Gilles Simon, the 13th seed who caused controversy this week by claiming women should not receive equal pay, suffered from what may have been bad karma in losing his second-round match to the unseeded 31-year-old Xavier Malisse 6-4, 6-4, 7-6.
Normally a solid Wimbledon competitor who regularly reaches the third round, Simon was out of sorts this time in a match of long baseline rallies against Malisse, a semi-finalist here as long ago as 2002.
Spain's David Ferrer, seeded seventh, found the French qualifer Kenny de Schepper towering almost a foot above him at 6ft 8in and pushing him hard in the first and third sets before going down 7-6, 6-2, 6-4. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam in which Ferrer has not reached the semi-final, though he might have to beat Andy Murray to do so. In the third round Ferrer will play Andy Roddick, who followed his victory over Britain's Jamie Baker on Wednesday by beating Bjorn Phau, the 32-year-old German-Indonesian 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, something of a crowd favourite, found Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez stubborn opposition and gave vent to some anguished cries of frustration in losing the first set on a tie-break, having passed up two set points. He took the second set 6-4 with his serve touching 134mph, the third 6-1 and the fourth 6-3. He will fancy making the last 16 by beating Lukas Lacko.
Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, the ninth seed, unexpectedly dropped the third set 6-1 before beating Japan's Go Soeda, a 27-year-old whose record on grass did not bode well after losing early at Nottingham, Queen's and Eastbourne.
Marin Cilic from Croatia, seeded to meet Murray in the fourth round, easily overcame Lukasz Kubot in straight sets. The promising Belgian youngster, David Goffin, having knocked out the seeded Bernard Tomic, continued his progress by beating the American qualifier Jesse Levine after losing the first set. Novak Djokovic's next opponent will be the 28th seed Radek Stepanek, who beat Germany's Benjamin Becker in straight sets. Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, the 22nd seed, was beaten 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 by Frenchman Benoît Paire, who now plays Brian Baker.