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Tennis: Nadal, Roddick, Venus Williams Advance at Wimbledon Championships


Second-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal has defeated Sweden's Robin Soderling in five sets to advance to the fourth round of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London.

Nadal completed the 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5 marathon Wednesday, in a match that started Sunday and was delayed by rain seven times. The Spaniard faces 14th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the fourth round.

In another rain-delayed third-round match, fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia ousted Germany's Nicolas Kiefer, 7-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6. His next opponent will be number-16 Lleyton Hewitt of Australia.

Third-seeded Andy Roddick of the United States completed his postponed fourth-round match, eliminating Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-2, 7-5, 7-5. The American advances to the quarterfinals where he will play Richard Gasquet, after the Frenchman topped compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

In the women's draw, number-23 American Venus Williams earned the final spot in the women's quarterfinals by overpowering second-seeded Maria Sharapova, 6-1, 6-3. The elder Williams sister will play fifth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the round-of-eight.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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