Majestic Murray dazzles in front of the Queen
Andy Murray turned in a majestic performance against Finland's Jarkko Nieminen under the gaze of Queen Elizabeth II at Wimbledon on Thursday to surge into the third round without the loss of a set.
World number four Murray, Britain's only player to reach the second round of the singles, produced a textbook bow in front of the Royal Box but then nearly fluffed his opening service game before marching to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
Image: Andy Murray
Murray bows to the Queen
Murray saved four break points in the opening game on Centre Court but was soon into his stride, taking the lightweight Nieminen serve in the next game.
The Scot broke again midway through the second set and treated the crowd to some scintillating strokes as he toyed with his opponent at times during a one hour 43 minute victory.
Murray's next opponent will be French 26th seed Gilles Simon, who got through without striking a ball on Thursday when Illya Marchenko pulled out with a shoulder injury.
Image: Andy Murray and Jarkko Nieminen bow to Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth returns to Wimbledon
Queen Elizabeth returned to Wimbledon on Thursday for the first time in 33 years to enjoy Britain's Andy Murray win his Centre Court match with regal ease.
The monarch certainly brings good luck to British players. The last time she visited the tournament in her 1977 Silver Jubilee year, Virginia Wade won the women's title for Britain.
The crowd on the world's most famous tennis court rose to give the Queen a standing ovation when she took her seat in the Royal Box dressed in a turquoise outfit and matching hat.
To loud cheers, Murray and his Finnish opponent Jarkko Nieminen bowed to the Queen in perfect harmony.
They bowed again after Murray's bloodless victory and were presented to the monarch when they came off court.
Image: Queen Elizabeth
Sharapova eases into third round
Former champion Maria Sharapova continued her steady improvement since undergoing shoulder surgery with a clinical 6-1, 6-4 victory over Romania's Ioana Raluca Olaru in the second round.
The 2004 champion, seeded 17 this year, made frequent forays to the net to punish anything short from the world number 114 and raced to the opener in 32 minutes.
Olaru, beaten 6-0, 6-0 by Victoria Azarenka at this stage last year, offered stiffer resistance in the second but the Russian wrapped it up after an 82 minutes.
She will play Slovakian 24th seed Daniela Hantuchova or Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova for a place in the fourth round.
Image: Maria Sharapova
Soderling solid and sure
Sixth seed Robin Soderling conjured up another rapid-fire rout to book his place in the third round at Wimbledon with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Spain's Marcel Granollers.
The twice French Open finalist, who has never gone beyond the last 16 at the All England Club, muscled his way to the first set in 36 minutes before steamrollering his opponent.
The Swede, who is playing his first tournament since losing to Rafa Nadal in the Roland Garros final earlier this month, has not dropped a set in the opening two rounds and looks a sound bet to progress deep into the second week.
Soderling now faces the 25th seed Thomaz Bellucci in the third round after the Brazilian dispatched Austrian Martin Fisher in four sets.
Image: Robin Soderling
Isner wins longest match ever
The world's longest tennis match finally ended at Wimbledon on Thursday when John Isner claimed the incredulous fifth set of a three-day epic against Nicolas Mahut 70-68 after 11 hours and five minutes on court.
The American 23rd seed ended the contest with a backhand passing shot after another hour of play on Court 18 after the match had resumed at 59-59 in the deciding set after it was stopped by bad light on Wednesday.
Isner completed an eye-watering 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 first-round victory with every vantage point taken by a packed crowd on Court 18.
Isner fell to the ground in disbelief and after the two players hugged at the net Mahut sunk into his chair and covered his head with his towel.
Image: John Isner celebrates his victory
'Mahut is an absolute warrior'
"I am a little bit tired," an elated Isner said in an on-court interview later.
"When you play a match like this with an atmosphere like this you don't feel tired. This crowd was fantastic.
"The guy (Mahut) is an absolute warrior. I want to share this day with him, it was an absolute honour. I wish him the best and see him somewhere down the road and it won't go 70-68."
The previous longest match was the six hours 33 minutes epic between Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement at the 2004 French Open.
Image: John Isner embraces Nicolas Mahut after their match
Nadal douses Haase fire
World number one Rafael Nadal was forced to battle for Wimbledon survival before extinguishing Dutch firebrand Robin Haase with a 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 second round victory.
The 2008 champion found the resolve to come through a stern examination from the unshaven, tousled 23-year-old Haase who, like Nadal, has struggled with a troublesome knee injury that has stymied his career.
Champion Roger Federer struggled during his first two rounds and it was Nadal's turn to flirt with danger. But his will to win and greater experience on grass finally ended Haase's challenge on Centre Court.
Image: Rafael Nadal