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Federer reaches 3rd round at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Roger Federer walked off the court with a smile Wednesday, relieved to survive another tense early-round match at Wimbledon.

The six-time champion advanced to the third round by beating qualifier Ilija Bozoljac 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (5).

Federer had a slightly easier time than in his opening match, when he overcame a two-set deficit. But he had trouble putting Bozoljac away, converting only three of 13 break-point chances.

Federer was never broken, won 75 percent of his service points and committed only 13 unforced errors. He won the final three points of the match, one with a bold drop shot when trailing 5-4 in the tiebreaker.

The defending champion, Federer seeks a record-tying seventh men’s Wimbledon title. He has reached the final each of the past seven years.

Three-time Wimbledon runner-up Andy Roddick dug out of an early hole and beat Michael Llodra 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (2). Seeded fifth, Roddick began playing serve and volley more as the match progressed, and he won 34 points at the net.

“That was as tough of a second round as there is,” Roddick said. “I had to make an adjustment. Off of my serve, I had to start coming in and serving and volleying behind it.”

Playing the first match on sun-splashed Centre Court, Roddick hit 25 aces, lost serve just once and committed only 11 unforced errors.

No. 3-seeded Novak Djokovic beat American Taylor Dent 7-6 (5), 6-1, 6-4. Dent served at up to 148 mph but lost 25 of 54 points at the net.

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams lost only 11 points on her serve and beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 6-4. Williams is seeded second behind her sister Serena, who won when they met in last year’s final.

Justine Henin was twice broken serving for the victory, then regrouped and beat Kristina Barrois 6-3, 7-5. Fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters defeated Karolina Sprem 6-3, 6-2.

Clijsters and Henin, both back at Wimbledon after coming out of retirement, could meet in the fourth round.

Umbrellas were out — not for rain, but as shields from the sun on the hottest day of the tournament. Williams rubbed a cold water bottle across her face during a changeover.

With temperatures heading into the low 80s, the All England Club’s public address announcer advised spectators to make sure they had skin protection, head wear and water.

“All are vital necessities,” he said.

No. 15 Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 champion, advanced when Evgeny Korolev retired trailing 6-4, 6-4, 3-0. American Mardy Fish had 30 aces but went 0-for-9 on break-point chances in the final set and lost to Florian Mayer 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

No. 13 Shahar Peer lost to Angelique Kerber 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Roddick won his only Grand Slam title with an overpowering serve and forehand at the 2003 U.S. Open, and he’s now a much different player, using a wide variety of shots. He showed the broad repertoire down the stretch against Llodra, feathering a slice forehand for one key winner, hitting a loopy topspin forehand for another and dropping a pinpoint lob in the corner to take the lead for good in the tiebreaker.

Roddick won 34 points at the net and converted all three of his break-point chances. He also erased two break points in the opening game of the second set, a pivotal moment in the match.

He broke for the first time at love in the final game of the second set to even the match, then won five consecutive games in the third set to take control against Llodra.

“He was playing flawless tennis,” Roddick said. “He played an almost perfect first set. It took some of my best stuff today to get through that. I thought I played really well. I think I had to.”

Henin built leads of 4-1 in the first set and 5-1 in the second. Serving for the win at 5-2, she double-faulted on consecutive points and lost the game, then lost serve again for 5-all.

But Henin broke back and served out the victory at love. She exhaled in relief after winning the final point against the German.

“I was sometimes too much in a rush to finish, probably because she gave up at that time and my intensity really dropped down,” Henin said. “I had a good reaction to the situation.”

Henin won 21 points at the net and hit 38 winners. The seven-time Grand Slam champion seeks the only major title she has yet to win.

“That remains a dream for me,” she said. “I just see myself as an outsider this year, because I don’t know how I’m going to deal at a very high level. So it’s very hard to predict what could happen, but I really don’t see myself as one of the favorites.”

Seeded 17th, the Belgian is playing at Wimbledon for the first time since 2007. She retired in 2008 and rejoined the tour in January.

Clijsters committed just 13 unforced errors against Sprem and erased the only three break points she faced. The No. 8-seeded Clijsters, who returned from retirement last year, is playing at Wimbledon for the first time since 2006.

She has reached at least the third round at her past 16 Grand Slam tournaments.

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