London – Spain's Feliciano Lopez scored the biggest upset at this year's Wimbledon on the men's side, stunning three-time finalist Andy Roddick 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 in third-round action on Friday.
Lopez, who has had a history of failings against the top players and had never defeated the American in seven previous matches, showed little sign of nerves after a first-set hiccup in which he squandered a service break with some sloppy play.
That meant the first set came down to a tiebreaker, which Lopez completely dominated with strong serving and net play to heap the pressure on the No. 8 seed.
Neither player faced a single break point in the second set en route to yet another tiebreaker, in which once again the Spaniard lifted his game to win it with surprising ease and send the American to the brink of elimination.
In the final set, Lopez snagged a break of serve and never looked back, taking the match when Roddick sent a ball well wide of the sideline.
Lopez's serve was the key to the victory, as he out-aced the big-serving American by a count of 28 to 23 and was only broken once during the two-hour, 20-minute contest.
But he also played a clean match in all phases, striking a whopping 57 winners in just three sets and committing just seven unforced errors against an experienced player who reached the final of this prestigious tournament in 2004, 2005 and 2009.
"This is a great victory because I'd never beaten him. To beat him here at Wimbledon is even more special," the 29-year-old lefty said in the post-match interview.
"I'm very happy to have pulled it off (on Center Court)."
Next up for Lopez will be the winner of the match between Frenchman Gael Monfils and Poland's Lukasz Kubot, which was suspended due to rain with the players level at a set apiece and 3-3 in the third set.
In other third-round matches that began Friday and are to be completed on Saturday, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain won a tight first set over Luxembourg's Gilles Muller 7-6 (7-5) and Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro was leading Frenchman Gilles Simon 7-6 (10-8), 2-4.
If Nadal and Del Potro both win on Saturday, they would set up a blockbuster fourth-round showdown on Monday.
Also Friday, Spain's David Ferrer completed a second-round, come-from-behind victory over American Ryan Harrison 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
In women's third-round matches involving Spanish players, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez lost to American Venus Williams 6-0, 6-2 and Lourdes Dominguez Lino fell to France's Marion Bartoli 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Wimbledon is one of four Grand Slam tournaments during the tennis season and the only one played on grass.