|Andy Roddick of the U.S. hits a return to Feliciano Lopez of Spain at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 24, 2011. (REUTERS/Toby Melville)
WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - Andy Roddick suffered another early exit at Wimbledon, dropping a third-round match to Spain's Feliciano Lopez in straight sets on Friday.
Lopez, a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist currently ranked 44th in the world, took out the eighth-seeded American with a 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 victory on Centre Court. He had never beaten Roddick in seven previous meetings, including a loss on grass at the Queen's Club earlier this month.
Roddick has been a runner-up three times at the All England Club, losing to the great Roger Federer in all three title matches, but he's had his share of disappointing results as well. This marks the fifth time in 11 visits to the London suburb that Roddick has been eliminated before the fourth round. He had a fourth-round loss last year after his third chance at the title in 2009 ended in a 16-14 fifth-set loss to Federer.
Lopez simply dominated the tiebreaks in the opening two sets Friday, then picked up a break in the third for a 2-1 lead and never let the advantage slip away. He double-faulted to start the final game, but won the next three points and wrapped it up two points later when Roddick sent a backhand wide.
Second-round play is also winding down Friday with a trio of matches that were suspended Thursday. Seventh-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer finished off American teenager Ryan Harrison in five sets, while 11th-seeded Austrian Jurgen Melzer completed a four-set triumph over Russia's Dmitry Tursunov. Australia's Bernard Tomic and Russia's Igor Andreev are also closing their second-round match.
Two-time Wimbledon champ Rafael Nadal and British crowd favorite Andy Murray are also scheduled for third-round play Friday. Nadal will meet Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and Murray and will wrap up play on Centre Court against Croatian veteran Ivan Ljubicic. American Mardy Fish, the 10th seed, will play Holland's Robin Haase.