2010, Wimbledon

Wimbledon, London
June 21-July 4, 2010; 128 Draw (32 seeds); Surface – Grass

First Wimbledon since 2003 without Roger Federer in the final… the Swiss didn’t even advance to the semifinals… he could have been beaten by Alejandro Falla already in the first round! Rafael Nadal claims his second title at the All-England Club despite despite surprising difficulties in the first week when he was 1-2 in sets twice against much inferior opponents. John Isner and Nicolas Mahut play their improbable three-day marathon with unimaginable ’70-68′ fifth set.
All scorelines
Final: (BBC)

nadal_berdych_wb10World number one Rafael Nadal blew away 12th seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets to regain the Wimbledon crown and claim his eighth Grand Slam title (41st title overall). Nadal was too strong for the Czech as he won 6-3, 7-5, 6-4serena_rafa in 2 hours 13 minutes on a blustery Centre Court. Having been unable to defend his title last year due to injury, Nadal has now won 14 straight matches at Wimbledon. And he adds a second title at the All England Club to five French Opens and one victory at the Australian Open. “It’s more than a dream for me,” Nadal told BBC Sport. “After a difficult year for me, missing the tournament last year, this year I came back and to have this trophy in my hands is more than a dream.” After winning at Roland Garros for the fifth time last month, without dropping a set, Nadal has proved beyond doubt that he is currently the world’s best player and, at 24, he has plenty of time to close on Roger Federer‘s record 16 Grand Slam titles. Berdych had beaten six-time champion and world number two Federer in the quarter-finals, and third seed Djokovic in the semi-finals, but in his first Grand Slam final the Czech came up against a simply unstoppable force. Nerves and the testing conditions did not help the 12th seed, but nothing was going to stop Nadal reclaiming the title he first won in five dramatic sets against Federer two years ago. Nadal had been in blistering form in his semi-final win over  Murray on Friday and had won seven of his 10 matches against Berdych, making him a heavy favourite going into Sunday’s final. And after the opening six games passed without incident, the 2008 champion pounced on his first chance in game seven. Errors on the forehand and backhand side saw Berdych fall 0/30 and the Spaniard came up with a stunning forehand pass down the line to reach 0/40, converting his second break point with a winning return. Berdych appeared rattled and was struggling to keep pace, his first-serve percentage slipping to 50%, and a rampant Nadal was able to tee off on the return as he broke again to seal the 1st set in 34 minutes. There was hope, finally, for the Czech at the start of the 2nd set when Nadal played a loose game and offered up three break points, but a stinging forehand, a heavy second serve and a Berdych error ensured the world number one remained in charge. nadal_wb10triumphBoth men were making unforced errors as the blustery conditions knocked them out of any rhythm and, with little sign of a Berdych comeback, the atmosphere was unusually flat as the set progressed. Neither man got close to another break point until game 11 but, after looking comfortable on serve, the nerves took hold of Berdych as a tie-break loomed. Two successive forehand errors from 0/30 handed Nadal a two-set lead without the Spaniard having to raise his game as he would have expected, and Berdych was now faced with an almost impossible task. Something had to change for the Czech and he attempted to increase the pressure on Nadal by attacking the net early in the 3rd. However, Berdych now needed to seize every opportunity that came his way and when a backhand found the net on break point in game three, Nadal was let off the hook once again. The world number one had not needed to hit the heights of his semi-final nadal_berdych_wb10ceremonywin over Murray but a huge forehand winner into the corner helped him to 4:3 and reminded everyone that the Spaniard still had several gears in reserve if required. Once again, Nadal made his move as the set – and potentially the match – neared its conclusion, with a couple of vicious forehands getting him to within two points of victory at 5:4. Berdych blazed a forehand over the baseline at ‘deuce’ to give Nadal championship point and the man from Majorca took it in typical style with a flashing cross-court forehand winner, before collapsing in triumph and adding a celebratory forward roll on the hallowed turf. “I want to say thank you to the crowd because I was playing the local player on Friday, and the respect on the court was amazing, and that doesn’t happen on every court in the world so thank you very much,” said Nadal. Berdych admitted: “It’s been a great two weeks for me, but he was really strong, he’s showing in the last few months he’s really the champion.” Stats of the final

Semifinals: (BBC)

