July 31, 2012 / 5:45 PM / in 6 years

Djokovic breezes past Roddick into last 16

LONDON (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic barely broke sweat to dismiss former grand slam winner Andy Roddick 6-2 6-1 in less than an hour on Tuesday as he continued his quest to better his Beijing bronze medal.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his men's singles tennis match against Andy Roddick of the U.S. at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 31, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Wimbledon runner-up Andy Murray and three-time Olympic gold medalist Venus Williams also eased through their second round matches under the Centre Court roof.

Second seed Djokovic, already out of the doubles after he and Viktor Troicki lost their opening match to Sweden’s Johan Brunstrom and Robert Lindstedt, at one point won seven successive games against his American opponent, sporting stars and stripes trainers.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reaches for a return to Andy Roddick of the U.S. in their men's singles tennis match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 31, 2012. REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

“Today everything was working perfectly well and I was neutralizing his serve by getting a lot of returns back in the court and serving a lot of aces,” said 25-year-old Djokovic.

“You’re not playing for yourself like you are most of the time throughout the year. This is one of the unique events, unique opportunities to play for your country and the nation is cheering for you.”

Briton Murray, who has played both his singles matches under the Centre Court roof due to rain, made light work of Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen to book his place in the last 16, winning 6-2 6-4.

To the delight of the home crowd Murray, whose last match against Nieminen at Wimbledon in 2010 was played in front of the Queen, broke his opponent in the first game and again in the fifth to quickly take a 4-1 lead before wrapping up the set.

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Nieminen fought back energetically, saving a match point before going head first over the barriers when chasing a backhand in the next game. Murray, leading 5-4, secured victory with an ace.

Third seed Murray will play Marcos Baghdatis, to whom he dropped a set in their third round meeting at Wimbledon, for a place in the quarter-finals after the Cypriot knocked out France’s Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-4.

“He will have the upper hand against me, but you know I will just go out there and give it a try, you never know,” world number 44 Baghdatis, who kissed the court in celebration after his second round win, said of his upcoming clash against Murray.

“I am in the 16’s of an Olympic event and that’s an incredible thing for me and I hope I will keep going.”

American Williams, due to play doubles later with sister Serena, marched through her second round match against Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak with a 6-1 6-3 win before stopping at the side of the court to swap Olympic Committee pins with two journalists from the Bahamas.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Justin Palmer

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