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WIMBLEDON ROUNDUP \ News and notes



Published: Tue, June 21, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Wimbledon far from Paris: Mariano Puerta discovered Wimbledon is a long way from Paris. Puerta, the French Open runner-up, failed to survive the first round of Wimbledon. The Argentine lost to Germany's Lars Burgsmuller 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 Monday in his first match since falling to Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros final June 5. Puerta pulled out of the Queen's Club and Nottingham grass-court tournaments with a groin strain but was seeded 16th at Wimbledon. "It was difficult to play a good match, especially in the first and second sets, he didn't make a mistake," Puerta said. "Grass is very different, it's faster." Puerta returned to Argentina after the French Open and came to England last Wednesday. "It was crazy, unbelievable, I couldn't go outside my house," he said, referring to his reception at home.

Looking down, down under: Lleyton Hewitt is worried about the state of Australian tennis. Hewitt, the 2002 champion, is one of four Australians in the men's draw along with wild card Mark Philippoussis, the 2003 runner-up, Wayne Arthurs and Scott Draper. "Definitely something's changed or gone wrong for Australia," Hewitt said. "On Australia's part, we don't have enough players. It's really not good enough for our country." Hewitt said he hoped former players could pass on their experience to juniors. Australian men have won Wimbledon 21 times.

Oh, to be in England: Two-time defending champion Roger Federer feels a lot of love at the All England Club. "I warmed up this morning at [court] 11 on the outside courts," Federer said. "Everyone you met was [saying] 'good luck, good luck, good luck.' It was a lot of fun. I was really surprised how many cheered for me. In England, they are very friendly and very nice to you. Really definitely enjoyed that." It got better once he got on Centre Court. "I really thought the grass was beautiful," Federer said. "Everything was just perfect."

British hope: Britain has a new tennis star -- for a day at least. David Sherwood advanced to the second round at Wimbledon with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Ricardo Mello of Brazil. Sherwood, who is Britain's No. 8 player, is ranked 207 places below the 54th-ranked Mello. "I started off serving well, although I had a bit of nerves towards the end," Sherwood said. Greg Rusedski also won, beating Alberto Martin 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, but four other British men lost. All five British women playing Monday lost. Five more Brits -- three men and two women -- play today. Tim Henman is the best chance for Britain to win its first men's title since Fred Perry in 1936. The last female winner was Virginia Wade in 1977.

Associated Press




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