David Ferrer ousted in 2nd round


LONDON -- Top-seeded Novak Djokovic hung on at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

David Ferrer wasn't so lucky.

Ferrer's streak of reaching at least the third round at 17 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments ended at Wimbledon with a 6-7 (5), 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to 118th-ranked qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia.

The seventh-seeded Ferrer's loss was his first in the second round at a major since the 2010 Australian Open. He made the quarterfinals at the last 10 Slams, including being the 2013 French Open runner-up.

"He was better,'' Ferrer said. "A lot of winners. In important moments, he was more aggressive than me.''

In his other 46 career Grand Slam appearances, Ferrer only lost once to a player ranked lower than Kuznetsov -- No. 126 Kei Nishikori at the 2008 U.S. Open.

Kuznetsov, the boys' champion at Wimbledon in 2009, got to the third round of a major for the first time. It was also his first victory over a top-10 player.

Djokovic, meanwhile, advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) win over Radek Stepanek in a match that featured only two service breaks.

Djokovic, who lost in last year's Wimbledon final to Andy Murray, gave Stepanek a point at a crucial stage in the 11th game of the fourth set. He could have received a let from the chair umpire when a challenge by Stepanek on a ball called out was reversed. But Djokovic gave his opponent the point to put the game to deuce, and Djokovic won the game two points later.

The match ended on a successful challenge by Djokovic in the tiebreaker. His forehand cross-passing shot was ruled out, but the video replay showed it hit the line.

The two men, who have played each other a dozen times, shared a warm embrace as the crowd gave them a huge ovation.

"We know each other's game really well," said Djokovic, who extended his career record over Stepanek to 11-1. "I was two sets up. I had some break-point chances in the third and should have closed it out in the third-set tiebreak.

"But credit to him for fighting. He's 35 years old and still moving very well and surface wise grass is probably his most preferred. He loves to engage the crowd. It was fun to be part of it."

Djokovic, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and has seven Grand Slam titles, served 18 aces and had 54 winners. Stepanek, who fell to the turf numerous times, either slipping or diving or simply slumping from exhaustion, nearly matched him with 51 winners.

But Stepanek was never able to break serve, failing to convert on five chances. Djokovic broke only twice, once in each of the first two sets.

In other action, Murray dropped just two games as he overwhelmed Blaz Rola of Slovenia to reach the third round.

Murray trounced the 92nd-ranked Slovenian 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 on Court 1 in a commanding performance as he seeks to become the first British player to retain the Wimbledon crown in 77 years.

Murray broke eight times, saved the only three break points against him and had only 13 unforced errors in a match that lasted 81 minutes.

"If you can finish matches as quickly as possible it definitely helps in the long run," Murray said.

The 23-year-old Rola, playing in his first Wimbledon, has been playing mainly on the lower-tier Challenger Circuit and has very little grass-court experience.

"I played well today," Murray said. "This is the first year he's played on grass. He just came out of college and he's broken into the top 100. It was tough for him today, he doesn't have much grass court experience but I think he'll keep improving."

The man who shocked Roger Federer at Wimbledon a year ago, Sergiy Stakhovsky, pulled off another surprise Wednesday.

The 90th-ranked Stakhovsky used the same serve-and-volley style that worked against Federer in 2013 to beat 12th-seeded Ernests Gulbis 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) and get to the third round at the All England Club.

Last year, seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer's streak of 36 consecutive major quarterfinals ended with a loss in the second round to Stakhovsky, who then lost his next four Grand Slam matches in a row.

But back at Wimbledon, the Ukrainian found his touch again, winning points on 32 of 45 trips to the net.

"The surface is fast. It's no bounce. It's speedy. It's exactly what I need. So pretty much I have the chance of finishing that volley if I have it," Stakhovsky said. "On other surfaces, not so easy."

Gulbis, who reached the semifinals at the French Open this month, double-faulted nine times.

Stakhovsky is now 2-22 for his career in matches against top-10 players, with the only two victories at the All England Club, against Federer and Gulbis.

"That's why he beat Roger last year on grass," said Gulbis, who is ranked 10th. "The guy has a good game plan. He comes in; he chips the ball; he takes out the pace."

Also, No. 11-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, coming of his win at the grass-court warm-up at Queen's Club, sailed into the third round by beating Australian qualifier Luke Saville 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.