2011 – 2013, Wimbledon
The Grand Slam tournaments of the years 1980-2010 are created here as a compilation of articles of different contributors, entwined with my blue-notes. The years 2011-12 are consisted only of my entries written on voodemar.com
Final: Barney Ronay
In the end, inside a giddy, sun-bleached and genuinely adoring Centre Court, it felt like it was all worth the wait. Andy Murray is Wimbledon champion, ending that oft-mentioned 77-year hiatus since the last time a British man lifted tennis’s most alluring prize, and in the process scaling one of the more vertiginous sporting Everests. It is a genuinely gold-standard achievement for the man from Dunblane, given weight not just by the burden of history and the folkish annual summer romance of Wimbledon itself, but by the fact he is competing in one of the great periods of elite men’s tennis. Quite where Murray’s Wimbledon win will rest alongside the great individual British sporting feats of the post-war years is a matter for interminable debate. But for now such comparison can be happily swept to one side in favour of simply savouring the glow of a wonderfully focused 6-4 7-5 6-4 defeat of the world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on a sweltering Centre Court. In the moment of victory Murray dropped his racket and turned, mouth agape, towards the nearest section of the crowd – by happy coincidence also the press box – before crumpling to his knees on Centre Court, overcome at the end point of a gruellingly ascetic, occasionally obsessive journey towards an unassailable career high. Even in the moment of triumph Murray was still agreeably Murray, scaling the commentary box roof and hugging – not his mum or his girlfriend – but his coach, the laconically unsmiling Ivan Lendl. There were no tears in his post-match speech as there had been in defeat by Roger Federer in last year’s final, just a genuinely affectionate moment of communion with a Centre Court augmented by an A-List roster of carpetbagging VIPs, among them David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Alex Salmond waving a comically vast – and strictly non-U in the royal box – saltire. “Winning Wimbledon is the pinnacle of tennis,” Murray said afterwards, still in something of a daze a good half hour after the final point. “I worked so hard in that last game. It’s the hardest few points I’ve had to play in my life. I don’t know how it will change my life. I hope not. I hope not too much. But the atmosphere today was different to what I’ve experienced in the past.” And so with a performance of unstinting focus from this wonderfully self-made athlete, one of the outstanding omissions in British sport’s modern history has been filled. Perhaps Fred Perry, so often dug up and marched about the place over the past few years as a kind of courtly reproach to successive generations of under-achievement, may finally be allowed to rest easy again, gratefully re-consigned to the Wimbledon museum. Although, this being Wimbledon, it had to be a bit painful. With Murray two sets and a break of serve up and the world No. 1 strangely error-prone, it seemed briefly he might win at a canter, or at least without the expected Centre Court paroxysms. Not so fast. Djokovic, though, is nothing if not resilient and the Serb rallied to go *4:2 ahead, pulling himself up to his full champion’s height, and drawing the first anxious, quavering clamour around Centre Court’s steeply banked gunmetal green bowl. Murray replied with a surge of irresistibly forceful baseline tennis, to go to 5:4 and two sets up and just a service game away from the championship. Centre Court erupted with genuinely unconfined excitement for the first time as, after letting slip a triple championship point, Murray finally took the match (saving three break points in the final game) to a great whumping wave of noise as Djokovic hit to the net at the last. And in part, as Murray staggered about indiscriminately high-fiving at the end, there was a sense that this has also been something of a rather mannered love story, at its centre Murray and that prim, capricious, but in the end compliantly adorable Wimbledon crowd. Throughout the past fortnight the crowd has been a force at his back. And really there is no debate now. He is utterly adored in SW19. One statue – he has the Olympics too, remember – may not be enough Centre Court, of course, was packed from the start, standing to give both Murray and Djokovic an opening ovation of genuine warmth. The opening points passed in a blizzard of high quality baseline slugging as Murray attacked the Djokovic serve and after 22 brain-manglingly intense minutes the British No. 1 got his first little nudge in front, breaking serve to go 2:1 up. Centre Court gulped. Was it all going to be like this? At the same stage in the women’s final the previous day Marion Bartoli was serving for the first set. Djokovic broke back but Murray broke again in the 7th game, earning the first genuinely unrestrained cheers and sealing the 1st set to a pistol shot of applause. And make no mistake: Murray was up against a genuinely great champion here, a formidable combination of extreme mental toughness – oh, that unflinching, unbreakable, titanium-hulled Djokovic temperament – and captivating physical agility. Where Murray’s transition towards elite athlete-dom has involved a bulking up and thickening out to his current Terminator-Scale physique, Djokovic’s ascent coincided with a bulking down, accentuating his scuttling, sliding speed and extraordinary lateral reach. Where Murray has a clump to his movements around court, those vast ankles – the ankles of three men – battering the Wimbledon scrub, Djokovic moves without leaving a mark. And yet, as Djokovic surged back at the start of the 2nd set (led 4:1*) Murray refused to wilt, instead applying such pressure that it was Djokovic who began to lose his cool, remonstrating wildly with the umpire over a failure to overrule a marginal call. Murray saved two break points at 3:4, delivered a service winner at 4:5 (30-all) and served out at ‘love’ to take what looked like an unassailable two-set lead at the end of a terribly draining Wimbledon fortnight. And so it proved to be, as Murray kept his head on a Centre Court that seemed at times close to losing its own in those final moments. Quite where Murray’s career goes from here remains to be seen. With two Grand Slams to his name he has now passed over into that career champion’s game of simply racking them up. But either way he has now carved his own distinctive niche in the ongoing history of the British sporting summer. The final lasted 3 hours 9 minutes – it’s the longest three-set Grand Slam final in history. Murray’s 28th title (2nd major), fourth and the last one in 2013. Stats of the final.