Rafael Nadal delivered the performance of a seven-time Grand Slam champion to end Andy Murray‘s hopes of reaching his first Wimbledon final. The Spaniard was stronger in the key moments as he won 6-4, 7-6(6), 6-4. “It was a very, very good match for me,” the world number one told BBC Sport. “To beat Andy you have to play your best tennis, it’s always a big challenge and it was an amazing victory for me against one of the toughest opponents in the world.” Both men were sharp from the outset, Murray sealing his second service game with two aces and a lob volley, but he failed to capitalize on the first half-chance when presented with a second serve at 30/30 in game eight and Nadal quickly made him pay. The Spaniard fired a forehand into the corner to earn the first break point of the match at 4:4 and a nervous Murray forehand into the tram-lines gave Nadal the chance to serve out the set, which he duly did after 37 minutes. Murray continued to hold the edge on serve early in the 2nd set, making an impressive 76% of first serves as he won his first three service games to love, but he could not break Nadal’s resistance from ‘deuce’ at 2-all and 3-all as the former champion held him off brilliantly. Finally, a superb nadal_wb10defensive lob brought Murray his first break points of the day at 4:3, 15/40, but a big first serve, a succession of heavy forehands and a vicious backhand winner got Nadal out of trouble. The match remained as tight and tense as it had been in the opening moments, with every winner feeling like a victory and each error a disaster, and the stakes were raised even further as the set came down to a tie-break. Murray had won three of his previous seven matches against Nadal but had never come back from a set down against the Spaniard, let alone two, and it was crucial that he took the chance to level. A raking backhand return put the Scot into an early 2:0 lead but when he hooked a forehand into the net for 2:2, the better part of 15,000 spectators let out a collective groan. Nadal’s resistance seemed to have finally cracked when he double-faulted at 5:5 but Murray could not find a first serve on set point, and the world number one levelled with a brilliant volley. He then brought Murray to the net and got a slice of luck with a net cord that helped his backhand pass avoid the Briton’s flailing racquet, and a brilliant angled forehand gave Nadal the tightest of sets. It was a hammer blow for Murray, but Nadal gave his opponent – and the crowd – a huge lift just when hopes were fading by dropping serve to love at the start of the 3rd set. But it was a long way back for Murray and, as his first serve dipped below 50%, the irrepressible Nadal struck back from *2:4 to 4-all. The former champion was simply unstoppable, a fizzing forehand helping him to match point in game 10, and Murray fired over the baseline to end the battle after 2 hours and 21 minutes. Tomas Berdych produced a performance of power and poise to reach his first Wimbledon final, as third seed Novak Djokovic unravelled on Centre Court. The Czech, triumphed 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3. The key to the match was a gripping 2nd-set tie-break. Djokovic saved five set points, and had two of his own, but he double-faulted on the sixth and his challenge faded. The Serb threw in two more double-faults to drop his serve in the 8th game of the 3rd set, and Berdych came through comfortably in the end after 2 hours and 18 minutes. Djokovic struggled to find the range on his fearsome forehand, and it was an error off that wing that gave Berdych the only break of the 1st set. The 24-year-old stuttered on his first set point with a double-fault, but he drew first blood after 33 minutes with a brutal forehand winner. When Djokovic was not shooting desperate glances at his support camp, he was shrugging his shoulders or looking accusingly at the baseline, stripped of grass after 10 scorching days at Wimbledon. But the momentum appeared to be shifting when Berdych failed to serve out the second set, faltering for the first time as a maiden Grand Slam final loomed into view. It still took an incredible defensive forehand by Djokovic to do it, the Serb almost performing the splits as he stretched out wide, and Berdych netted his response. berdych_wb10The 12th seed shook off the disappointment immediately though, racing to a 6:2 lead in the ensuing tie-break, but Djokovic again fought back, saving all four set points. The last of them brought the crowd to their feet. Djokovic looked out of the point and when his scrambled lob was called out, his hopes appeared to have finally evaporated. But Hawkeye confirmed the ball had caught the outside edge of the line and, despite Djokovic’s pleas that the point should be his, it was replayed.The fired-up Serb turned to his supporters and roared his approval when he finally took it with a crunching backhand down the line. They changed ends for a second time at 6-all and again at 9-all, neither player able to take their chances, but an enthralling tie-break ended in the worst possible fashion for Djokovic with a double-fault. The Serb reacted by smacking his racquet against his chair, earning a warning from the umpire, but the outburst failed to inspire him. He ended the match with an extremely creditable first-serve percentage of 72, but it was his serve which let him down again in the third set. His spirit already looked crushed, and that was confirmed when two double-faults in a row handed Berdych the chance to serve for the match and the Czech, in only his second Grand Slam semi-final, did so in clinical fashion. Djokovic, who will be confirmed as the new world number two on Monday, paid tribute to his opponent. “Nobody likes losing, but the fact of the matter is I didn’t deserve to win today – simple as that. I have to move on. Next time if I have this opportunity I’ll play better,” he said.

Quarterfinals: (BBC)

