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Martin Rogers

Tuesday Slice: Roddick's big chance?

Busted Racquet

FIRST SERVE

After his defeat in the 2004 Wimbledon final, Andy Roddick lamented that while he'd "thrown the kitchen sink" at Roger Federer, it hadn't been enough because the Swiss had "gone back for the bathtub."

The London crowd lapped up the gallant comments of the beaten finalist and looked forward to a day when he would return to hoist the trophy aloft himself.

With his almighty serve and what seemed to be the ideal modern grass court game, at that point it looked inevitable that Roddick would one day become Wimbledon champion.

However, despite a return to the final the following year, when he was swept aside by Federer, Roddick's performances in this Grand Slam have headed in the wrong direction.

He has managed only one quarterfinal appearance in the past three years, and in 2008 crashed out to Janko Tipsarevic in the second round.

After beating Jeremy Chardy in four sets on Tuesday, Roddick must have reflected that he will never have a better chance of winning the tournament.

Rafael Nadal's absence through injury was of most direct benefit to him - the Spanish world No.1 and defending champion was originally in his quarter.

Instead, if seedings go to plan, he would face Juan Martin del Potro, hardly a grass court expert. More importantly, he has avoided Federer's half of the draw.

One thing that is not in doubt is Roddick's suitability for this tournament. In recent years though, he has all too often suffered from mental lapses at the wrong time in big tournaments.

The clock is ticking for Andy Roddick. One more missed opportunity - and time may have run out once and for all.

DROP SHOT

Britain's Anne Keothavong had high hopes for Wimbledon after a solid year that has pushed her into the top 50 in the world. But after a disappointing defeat to Patricia Mayr of Austria, Keothavong broke down in floods of tears while being interviewed by the BBC.

CLEAN WINNER

Wimbledon lost a colorful character for the final time on Tuesday when Marat Safin was bounced out by 136th-ranked American Jesse Levine. Safin's charisma and humor have endeared him to fans all around the world - and this was a disappointing way for him to sign off his Wimbledon career before retiring at the end of the year.

RAISING THE ROOF?

Barely a thought was given to Centre Court's spectacular new roof as the All England Club was bathed in bright sunshine for the entirety of day two. How ironic it would be if, in the first year of the roof's existence, we have that rarest of spectacles - a rain-free Wimbledon.

GAME OF THE DAY

Former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic is struggling desperately for form, but managed to scrape through an epic first round clash with Lucie Hradecka 5-7 6-2 8-6. Ivanovic had to save two match points and proved that her fighting spirit, if not her game, is still at a high level.

THE JOKER

American Robert Kendrick endeared himself to a partisan British crowd with his Centre Court acrobatics as he gave home favorite Andy Murray a run for his money.

Kendrick launched into a series of spectacular diving volleys as he took Murray to four sets before bowing out. But he left in style, with another theatrical and comical swan dive for the crowd's benefit as he walked from the court.

UPSET ALERT

Unpredictable Polish youngster Urszula Radwanska has a real chance of unseating French Open semi-finalist Dominika Cibulkova if she hits top form.

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