Kei Nishikori stole the headlines on day three of Wimbledon 2015 after the fifth-ranked 25-year-old withdrew due to injury. Elsewhere in the tennis sun, Novak Djokovic comfortably won but Tommy Haas went out.
Japanese star and fifth seed Kei Nishikori never even appeared in the stifling heat on day three, after the 2014 US Open runner-up withdrew with a calf injury to give Colombian Santiago Giraldo a walkover. "I thought it was really going to be okay. But in the fifth set of the last match I was hurting too much. It was hurting today just walking and running, so I decided not to play," said Nishikori on Wednesday.
Despite losing the first two games of the match, Novak Djokovic once again overcame a slow start to hammer Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in the Finn's final Wimbledon. "It was his last Wimbledon and I congratulated him for a terrific career. He is one of the nicest guys on the tour and it was a pleasure to be the last to play him at Wimbledon," said Djokovic afterwards.
Feeling the heat
Australia's Bernard Tomic and Bulgaria's Grigor Dmitrov both won in straight sets to make it to round three, with the former admitting the heat was getting to him. "I've only been getting three or four hours of sleep. I was fatigued and starting to get very dizzy out there with the heat hitting me," said Tomic, who is now set to face Djokovic.
Germany's Tommy Haas battled hard against Milos Raonic and despite winning a third-set tiebreak, he was beaten in the next as the 13-year difference between the two proved decisive in Raonic's 6-0, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4) win.
French Open winner Stan Wawrinka had no problem on Wednesday in the evening, as he beat Victor Estrella Burgos 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the third round. "Having these tough games is good for me as the tournament goes further," Wawrinka said.
More hot weather saw the crowds - cut by 1,000 due to the heat - slap on the sun cream and drink plenty of water. Nevertheless, the heat soared during the middle of the afternoon and a ball boy even collapsed on court during Matthew Ebden and John Isner's match. Isner went on to win in straight sets, and the ball boy recovered, as organizers revealed:
Serena Williams cruised into the third round after a simple, well-executed 6-4, 6-1 win over Hungary's Timea Babos. "I don't often say it after two rounds, but I feel really good about how I'm playing," she said after her win.
The shock of the day saw seventh seed Ana Ivanovic beaten by Serbian qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-4. Supported by her parner - Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger - Ivanovic said she felt in great shape heading into the tournament, but heads home after just three days.
Maria Sharapova reached the third round with a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp, but 11th-seed Karolina Pliskova suffered a straight sets defeat to CoCo Vandeweghe and now faces Samantha Stosur, who also won on Wednesday.
14th seeded Andrea Petkovic took just 45 minutes to secure her place in the third round after a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over Colombian Marian Duque. The only British hope in the women's competition, Heather Watson, kept those hopes alive as she reached the third round. She beat Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova in two sets, 6-4, 6-2. Watson will now face Williams in the third round.
jh/apc (dpa, afp)