Six-time champion Roger Federer saw his defence of the Wimbledon title come to a shock end as he was stunned in four sets by Czech 12th seed Tomas Berdych. The Swiss top seed was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6 to give 24-year-old Berdych the biggest victory of his career. Federer had not lost before the final at SW19 since 2002 and was berdych_wb10_bidding to win a record-equaling seventh title. But Berdych gave a performance of the very highest order: “It’s really tough to explain how I’m feeling, it’s unbelievable.” Federer came into the match as the firm favourite but, from the moment he was taken to ‘deuce’ in game one, it was clear the 16-time Grand Slam champion was not going to have everything his own way. Berdych combined much-improved movement with jaw-dropping forehands and lightning-quick deliveries to wow the Centre Court, and broke in game seven before serving out the opening set. There would, however, be an immediate shift in momentum as Berdych tensed up in game two of the 2nd set and allowed Federer to break to 15 with a fine crosscourt forehand pass. Despite squandering two more break points in games six and eight, the Basel-born right-hander leveled the match and at that point Federer would have been expected by many to run away with it. But Berdych had other ideas, targeting Federer’s unusually brittle second serve to break in games two and six before serving out the 27-minute 3rd set. Although Federer had won eight of his previous 10 meetings with Berdych, the Swiss was reduced to tears after losing their first encounter at the Athens Olympics and also succumbed in their most recent duel at April’s Miami Masters. So he knew all about the world number 13’s threat, yet seemed powerless to contain it. Federer looked set to make the first move in a pulsating fourth set but Berdych dug deep to escape from 0/40 in game six and then forced the decisive break when Federer volleyed wide in game seven. Berdych was soon serving for the match and the pressure appeared to have got the better of him as Federer saved a match point and brought up a break-back point. But the Czech held his nerve to unleash his 51st and final winner and confirm the biggest upset of the 2010 Championships. Novak Djokovic produced a powerful display to end the run of unseeded Yen-Hsun Lu with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win which secured a place in the semi-finals. The third seed’s serve dominated and he did not face a single break point against the world number 82. One break of serve in the first set, and two in each of the second and third gave the Serb a comfortable victory. The 2008 Australian Open champion told BBC Sport: “Nothing is easy these days especially at this stage of the tournament but the way I played I deserved to win. I hit all the shots, played the rallies and was solid from all parts of the court and I am very happy. Andy Murray struggled past France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Centre Court. The British number one came through a tense encounter 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-2 in 2 hours and 48 minutes. murray_wb10After the opening 26 minutes were dominated by serve, Murray got a look at a second serve at 4-all, 30/30, and sent a dipping return that Tsonga could not control, but the Briton then failed to make a return on the break point and the fleeting chance was gone. Tsonga earned himself an opportunity with a couple of huge forehands in the following game and when Murray blazed a forehand drive over the baseline, the fourth seed found himself set point down. It took him two volleys, but the Briton saw off the danger from the net and fired down his fifth ace to make it 5-all. With neither man able to make the breakthrough in the opening skirmishes it came down to a tie-break and, after the pair shared an early break apiece, Murray went long with a forehand to fall 4:2 down and could not claw the deficit back. Tsonga converted his third set point, and first on serve, with a delicate drop volley and the Frenchman had taken the first set of the Championships off Murray. Little wrong in losing the first set but he needed a lift and got exactly that at the start of the 2nd when a floated forehand return forced Tsonga to volley into the net. Murray was in charge at 3:0* but it did not last, a couple of backhand errors giving Tsonga the chance to break back and the Frenchman gratefully powered away a smash. A second tie-break was required and Tsonga took the initiative with a move to the net to break for *5:4 but Murray responded immediately with a backhand pass, and the Frenchman then made a catastrophic error by leaving a gentle, floating return to drop inside the baseline. With that mistake surely still in his mind, Tsonga blasted a forehand long on set point and Murray was level. When a tiring Tsonga volleyed wide on the sixth break point of an epic game at 1:1 in the 3rd set, it felt like the momentum had shifted once and for all, and after recovering from 15/40 in the next game Murray broke once again for an impregnable 4:1 lead. The Scot saved a break point in game eight with a whipped cross-court forehand before wrapping up the set, and a backhand arrowed down the line moments later saw him break at the start of the 4th. Tsonga could now do nothing against a rampant opponent, dropping serve again to trail 0:4, and Murray clinically served out the match to seal a Grand Slam semi-final place for the fourth time. The Frenchman said afterwards that Murray had simply “played better”, and asked about the ball he let go in the second tie-break he refused to say it was the key moment. “There is this one but there are others,” he said. “This is tennis and sometimes you let a ball go and you lose the point.” Murray admitted that it was “surprising” to see Federer go out in the quarter-finals, but he was positive about nadal_wb10bhthe challenge of facing Nadal in the last four. “It will be a great match, it’s always fun,” he said. “I think we’ve played four times in Grand Slams and won two each. I’m looking forward to it.” Rafael Nadal hit back from a disastrous first set to beat Robin Soderling 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-1 on Court One and set up a semi-final against Andy Murray. Soderling raced 5:0* ahead in the opening set after just 18 minutes and took it despite a brief Nadal rally. But Nadal went 3:0* up in the 2nd and went on to close it out. He took the third on a tie-break after Soderling called for the trainer when Nadal was about to serve for the set and rattled through the fourth to seal it. “I started so slow but Robin was playing very long, powerful shots so it was very difficult to have control of points,” Nadal told BBC Sport afterwards. The Spaniard was set to serve for the 3rd set at 5:4 when Soderling called for the trainer to deal with a problem with his left foot. The medical man did not arrive straight away and when the match resumed, it was after a gap of seven or eight minutes. The second seed immediately double-faulted and ended up being broken in a topsy-turvy game much to the second seed’s fury and the set eventually went to a tie-break which Nadal won easily to move ahead in the match for the first time. In the final set Nadal won five games in a row from 1-all.

