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Flying doubles start for wild cards Delgado and Ebden

Jamie Delgado and Matthew Ebden in First Round action.
by Stuart Appleby
Thursday 27 June 2013

It was this time last year when Britain's Jonathan Marray began his inspired run to the Wimbledon Gentlemen's Doubles title alongside Frederik Nielsen. Marray, who had been given a wild card into the event by The All England Club, became the first Briton to win the title since 1936.

This year, could lightning strike twice for British tennis? Well, Marray's compatriot and Wimbledon wild card Jamie Delgado got off to the perfect start in his opening match alongside Australian partner Matthew Ebden, another player who benefited from a wild card.

Hundreds of fans crammed around Court 7 to watch Delgado and Ebden face former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt and his veteran partner, Mark Knowles. Given Knowles' pedigree in the doubles game, having won titles at three of the four majors and finished as runner-up at Wimbledon in 2002, he and Hewitt are as experienced as they come on grass.

However, coming off the back of a singles loss to Dustin Brown on Wednesday, Hewitt tasted his second defeat in the space of 24 hours as Delgado and Ebden won comfortably 6-3, 7-5, 7-6(4) to progress through to round two. 

Elsewhere, No.11 seeds Julien Benneteau and Nenad Zimonjic battled their way back from two sets to one down and saw off Slovakian duo Lukas Lacko and Filip Polasek in a five-set thriller 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4), 2-6, 1-6 on Court 5.

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Frenchman Michael Llodra. The serve-and-volley specialist was forced to retire  from his singles match against Italy's Andreas Seppi earlier in the day because of injury, but returned to the court only a matter of hours later to partner fellow countryman Nicolas Mahut. The pair led Jan Hajek and Jaroslav Levinsky 5-4 in the first set but injury forced the Czech team to retire.

There were also comfortable wins for No.5 seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer Dustin Brown and Rameez Junaid, of Australia, 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4. 

The No.14 seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcin Matkowski defeated Germany's Johan Brunstrom and Raven Klaasen, of South Africa, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.

Out on Court 19, Ricardas Berankis and Andy Murray's second round opponent, Yen-Hsun Lu, beat Polish duo Tomasz Bednarek and Mateusz Kowalczyk 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.


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