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Berdych Falls In Olympics Opener; Tipsarevic Too Good For Nalbandian

London, England

Berdych© Getty ImagesCzech Tomas Berdych dropped to a 5-3 record at Olympics Games.

Belgian Steve Darcis, competing at his second Olympic Games, caused a major upset Saturday at Wimbledon when he beat sixth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 in 86 minutes.

Berdych lost to World No. 87 Ernests Gulbis in the Wimbledon first round last month. The Czech could only convert one of his fourth break point opportunities, while Darcis hit 27 winners.

Darcis said, “It’s an amazing feeling. For me, it was the first time I had played on this amazing court [Centre Court]. When you’re young you watch Pete Sampras playing there and you think, 'maybe one day'. Today, it was my day.”

Darcis will now play Santiago Giraldo, of Colombia, who defeated American Ryan Harrison 7-5, 6-3. Looking ahead to the match, Darcis said, “I played him in Munich [at the BMW Open] on clay this year and I lost. But I just beat Tomas. I’m playing good, I’m confident, so why not Santiago.”

Giraldo, after his first singles match win at Wimbledon against Harrison, admitted, “I played a good match. I converted my opportunities against a dangerous player so I am feeling great. I always have the support of Colombians.”

Harrison, reflecting on his experience, said, “The Olympics is great, but obviously I wish it would have gone longer. I’m sure that I will have a couple of days now to take in the experience and try to at least make it out to another event.” The American committed 45 errors against Giraldo.

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Seventh-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, who is making his second appearance at an Olympic Games, defeated David Nalbandian of Argentina in a 6-3, 6-4 win. Tipsarevic hit 16 aces and 23 winners, but admitted afterwards, “I wasn’t happy when I saw the draw.

“It was a very tricky match even though it was 6-3, 6-4. I think, what decided it, not that I played better or worse, but I played better in the important moments on serve. I’m feeling extremely happy that I managed to win in straight sets.”

Tipsarevic goes onto play Ivo Karlovic’s replacement, Philipp Petzschner of Germany, who took advantage of his late entry with a 7-6(5), 6-1 victory over Slovakian Lukas Lacko.

Petzschner said, “The first set he had four or five set points, but I was serving at 5-6. It was a pretty tough opening. I was a little bit nervous at the beginning.

Wimbledon has the aura. When I come here it is something special. [Here] was my first Grand Slam, so it will always be a big part of my tennis life and will always be close to my heart.”

Eighth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro rounded out the singles action on Day 1 of the Olympics, cruising past Croatian Ivan Dodig 6-4, 6-1 in 68 minutes. Del Potro won 88 per cent of his first serve points and capitalised on four of his eight break point chances.

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Related Topics:

Olympics, Steve Darcis, Tomas Berdych

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