Fourth round: Greg Bishop

After the final ball bounced past him, Andy Roddick showed a facial expression somewhere between dumbfounded and perplexed. Defeat had sneaked up behind him, suddenly and dramatically. The man who ended Roddick’s Wimbledon sprinted toward the grandstand and lu_wb10unleashed a frantic fist pump. His name was Yen-Hsun Lu. His seismic upset, 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 9-7 was in the record books. Lu, who is from Taiwan, became the first Asian man to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since 1995. Roddick scolded reporters and stomped off, the final American remaining in men’s singles headed home. “I don’t think stunned is the right word,” he said. “I don’t view what happened today as an impossibility.” Even if it seemed that way, if only because at this tournament 12 months ago, Roddick fought into the final and dueled Federer for five thrilling sets. Ever since then, that match, that moment, had defined Roddick. People approached him in coffee shops, at restaurants. They told him where they watched that final and what it meant to them. Tennis fans here love their underdogs, and in Roddick, they found another Goran Ivanisevic, also a three-time runner-up at Wimbledon.  The match lasted for 4 hours 36 minutes, a marathon by all standards set previous to last week. Roddick graded his play in the first three as “horrendous, like, really, really badly.” He served well, but did not so much return as fail to. Despite criticizing his own play, Roddick lauded Lu’s performance. This despite the fact that Lu had never beaten Roddick. Nor had Lu emerged from the first round in his four most recent Wimbledons or five most recent Grand Slam tournaments. Roddick said Lu’s game was conducive to the surface here, with his low, flat ground strokes and scrambling, creative shot-making. Little rain so far this tournament, along with the highest temperatures yet on Monday, made the grass play faster than normal, setting the perfect conditions for the upset. In the 4th-set tie breaker, Roddick fell behind, 0:3, and his chances turned toward perilous. But when he rallied to even the set count at two each, even Lu said he thought that Roddick would win. But Roddick said the biggest difference from their previous meetings came courtesy of Lu’s serve. That serve held Roddick hostage, particularly in the 5th set. “He deserved to win more than I did,” Roddick said. “That’s for sure.” Roddick had his chances to win all losing sets: he had a set point at 5:4* in the 2nd set, squandered a 4:2 lead in the 3rd set tie-break, and finally couldn’t convert a mini-match point at 4-all in the decider.  Roger Federer made short work of Austria’s Jurgen Melzer to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and stay on target for his seventh singles crown. The defending champion was rarely troubled by the subdued 16th seed and won 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in 85 minutes. It’s weird that these 29-year-old players participating so many times in the same tournaments, met for the first time in the professional tour match! Federer was satisfied with his performance, telling BBC Sport: “The start of the match was vital. I got the early break, he broke back but I was in my rhythm. I think my form is good enough but obviously the opponents are going to get more and more difficult.” Second seed Rafael Nadal beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4 6-2, 6-2. “I think I played really well but I have also played well in my last two matches,” the Spaniard said. Third seed Novak Djokovic beat 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in almost 3-hour battle wining only three points more, while Tomas Berdych defeated unseeded German Daniel Brands 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5, 6-3 serving twice to stay in the 2nd set and trailing *3:5 in the 3rd set. Djokovic came through against one of the game’s finest competitors. He hung tough in the hot, sunny conditions, overcoming the indefatigable Hewitt with better serving and better composure in the important moments. His superb return game forced Hewitt to earn every point. Hewitt seemed to be getting the better of djokovic_wb10things in the 4th set, though, breaking back while Djokovic appeared weary, with low positive intensity and slumped shoulders. He had received medicine for his stomach after the 3rd set, and a fifth set seemed imminent when Hewitt led 4:3* (30-all). Serving at 4-all, 30/0, Hewitt looked poised to extend Djokovic. He missed a forehand by inches. His another forehand was long and the atmosphere on Court One changed. At 30-all Hewitt missed again, this time wide on a down the line backhand. The crowd murmured at the sudden turn and Hewitt, clearly rattled, gave the game away with a double fault. Djokovic served the match out to ‘love’ and felt a big relieve ripping his T-shirt off. They met also in the Wimbledon third round three years before, and the outcome was similiar – Djokovic won in 4 dropping a third set. The British number one, Andy Murray came through 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 against the 6’6 Queen’s Club champion Sam Querrey to reach the last eight for the third year in a row. Murray, 23, struggled at the end of the first set but began and ended in the form that impressed in earlier rounds. “It was a very good match,” Murray told BBC Sport. “I had my chances at the end of first set, it was a huge point in the match because he had the momentum and I managed to nick it away from him. It’s tough playing against someone with such a big serve.” Querrey broke back in the 1st set, and things got worse for Murray at 5:5 when a forehand into the net and a double-fault left him at 0/40. With the set fast slipping away, the fourth seed gathered himself with a backhand winner down the line but was fortunate at 30/40 to see Querrey hammer a mid-court forehand into the tramlines. It was a huge opportunity missed for the American and it was no great surprise to see him blast a forehand long at set point down in the following game. In the next two sets Murray was unbroken. Robin Soderling came through his first real test of the Wimbledon fortnight on Monday when he beat Spanish ninth seed David Ferrer 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. The sixth seed had yet to drop a set and had spent the least time on court of all the men left in the draw, and he seemed in no mood to soderling_wb10hang around when he won the 1st set easily and was *3:1 up in the second. But Ferrer had other ideas and took the 2nd set with two breaks of serve being two points away from a two-sets-to-love deficit, causing the tall Swede to snap his racket with his foot in frustration, much to the surprise of the crowd on a packed Court 12. Soderling seemed back on track for a first appearance in the quarter-finals, comfortably winning the 3rd set even though he took a medical break at 4:1* up. This time it was Ferrer who took his frustration out on his racket, smashing it into his bag as the players walked to their chairs at the end of the set. A packed audience on the small showcourt watched the dramatic tug-of-war unfold as the two players slugged it out from the baseline with only the occasional foray to the net. A resurgent Ferrer took the match into a decider and forced French Open finalist Soderling to endure a nervous few moments as he was trailing *4:5 (15/30). Two big serves from the Swede made it 40/30 and although his opponent took the game to ‘deuce’, Soderling held on. He then broke Ferrer and the match finally ended when the Spaniard sent a service return long after 3 hours and 3 minutes.

