It might have been the battle of the two tall “proppies” before an injured Mark Philippoussis departed the Wimbledon men’s singles in straight sets to Marat Safin; while Lleyton Hewitt met with surprising resistance before going on to a dogged four sets win to keep his 2006 title challenge on track.

In the expected battle of the “boomers” and with Safin himself going into the highly anticipated centre court slugfest under an earlier injury cloud, it was Philippoussis who later revealed to John Newcombe commentating the match for Nine, that he had been in excruciating pain from an injured ankle during his loss. But he put up a great fight for as long as he could as the equally tall and big hitting Russian overcame a three set points deficit at 4-5 to go on and win the vital opening set tie-breaker 7-6, then also take the second 7-6, before winning the third 6-4. While The Scud earned our sympathy in that he never dropped a service game while losing the first two sets, the net did drop its bundle when it gave way under the fierce barrage of wayward first serves three games into the second set and had to be replaced.

Hewitt started his match against Czech Jan Hernych in style and looked to be in tremendous touch as he took the first set 6-2, but then the match became a dog fight that Hewitt battled to win over four sets 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. Hewitt now meets American Justin Gimelstob in the third round, who came through the draw via qualifying.