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No food for you, Serena

6/25/2009 - Tennis

Here are 10 things we learned on Day 3 at Wimbledon:

1. It'll take awhile for Maria

After Maria Sharapova reached the quarterfinals at the French Open on her least productive surface, only recently returned from a serious injury to her serving shoulder, expectations were heightened on the grass at Wimbledon.

The 2004 champ, though, started poorly against Argentine Gisela Dulko and paid the price, losing 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the second round.

"It took me awhile to get going," said Sharapova, who was given a seeding of 24th, 36 spots higher than her ranking. "It's a little too late to start picking yourself up when you're down a set and 3-0."

Sharapova lamented missing "easy" balls and, worryingly, her serve speed drastically dropped in the third set.

"No, no pain at all," Sharapova said. "It's a combination of, you know, a long match. Probably a little heavier balls than the last few tournaments I've played."

She still had a chance to win, wasting a break point in the final game by netting a short backhand.

2. Serena is still puzzled

Serena Williams still doesn't know why there's no eating allowed in the locker room, despite bananas, Kit Kats and other edibles being provided.

"I don't eat in the locker room," Williams said. "They told me not to eat. I try to abide by the rules. I'm just confused as to why do you supply something you consume if there's a sign that says, 'No consuming."'

The second seed's match against Aussie Jarmila Groth was less confusing. Williams breezed 6-2, 6-1 in 58 minutes.

3. Baby talk is nice, especially when it concerns Roger

Roger Federer's wife, the heavily pregnant Mirka Vavrinec, wasn't in her man's box. Cue the speculation.

Federer was asked following his straightforward victory over Guillermo Garcia Lopez if fans should expect a special announcement sooner rather than later.

"No, not really," Federer said. "She's just not feeling 100 percent. She only felt 95 percent, so we decided it's better if she takes it easy instead of sitting in the sun maybe."

This exchange ensued:

"Is it still 10 August, more or less, the date?" asked the reporter.

"I never said it," Federer began. "I don't know who told you, but ... you can speculate as much as you want."

"Mirka told me," the reporter muttered.

"Mirka told you? I'm sure she did," Federer said with a smile.

4. Marat was right

Two years ago two-time Grand Slam champion Marat Safin bad-mouthed the food at Wimbledon, essentially saying it was overpriced and not too tasty.

The Russian, due to retire at the end of the season, might have a point.

The press restaurant showcased a vegetarian lasagna Wednesday that was so runny it looked almost like soup.

It cost 10 pounds ($16.50), too, with rice and vegetables.

5. Fernando likes the natural look

Spanish heartthrob Fernando Verdasco, who had a high-profile fling with Serbian stunner Ana Ivanovic last year, loves his gel. In fact, he's no stranger to applying copious amounts, enough that might withstand a hurricane.

But Verdasco, seeded seventh, has dumped the gel for his first two matches at Wimbledon.

It didn't hurt Wednesday: The lefty downed Belgian Kristof Vliegen 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-4, without facing a break point.

6. It's nice to get bonuses

Grand Slams are exhausting, so getting a breather is never a bad thing.

Exciting -- and excitable -- Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who could meet Verdasco in the fourth round, advanced to Round 3 without stepping on court as Italian Simone Bolelli pulled out due to a back injury.

Bolelli didn't play in his doubles encounter Tuesday after needing five sets and almost four hours to overcome Austrian Daniel Koellerer, nicknamed "Crazy Dani," on Monday.

"I will be ready for the third round," Tsonga said.

Surging German Tommy Haas had to play only seven games against unpredictable Frenchman Michael Llodra to progress. Llodra ran into a ball girl, then the umpire's chair, chasing a drop shot early in the first set. He later called for the trainer, though quit trailing 4-3.

7. Age is mellowing Tommy

Llodra's retirement left fans on Court 1 short-changed, so Haas, 31, provided a little more entertainment.

He played a few exhibition-style points with a ball kid, let two ball kids square off, then played a few more points with another ball kid.

Sure the match was over, but would the ultraserious former world No. 2 have done the same thing years ago?

8. Unlikely semifinalists are "unlikely" for a reason

Zheng Jie was a Wimbledon darling in 2008. The diminutive Chinese baseliner eliminated then-world No. 1 Ivanovic in the third round and ventured to the semifinals, even holding a set point against Williams.

No magic this year.

Zheng, seeded 16th, fell to grass-court threat Daniela Hantuchova, 6-3, 7-5. The Slovak manufactured 16 break points.

Only one of 2008's losing semifinalists -- in both draws -- remains: Russian Elena Dementieva. German Rainer Schuettler, 33, exited in straight sets to pint-sized Israeli Dudi Sela, and Safin lost Tuesday to American Jesse Levine.

9. You gotta take your chances

Sam Querrey knows that.

Unfortunately, the California native couldn't execute and fell 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in a 3-hour, 24-minute slugfest against Croatian Marin Cilic, the 11th seed, on an appreciative Centre Court. Billed as one of the matches of Day 3, the encounter between young 6-foot-6 behemoths didn't disappoint.

Querrey led 5-2 in the second set (one break), then dropped serve at 5-3 on an almighty net cord. Querrey, at 21 one year older than Cilic, recovered from a break down in the fourth and faced his only break points of the fifth in the final game.

When Querrey, 3-for-15 on break points, missed a backhand pass down the line long, Cilic sunk to his knees in celebration.

Once the dust settles, Querrey will know he did his Davis Cup chances no harm -- the U.S. visits Croatia in the quarterfinals after Wimbledon, and regular No. 2 James Blake isn't exactly on a roll.

Americans went 2-for-6, Mardy Fish joining Williams as a winner. Fish downed the unpredictable Serb Janko Tipsarevic in four sets.

Taylor Dent, trying to resurrect a career dampened by a serious back injury, also suffered five-set heartbreak, losing to Spaniard Daniel Gimeno Traver 7-5, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4 in a first-round match halted by darkness Tuesday. Traver led two sets to one when they went to bed.

Last year, California's Dent, on the mend from a debilitating back injury, didn't know if he'd ever play tennis again, so in the grand scheme of things he can't be too disappointed with his first-round loss at Wimbledon.

10. Critic's choice

The fourth day at Wimbledon promises much, and fifth seed Juan Martin Del Potro's clash with Lleyton Hewitt highlights proceedings.

Del Potro lacks grass-court experience but has a huge serve and is on a roll. Hewitt is winding down but knows how to play on the sport's slickest surface, winning the Wimbledon title in 2002.

ESPN.com prediction: Del Potro in four.

Ravi Ubha is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com.