Third round: (ESPN)

Defending champion Roger Federer cruised into the fourth round of Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Frenchman Arnaud Clement. After dropping sets in each of the first two rounds, the top-seeded Swiss advanced in just over an hour and a half on Centre Court on Friday. He made only 11 unforced errors and reeled off 29 winners to Clement’s 17. He left Centre Court to a rousing standing ovation. “I get standing ovations 99 percent of the time – doesn’t matter if the performance was great or not so great,” he said. “I think they’re happy to see me, and they love tennis. But of course, when I end up winning, and they give me a reception like this, it feels good at the heart.” Federer, who is aiming for his 17th Grand Slam title and seventh at the All England roddick_wb10Club, will play 16th-seeded Austrian Jurgen Melzer on Monday for a berth in the quarterfinals. Melzer beat Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. Federer and Melzer played doubles together as juniors but have never faced each other in singles on the tour. “I’m excited about having a weekend off, because it’s been a tough first week,” Federer said. “Not as tough as Isner and Mahut, of course, but still somewhat tough mentally. So I’m looking forward to Monday.” Andy Roddick powered into the fourth round with a 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber. The fifth-seeded American served 28 aces to beat the German on Court 1. Roddick, a three-time Wimbledon finalist, broke four times and saved all seven break points against him. Roddick could lead two-sets-to-love, but squandered a triple set point at 5:4 (40/0) in the 2nd set. The American missed his first match point at 5:2* when he dived in vain to reach a drop shot and landed face-first on the grass. In the next game, he saved a break point and then finished with an ace on his third match point. Roddick next plays Yen-Hsun Lu, who became the first Taiwanese man to make the fourth round of a Grand Slam. He was leading Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-4, 2-1 when the German retired with an injury. No. 3 Novak Djokovic reached the round of 16 by beating No. 28 Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Montanes’ 35th Grand Slam event and still without reaching round 16 (his eight loss in the third round, third in a row). That sets up an intriguing fourth-round battle against 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt. The 15th-seeded Australian, enjoying a resurgence after returning from hip surgery, advanced with a 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-4 win over Frenchman Gael Monfils. Hewitt saved three set points in the 2nd-set tie-break (6:7, 7:8* & 8:9) and pumped his right arm four times in celebration after closing out the set. Monfils fought back from *1:4 to stay close in the 3rd but wasted a break point at 4-all double-faulted to end the match. In a minor upset, 13th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia was ousted by Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 2-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Mathieu made some kind of revenge for the famous five-set loss to Youzhny during the Davis Cup final in 2002. The French player came back from a 0:3 (0/30) deficit in the deciding set. Unseeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan fought toe-to-toe with the world’s 13th ranked player, Tomas Berdych, before falling 6-7(1), 7-6(5), 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-4. Istomin, ranked 70th, had scored a first-round, five-set upset of the 20th seed Wawrinka, and followed it with a five-set victory over Scheuttler. Berdych, a semifinalist at the French Open, istomin_berdych_wb10trailed Istomin by two sets to one (first two breaks of the match at 5-all in the 3rd set, Istomin fought off two set poijnts in the tie-break) before unleashing a series of powerful ground strokes and broke Istomin’s serve in the 4th game of the 4th set. After that, although Istomin remained close on the scoreboard, Berdych held an upper hand. Even with two match points in the final game, Berdych had his hands full, finally tapping a cross-court half volley away from Istomin to reach a third match point. An ace (34th – career high) sealed it for Berdych and he moved to the fourth round after a 3-hour 53-minute encounter. The crowd, largely cheering for Berdych, chanted “To-mas Ber-dych, To-mas Ber-dych” through much of the match, urging him to a difficult victory. Unhappy that he lost, but pleased with his performance, Istomin said the match had been played at a very high level. “Both of us served unbelievable today,” he said, “and not so good on return. It was tough to return because he serves so well during the match.” Berdych said he felt he might be eliminated from the tournament when he lost the third set: “I was a break up and serving to finish the set, and then I lost it, I lost the tie-break. It was really tough moment. I was really close to get out from the draw and just going home, but finally I can turn it over and bring it on my side.” In the end, Berdych said, he felt he won because he was in better physical condition than his opponent. Daniel Brands [98] moved on when No. 31 Victor Hanescu of Romania stopped playing  on Court No. 18 in the fifth set at 6-7(7), 6-7(3), 7-6(7), 6-3, 3-0  for the German, because of what was officially listed as a leg injury. Hanescu was cited by the chair umpire in that set for swearing and spitting toward the crowd; police arrested four people at that court, but the tournament could not verify if the episodes were related. Tournament referee Andrew Jarrett said his office “is reviewing further information from this match.” Hanescu led *5:3 (40/30) in the 3rd set and lost serve for the first time! He had two match points atbrands_wb10 6:4 and 7:6* in the ensuing tie-break which made four match points in total for the loser (in the 1st tie-break he was 4:6*). Rafael Nadal struggled on Saturday, but rallied – again – to beat determined German Philipp Petzschner 6-4, 4-6, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3. The match ran 3 hours and 45 minutes and, even as Rafa was issuing a relatively restrained punctuating fist pump, the questions began. Petzschner is a talented shot-maker with a reputation for folding under duress – and that’s sort of what happened against Nadal. Still, the 2008 champion looks more like the player who was beaten in the fourth round of the French Open a year ago and forced to skip Wimbledon when the tendinitis in his knees flared. There were times in the 5th set when Rafa – who never thinks any ball is beyond his reach – stood flat-footed as Petzschner ripped several winners. Not only did Nadal ask for the trainer for an assessment of his left biceps and forearms muscles in the 3rd set, but the 4th-set massage triggered all kinds of fears that Rafa’s monstrously physical game had exacted another price. Do not forget that he retired in the third set of his Australian Open quarterfinal match with Murray with a right knee injury. This would have made him two for three. Afterward, Nadal admitted he was concerned. “Sure, I am a little bit scared about the knee,” he allowed. “But, you know, it happens. I had a treatment after Monte-Carlo. So I had the problem. I didn’t say anything before. I had the problem against Roddick in the semifinals of Miami.” Despite physical problems, from 3-all in the 5th set, Rafa dropped just two points, winning twelve. 

