Roddick refusing to panic about Wimbledon despite shock defeat

ANDY Roddick is confident his preparations for Wimbledon remain on track despite his shock defeat by Dudi Sela in the Aegon Championships yesterday. The four-times Queen's champion lost 6-4, 7-6 in the third round to the Israeli, who kept his nerve to save two set-points in the tiebreak before pulling off one of the best results of his career.

The loss for the American, who has been runner-up to Roger Federer three times at Wimbledon, means he has played only two matches on grass rather than the five he would have competed in had he reached the final.

Having opted not to enter a tournament next week, he now faces a longer period of practice than he would like, but he insisted he was relatively happy with the state of his game.

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"I'm not worried about being able to know how to play on a grass court," the 27-year-old said. "I know how to do that. A match at Queen's isn't going to ruin what I've done on this surface for the last eight years and how I've started off this year.

"I'm not panicking. I'm not real worried about it. I wish I could play some more matches, but it will be fine."

Roddick believes that impatience rather than lack of match practice will now be his main problem in the build-up to Wimbledon, which starts in ten days. Although he has always been enthusiastic about practising, he will still have time on his hands.

"I'm not super concerned about the way I'm hitting the ball," he said. "I'm not stressing out about any one part of my game too much."

Rafael Nadal endured an uncomfortable afternoon before emerging a 6-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-4 winner against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

The world No1 and 2008 Queen's champion was troubled by what appeared to be a glute injury after the second set but played on after receiving treatment to secure an unconvincing victory.

A hard-fought first set eventually gave way to a tie-break dominated by Nadal, who dug out one superb slice before completing victory with a brisk serve.

• Leading life and pensions company AEGON is the lead partner of British Tennis, supporting the game at all levels from grass roots to centre court.