Djokovic, Federer hope to avoid Nadal's fate

Posted at 06/29/2012 3:13 PM | Updated as of 06/29/2012 6:47 PM
Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic celebrates after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON - Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer return to centre stage at Wimbledon on Friday hoping to avoid the fate that befell Rafa Nadal who was sent packing by little known Czech gun-slinger Lukas Rosol.

The two remaining members of tennis's big three will know that whoever reaches this year's final will be an overwhelming favourite given the Mallorcan's battler's shock demise under the Centre Court lights on Thursday.

"It is only a tennis match," was Nadal's philosophical take on being jettisoned in the tournament's second round.

"You win, you lose. Last four months were great for me....

"You arrive here, and a little bit of everything. You play against an inspired opponent and I am out. That's all. It is not a tragedy."

Djokovic, who faces 28th seeded Czech Radek Stepanek, and Federer, who takes on France's Julien Benneteau, have both looked in imperious form and not dropped a set in their opening two matches.

In the women's draw, world number one Maria Sharapova is back in action after returning on Thursday to finish off Tsvetana Pironkova, and plays Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei on Court One in her third round clash.