Second round: (BBC)

federer_bozoljac_wb10In a minor upset, 13th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia was ousted by Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 2-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Mathieu manufactured some kind of a revenge for the famous five-set loss to Youzhny during the Davis Cup ’02 final. The French player came back from a *0:3 (0/30) deficit in the deciding set. Roger Federer has progressed to the third round at Wimbledon by beating Serbian qualifier [152] Ilija Bozoljac 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(5). Playing the final match on Wednesday on No. 1 Court, Federer had a slightly easier time than in the first round, when he overcame a two-set deficit. But the Swiss had trouble putting Bozoljac away, converting only 3 of 13 break point chances (Bozoljac served 31 aces; 27 in his first round win over Nicolas Massu). Federer was never broken, won 75 percent of his service points, and committed only 13 unforced errors. He won the final three points of the match, one with a bold drop shot when trailing 4:5 in the tiebreaker. The Serb extended his stay on Court One by challenging the call on match point, as both players chatted at the net (Bozoljac hooked a forehand long).I asked him what kind of drink he wanted later,” joked Federer. “No, I said, ‘I think the ball’s out, I really do’. And he said, ‘Well if it is, I wish you all the best, keep on winning’. And I just said ‘well let’s wait for the call first’. He seems like a very nice guy, very open and very cool. It was an unconventional finish, but it was nice.” The world No. 3, Novak Djokovic, overcame a powerful serve from Taylor Dent – the American set a new Wimbledon speed record of 148 mph – to win 7-6(5), 6-1, 6-4. The Serbian 23-year-old’s performance was in stark contrast to the five-set marathon he endured against O.Rochus on Monday, instead responding with confidence to Dent’s serve, breaking him early on in the 2nd and 3rd sets. “These were two different opponents, two different styles of the tsonga_wb10game,” the Wimbledon 2007 semi-finalist said. “Rochus was a player who makes you work very hard. But today I had a big server, he served a record. I’m just happy to get through. It’s a boost for my confidence. Hopefully I’ll continue playing well.” Tenth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had a titanic struggle against Alexandr Dolgopolov before finally booking his place in round three. Tsonga let a two-set lead slip (had a mini-match point at 4-all in the 3rd set) in a thrilling 3-hour 55-minute match but finally prevailed 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 5-7, 10-8 saving a mini-match point at 5-all in the decider. When the 5th set reached 8:8, thoughts inevitably began to wander to the record-breaking marathon between Isner and Mahut. But after squandering two match points, Tsonga finally came through (he served 33 aces, the Ukrainian 29). The match was played in a great spirit and Dolgopolov, who has risen from 370 to 43 in the rankings in the past year, warmly embraced his opponent at the end. David Ferrer, the ninth seed, needed four sets to see off Florent Serra of France. Ferrer, who has never been beyond the fourth round here, had squandered a match point in the 3rd set tie-break before won 6-4, 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-3 and now faces Jeremy Chardy, who came through 8-6 in the 5th set with Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko being two points away from defeat. Andy Murray could not quite manage a clean shave when he appeared before the Queen, but at least he managed to avoid a close shave on Centre Court. By and large the boy from Dunblane made sure he had scrubbed up wade_elinicely, and rather than put in a Royal Variety Performance he produced a display of consistent quality to see off Jarkko Nieminen. The first visit of the monarch to this part of SW19 since 1977 will live in the memory for a long time, but one part of it that is unlikely to be remembered too clearly is the actual match that was laid before her. Murray’s casual superiority over his opponent was the reason, and it resulted in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory that did not unduly detain Her Majesty, its 102-minute duration meaning that she still had time to meet the two protagonists afterwards before