- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2011

WIMBLEDON, England — Three-time Wimbledon runner-up Andy Roddick was eliminated 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2), 6-4 Friday by Feliciano Lopez in the third round, the biggest upset of the men’s tournament so far.

The 44th-ranked Lopez served 28 aces and piled up 57 winners to defeat Roddick on Centre Court, the American’s first loss to the Spanish left-hander in eight matches.

“He played an outstanding match,” Roddick said. “I feel like he played as complete a match as he’s played against me. He served about as well as someone has.”

In a surprise on the women’s side, second-seeded and 2010 runner-up Vera Zvonareva was knocked out 6-2, 6-3 by 33rd-ranked Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria. The Russian converted only one of seven break points and had 18 unforced errors. Pironkova upset Venus Williams here last year en route to the semifinals.

Williams, a five-time champion, set up a fourth-round rematch against Pironkova by routing Marcia Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-0, 6-2 in 1 hour on Court 1.

“Last year, I wasn’t on my best game,” Williams said. “But this year, I’m really going to look forward to really playing a little bit better than last year. Every now and then we all have bad days, but I’m planning to have a better one this year.”

The eighth-seeded Roddick, who lost to Roger Federer in the finals in 2004, ‘05 and ‘09, served 16 aces but also had six double-faults. It’s the third time in four years Roddick has lost in the early rounds — he went out in the second round in 2008 and the fourth last year.

“He played better than I did,” Roddick said. “He beat me. It’s easier for me to walk out of here with that and move forward with that than ‘08 where I lost to (Janko) Tipsarevic and I felt like I completely choked or last year where I just kind of had a million opportunities and kind of gave it away. Those are tougher to take now.”

Lopez, who reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2005 and 2008, broke Roddick twice and had only seven unforced errors.

The Spaniard had lost to Roddick in all their previous matches, including the Wimbledon tuneup at Queen’s Club two weeks ago.

“This was a big win for me,” Lopez said. “I played Andy so many times and he always beat me. It was so important for me to win today. Even though he beat me before, to beat him at Wimbledon is the most special. I’m happy to pay him back here on this wonderful court.”

Williams had 21 winners and only five unforced errors against Martinez Sanchez. It was a big change from her previous match, when Williams was stretched to three sets and three hours by 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm.

“The other match was three hours of nonstop running, so it felt like a marathon,” she said. “I’m feeling good and it’s great to be ready for the second week. I’ll get a couple of days off to really get things in order.”

Earlier, top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki, pursuing another bid for her first Grand Slam title, made only one unforced error in defeating Virginie Razzano 6-1, 6-3 to move into the third round.

The 20-year-old Dane was at the top of her game, downing the 96th-ranked Frenchwoman in 66 minutes in sunny conditions on Court 2 at the All England Club.

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