Moodie ends SA’s first-round blues at Wimbledon

2010-06-26 08:53

Wesley Moodie ended South Africa’s first-round blues at Wimbledon

when he won his opening doubles game with Belgian partner Dick Norman in fine


But it came at the expense of another South African in that the

towering Moodie-Norman combination accounted for South Africa’s Jeff Coetzee and

Kristof Vliegen 7-6 6-4 4-6 6-2.

The awesome serving of the seventh-seeded Moodie and Norman,

semi-finalists at Wimbledon last year, invariably gave them an edge, with a

touch of irony in the proceedings that the South Africans on the opposite side

of the court had formed a successful ATP doubles combination in their own right

before a break-up 15 months ago.

Earlier in tennis’s most lavish and prestigious event, South

Africa’s three participants in the singles all bowed out in the first


And again 26 year-old South African number one men’s player, Kevin

Anderson, appeared on the verge of a major breakthrough before losing to

seventh-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko 3-6 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 9-7.

Apart from winning the opening two sets convincingly against a

player who has been out of tennis for much of the past three months because of

injuries, Anderson led 4-2 in the third set at a point when his booming service

suggested he would take the match in routine fashion.

But in the end, the old sporting maxim that in the big time there

are winners and there are losers again prevailed as the grimly determined

Davydenko battled his way out of trouble in spite of his reputation of not

shining on grass court surfaces.

South African number two Rik De Voest, who entered the Wimbledon

main draw after beating two Germans in the qualifying rounds, found a third

German too much to handle. He went down 6-4 7-5 3-6 6-2 to Julian Reister.

Chani Scheepers, who had performed heroically to reach the fourth

round in the French Open women’s singles recently, went down 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 to

China’s uncompromising Na Li.

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