leaving. Aside from a wobbly first game, greeting the monarch and getting his protocol right appeared a rather more daunting task for the British No 1 than getting past Nieminen. Decent pro that he is, the world No 67 never succeeded in changing the perception that his country is better at producing mobile phones and rally drivers than tennis players. Gilles Simon of France went into the third round – and a meeting with Murray – without hitting a ball. murray_wb10Simon, the 26th seed was handed a walkover after his Ukrainian opponent Illya Marchenko pulled out of the match with a shoulder injury. The 25-year-old Frenchman, a former world number six, has lost three of his previous four matches against Murray. The pair have never met on grass. Simon insisted he would be able to handle the partisan Wimbledon fans, adding: “The strong crowd is not a problem. I played Rafa in the semis of the Madrid Masters in 2008 and the crowd was not for me, so it will be the same. Nadal was number one and was playing amazing tennis and I won that one.” Queen’s winner Sam Querrey‘s fine run on grass continued after he came through in four sets against Croatia’s Ivan Dodig. Dodig had four set points in the 4th set tie-break (6:5, 7:6*, 8:7 & 10:9) to level the match at 2-2 but his American opponent saved it and turned it around to win 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(10). Italy’s Fabio Fognini continued his good run by coming from two sets down to defeat Michael Russell of the United States 3-6, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(6), 6-3. Fognini was served at 4:5 in 3rd set to stay in the match, then was 3:5* in 4th set, 4:5 (0/30) & 1:4 in the tie-break. When “marathon men” Isner & Mahut were playing their extraordinary ’59:59′ set on Court No. 18, at the same time Philipp Kohlschreiber battled past Teymuraz Gabashvili 7-6(6), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6(5), 9-7 in 4 hours 17 minutes on Court No. 19. The German skohlschreiber_wb10aved set point at *5:6 in the 1st set, in the 2nd tie-break was 3:0 down and two points away from defeat at 5-all, he also saved a match point at *6:7 in the 5th! World number one Rafael Nadal survived a huge scare against Robin Haase in round two as Wimbledon 2010 threw up yet another thrilling encounter. The second seed twice had to come from behind before beating his 151st-ranked Dutch opponent 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. Haase received treatment to his right ankle at the changeover in the 3rd set but his maneuverability was clearly not affected during a pulsating game six. One rally saw Haase furiously scramble around court and return a second smash with a stunning pass to bring up break point, which he put away with an incredible forehand crosscourt winner that had coach Dennis Schenk leaping from his seat in appreciation. Haase had Centre Court rocking with four aces in game seven and was soon serving his way to a 2-1 lead, moving to within a set of the match and leaving Nadal looking forlorn. But Nadal should never be written off and cranked up the intensity in game two of the 4th set, squandering two break points but converting a third when Haase went wide. Suddenly the Dutchman was chasing shadows – his first-serve percentage plummeting, his spirit fading and his body creaking – and he was broken twice more as Nadal wrapped the set up in 22 minutes to force a decider. The momentum was now firmly with the left hander from Majorca, who is playing at Wimbledon for the first time since winning the title in 2008, and he broke in game four when Haase failed to return a majestic lob. In one last act of defiance, the immensely talented Haase took only a minute and four seconds to win game eight. But the end was in sight for Nadal and he held serve to ‘love’ to wrap up a 2-hour and 22-minute triumph. John Isner looked exhausted from his first-round win against Mahut and fell 0-6, 3-6, 2-6 to Thiemo de Bakker being outclassed by his opponent from start to finish, although Isner did require treatment for a neck problem. He was due to play doubles later on Friday but withdrew with a toe injury. “I was just so exhausted,” said Isner, who He failed to send down a single ace in the whole match, compared with 112 against Mahut. “I felt a bit drained and didn’t have much in my legs and shoulder. It stinks to lose in the second round.”

