Isner eliminated — quickly

By Stephen Wilson
Associated Press / June 26, 2010

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LONDON — One day after winning the longest tennis match in history, John Isner lost the shortest men’s match at Wimbledon so far this year.

It was back to normal, meanwhile, for defending champion Roger Federer, who showed he was back at the top of his game by sweeping Arnaud Clement in straight sets to reach the fourth round in his bid for a seventh Wimbledon crown.

Marathon man Isner looked weary from the outset yesterday, required treatment for a neck injury and was beaten by unseeded Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.

The second-round match was over in 1 hour 14 minutes, and the five games won by Isner were the fewest by a male player this week.

It was a complete turnaround from Isner’s epic three-day victory over Nicolas Mahut, which lasted 11 hours 5 minutes, and went to 70-68 in the fifth set. What’s more, Isner served no aces after hitting a record 112 against Mahut.

“I’ve never been this exhausted before,’’ Isner said. “Mentally and physically, I was obviously a bit drained. I just didn’t have much in the way of my legs. I was just low on fuel out there. Didn’t really have a chance.’’

Starting shortly after noon in warm sunshine, Isner received a standing ovation when he walked onto the court. He immediately lost his serve — something that didn’t happen once in his never-ending fifth set against Mahut.

Isner, who didn’t warm up before taking the court, dropped the first set in 16 minutes, winning only 9 points while committing 11 unforced errors.

“It was brutal,’’ Isner said. “Things were looking pretty bleak right from the get-go.’’

Craig Boynton, Isner’s coach, said, “The turnaround time — he just didn’t have enough time to get his body right. He’s one tired boy.’’

Federer looked perfectly fresh as he demolished Clement, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, after being stretched to five sets in his first-round match and four in the second.

Federer will play 16th-seeed Jurgen Melzer, who beat Feliciano Lopez in four sets. Federer and the Austrian played doubles together as juniors but have never faced each other in singles on the tour. The man Federer beat in three Wimbledon finals, Andy Roddick, served 28 aces in a 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-3 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber to make the round of 16.

Roddick next plays Yen-Hsun Lu, who became the first Taiwanese man to make the fourth round of a Grand Slam. He was leading Florian Mayer, 6-4, 6-4, 2-1, when the German retired with an injury.

In women’s play, five-time champion Venus Williams moved into the fourth round by beating Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova, 6-4, 6-2. Williams was down, 3-1, in the first set before taking control with her power game as both players went for big shots from the baseline.

Williams took a tumble in the last game as she slipped on the grass, but appeared unscathed. The No. 2-seeded Williams next faces Jarmila Groth, and could meet top-ranked sister Serena in the final.

Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters — two Belgians making Wimbledon comebacks — won in straight sets to set up a fourth-round showdown Monday. Clijsters, seeded eighth, beat No. 27 Maria Kirilenko, 6-3, 6-3. Henin, seeded 17th, beat No. 12 Nadia Petrova, 6-1, 6-4.

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