Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 6/25/12
This was not a good start for American hopes at Wimbledon. Venus Williams and James Blake had gone before people tucked into their strawberries and cream at tea time, and John Isner had joined them before cocktails. The chaser followed soon after -- No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, a finalist at Wimbledon in 2010, was beaten in three straight tiebreakers by the hugely talented but frequently underachieving Latvian Ernests Gulbis. "I didn't choke like I usually do," Gulbis said with a smile. For Venus, beaten 6-1, 6-3 by Russia's Elena Vesnina, it was a defeat born out of illness and lack of match practice. For Blake, who went down to the German Benjamin Becker 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-0, 6-4 it was a simply a matter of the passing years. But Isner? Oh, dear, what can the matter be? The year had started so well for this giant with the massive serve when he proved that he had so much to offer by winning Davis Cup ties on red clay in Switzerland and France, beating Roger Fed...
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