First round: BBC

Match of the Century and its description by myself: Ameisner_wb10rican John Isner held his nerve to overcome Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the deciding set of their unforgettable first-round encounter at Wimbledon. Isner outlasted the Frenchman to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 70-68 in the longest match in history, taking 11 hours and 5 minutes over three days. Play resumed at 59:59 in the 5th set and both men confidently held serve before Isner struck in game 138. “This crowd was fantastic,” Isner said, “Especially once the match got past, you know, 25-all, I wasn’t really thinking,” said Isner, who led the University of Georgia to the 2007 NCAA team tennis championship. “Hitting a serve and trying to hit a forehand winner is the only thing I was doing.” “It has been quite amazing to be involved with such an extraordinary match,” said Lahyani. “I can’t imagine seeing another one like it in my lifetime.” Other players reflect. “It’s really painful,” Mahut said, “The numbers, speak for themselves. We played the greatest match ever, in the greatest place to play tennis. I thought he would make a mistake. I waited for that moment, and it never came.”

Isner’s next opponent, Thiemo de Bakker [49] survived a marathon match as well. The 21-year-old Dutchman overcame Colombian [54] Santiago Giraldo 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 16-14 in 4 hours 6 minutes with help of 37 aces. Their match was suspended due to darkness on Tuesday at two sets apiece. In the final set Giraldo saved a match point at 10:11, but lost his serve immediately to ‘love’ debakker_wb10and again to ’30’ serving to stay in the match in the 30th game. Roger Federer avoided one of the biggest upsets in tennis history as he came from two sets down to beat Colombian Alejandro Falla. The defending champion came through 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-0 in an astonishing opening match on Centre Court. Falla, the world number 60, served for the match at 5:4 in the 4th set, but top seed Federer dug deep. Falla led 5:3 in that set, he was three points away from victory. in both games And the six-time champion hit top form in the deciding fifth set as Falla’s fire finally died out. “I definitely got very lucky out there,” a relieved Federer told BBC Sport after winning in 3 hours and 18 minutes to book a second-round meeting with Bozoljac. “I have lost many matches this year which I should have won, this is one I should have lost but I came through. But that is sometimes how grass court tennis works.” Falla admitted the nerves had got to him as he prepared to serve for the match. “I was thinking that I have a big opportunity to beat Federer here,” he said. “I just doubted a little bit at that moment for the first two points, and then he played good points. But I am happy because I played a great match. Today is a special day for me in tennis, even if I lost that match. I can say I was serving for the match against Federer. Many players would like to be in that situation.” No. 5 Andy Roddick, who lost to Federer in last year’s epic final, began his title bid by beating fellow American Rajeev Ram 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Roddick never faced a break point and committed only 10 unforced errors. No. 7-seeded Nikolay Davydenko and Lleyton Hewitt also overcome slow starts. Davydenko withstood a two-set deficit, along with Kevin davydenko_wb10Anderson‘s 36 aces, and won 3-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 7-5, 9-7. Hewitt, the 2002 champion, beat Argentina’s Maximo Gonzalez, taking a little more than two hours to complete a 5-7, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 win. Davydenko trailed 2:4* (30/30) in the 3rd set. In the two following sets there were just two break points, and the Russian converted both to win in 4 hours 13 minutes. Hewitt dropped the first set after being broken, for the second time, in the 11th game but was untroubled from that point on against Gonzalez, who is still to win a match on grass. A former No. 1, Hewitt is now ranked 26th but is seeded 15th at the All England Club due to his excellent record on grass. Hewitt, who defeated Federer in the Wimbledon warm-up tournament at Halle, will play Korolev in the second round. No. 11 Marin Cilic lost to Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(1), and No. 17 Ivan Ljubicic was beaten by [94] Michal Przysiezny 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-3. Przysiezny’s first Grand Slam win at the age of 26. British number one Andy Murray began his fifth Wimbledon campaign with a comprehensive straight-sets win over Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic. Murray recovered from dropping serve early on to win 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 in fiercely hot conditions on Court One. And while a victory over the world number 90 does not prove he is back to his best, 17 aces and 56 winners were encouraging signs for the fourth seed. Spanish eighth seed Fernando Verdasco became the highest men’s seed to fall in the first round at Wimbledon after losing 7-6(9), 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-4 to Italian Fabio Fognini on Tuesday. Fognini made light of his lowly world ranking of 80 and his grasscourt inexperience, the 23-year-old only having previously won twice on the surface in eight contests. Verdasco struggled to get to grips with Fognini’s serve, his plight hindered by blistered toes that required medical attention during the game. Fognini took 1st set on his sixth set point, in turn Verdasco won 3rd set on his fifth set point. World number one Rafael Nadal marked his first Wimbledon appearance since winning the 2008 title with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Japan’s Kei Nishikori. Second seed Nadal, injured in 2009, broke serve twice in the 1st set and once in the 2nd to move 2-0 ahead. The unseeded Nishikori, 20, rallied in the 3rd as breaks were exchanged but his Spanish opponent edged ahead in game seven and served out the match: “It’s a difficult change when you come off the clay and it takes time to adapt to the grass, but I love this surface. It’s not easy for my game but I’ve done well here and I’m going to try my best again this year.” Novak Djokovic defeated Olivier Rochus in the latest finish to a Wimbledon match after the Centre Court roof was closed. With the light fading the roof was shut and the lights switched on at 20:45 with Rochus leading djokovic_rochus_wb10by two sets to one. There was a delay of 35 minutes but when play resumed it was the third seed who seemed to prefer the conditions. In front of a decent-size crowd the Serb finally won 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 with the match ending at 22:58. It was 20 minutes later than the finish to Murray’s epic victory over Wawrinka last year and only two minutes before the players would have been taken off court because of a local area curfew. The third seed secured the 12th break of the match early in the 4th set and he missed chances to clinch the set on the Rochus serve before saving three break points and then leveling the match. The 5th game of the final set proved decisive and Djokovic broke to go 3:2 ahead and finally clinched victory. He admitted that the break to close the roof had worked to his advantage, saying: “I think it helped me a little bit because I didn’t feel great on the court at that moment. To have a half-hour break and just relax and focus and reset my game and my mind was helpful. You don’t get to see a lot of late-night matches in Wimbledon history. Now with having the roof and lights gives us the opportunity. I’m happy in a way that my name is in the history books from playing late at night and I’m happy just to get a win.” Rochus regretted failing to convert one of the five break points he earned in the 8th and 10th games of the 4th set. “I was feeling really good, I was playing great,” he said. “If I break him back, get to a tie-break, anything can happen. The match was so close.” However the match started to take its toll after the Belgian took a *2:0 lead in the decider and he added: “I think I started to feel a little pain everywhere. Novak was playing really good. He was returning great, especially on my second serve.”

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