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Murray rolls; Tsonga, several others pull out on strange day at Wimby

Heavy British crowd favorite Andy Murray eased into the third round, while no less than five men pulled out of the Wimbledon draw on Wednesday, including sixth-seeded French star Jo- Wilfried Tsonga.

The second-seeded Murray managed to avoid the Day-3 carnage with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 handling of overmatched Taiwanese Yen-Hsun Lu on Court 1 at the storied All England Club.

Murray was last year's Wimbledon runner-up to Roger Federer and then beat Federer in last year's Olympic gold-medal match here at the AEC. The British star is the reigning U.S. Open champ and was this year's Australian Open runner-up to current world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

The 26-year-old Murray is trying to give Britain its first men's Wimbledon singles champion in 77 years.

The former Aussie Open runner-up Tsonga, who reached Wimbledon semifinals each of the last two years, was trailing capable Latvian Ernests Gulbis 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 when he quit because of an apparent knee issue on an injury-filled Wednesday.

Meanwhile, 10th-seeded recent Queen's Club grass-court runner-up Marin Cilic was scheduled to meet Frenchman Kenny De Schepper, but decided against playing due to a left knee injury, while 6-foot-10 18th-seeded American John Isner was battling Frenchman Adrian Mannarino when he retired at 1-1 in the first set, also citing a left knee injury.

Isner hurt his knee early in his match against Mannarino, took an injury timeout and called it quits after two games.

The towering American, of course, is best known at the All England Club for playing the longest match in tennis history three years ago with a five-set marathon in the first round against Nicolas Mahut. The 11-hour, 5-minute epic took three days to complete because of rain and darkness, ending with a 70-68 score in the final set.

Fifteenth-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro steered clear of any problems by holding off Frenchman Guillaume Rufin 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-4.

Also pulling out were giant-killer Steve Darcis and Czech veteran Radek Stepanek.

Darcis posted one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history on Monday when he shocked two-time Wimbledon champion and reigning French Open titlist Rafael Nadal in straight sets. But he was unable to face Poland's Lukasz Kubot because of a right shoulder injury on Wednesday.

"Had to withdrawn after a win like this!?THE most difficult thing i had to do!!!#triedeverythingtoplaybutdidntwork!!!!" Darcis wrote on his Twitter account.

Stepanek was losing to 6-foot-8, 24th-seeded Pole Jerzy Janowicz 6-2, 5-3 when he retired from their match due to a thigh injury.

Veteran 20th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny overcame promising Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-4; rising 25th-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire subdued fellow countryman Stephane Robert 6-4, 7-5, 6-4; Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco erased 31st-seeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4; and 32nd-seeded former top-10 Spaniard Tommy Robredo bested the aforementioned Mahut 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, 7-6 (7-5).

Also on Wednesday, Serb Viktor Troicki topped Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 and German Dustin Brown doused 2002 Wimbledon champ and former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2.