

The 21-year-old Levine next plays Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, who prevailed against Belgium’s Christophe Rochus in an 11-9 fifth set.

Chilean Fernando Gonzalez made light work of his first match since reaching the Roland Garros semi-finals earlier this month. Tenth seed Gonzalez hit 18 aces past Teimuraz Gabashvili for a 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 win in two hours and 13 minutes. The 28 year old won his 10th ATP World Tour title at Vina del Mar in February. He next faces Argentine Leonardo Mayer.

Russian 12th seed Nikolay Davydenko proved too clever for Dan Evans in a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win over one hour and 49 minutes. “He just does a lot of things better than the people who I play against normally,” said Evans, who was making his Grand Slam championship debut and playing his first match against a Top 150 player.

Davydenko, who has been coached by his older brother Eduard since 1992, committed just 17 unforced errors in his first grass-court match for 12 months. He will next face Romanian Victor Crivoi, who was a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3 winner over Bjorn Phau of Germany.

Tommy Haas, who captured the Halle title nine days ago, required just nine minutes to wrap up his first round match that was interrupted due to bad light on Monday. Haas, making his 11th appearance at The Championships, beat Alexander Peya of Austria 6-7(5), 7-6(0), 6-3, 6-4 for a second round meeting with France’s Michael Llodra, a five-set winner over Briton Josh Goodall.

Haas’ compatriot and last week’s ‘s-Hertogenbosch champion Benjamin Becker continued to shine on grass as he cruised past Croatia’s Roko Karanusic 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 12 minutes. Meanwhile, Russian Dmitry Tursunov – who hoisted the trophy Saturday at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Eastbourne – retired with an ankle injury after falling behind two sets in his opening match against German Mischa Zverev.

In other matches Tuesday, Spanish No. 16 seed David Ferrer accounted for American Kevin Kim 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, while No. 8 Gilles Simon, No. 19 Stanislas Wawrinka and seeded Czechs Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek all advanced in straight sets.

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