Semifinals: ATP & Mike Dickson
Novak Djokovic won one of the greatest matches in the history of The Championships on Friday when he defeated Juan Martin del Potro 7-5 4-6 7-6(2) 6-7(6) 6-3 on Centre Court to reach the title match. The match was the longest Wimbledon semi-final in history at 4 hours and 43 minutes. It beat the previous record of Boris Becker versus Ivan Lendl in 1989, which lasted 4 hours and 1 minute (7-5 6-7 2-6 6-4 6-3). “It was one of the best matches that I’ve been a part of, one of the most exciting definitely,” Djokovic told BBC Television. “I’m privileged to be a winner of this match. It was so close, they couldn’t separate us. When I was two sets to one and a break up (4:3), and I dropped that serve, well… But that’s why he’s a Grand Slam champion and right at the top.” Djokovic was unable to convert two match point opportunities at 6:4 in the 4th set tie-break. He needed to wait a further 47 minutes for victory. “Every time he was in tough situations he came up with unbelievable shots,” said Djokovic. “I didn’t think I played wrong when I was match points up. Maybe I should have been more aggressive, but credit to him for fighting and I’m very proud to go through. When I lost the fourth set it was disappointing because I was close to winning and had two match points. I didn’t capitalize. Credit to him, for fighting and coming up with big, big forehands [and] big shots. It was a very high level of tennis today. I expected it. I was ready to play five sets. I was solid at the end.” Djokovic hit 80 winners, including 22 aces (career high). On Sunday, the World No. 1 will look to add to his 2011 Wimbledon crown and his seventh major overall. Del Potro, who had been attempting to become to follow in the footsteps of 2002 runner-up David Nalbandian, said, “I was so close to be at the finals here in Wimbledon. I think I played really good tennis for four hours and a half… He hit the ball so hard. I think it was unbelievable to watch, but, of course, I’m sad because I lost and I was close to beating him.” In the decisive set Djokovic saved a break point at 2-all and made a crucial break in the 8th game. Eleven months ago, in their only previous grass-court meeting, Del Potro had beaten Djokovic for the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics, which was also held at the All England Club… Who would want to be a British player trying to win Wimbledon, faced with a gifted, gargantuan opponent and a home tournament set on robbing you of momentum you have never fought so hard for? Ridding the Centre Court of Fred Perry’s ghost is not hard enough. Andy Murray also had to beat the mission creep of the roof on Friday night and 6’8 Jerzy Janowicz to fight his way into a second successive final. Stopped in full cry when he had the massive-serving, James Bond villain lookalike in full retreat at two sets to one down, Murray came back out to complete a 6-7(2) 6-4 6-4 6-3 victory in a total of 2 hours and 52 minutes. Murray created a break point in the 4th game that was met with a 121 mph kick-serve that he shanked long. At the changeovers as they walked past each other, the 6’3 Scot looked like some junior who had strayed into the senior semis, and it will also have been disconcerting that Janowicz’s piercing drives, delicate drops and the bombs from his serve prevented any rhythm. Two more break opportunities were forced at 5:4 (40/15), and one of them was a 118 mph second serve that was pushed back into the net. It was all fairly ugly and disjointed but Murray really had little to reproach himself for until the tie-break, when he made a dreadful hash of a volley to go 0:4 down. But that is the pressure which comes from feeling you are at the wrong end of the coconut shy. A massive feat of concentration was going to be required after losing the tie-break and that was what he summoned up. It was Murray’s first set lost despite a set point-up since Cincinnati 2010 (in the meantime he lost three match point-up meetings – one of them to… Janowicz). Murray gratefully accepted two double faults to break straightaway in the 2nd, and could have created a safety net for himself had he taken two more break opportunities in the 5th game. He failed to do that, and again the pressure exerted by Janowicz began to tell as the Pole forced break opportunities of his own. There were three of them at 4:3, but each time Murray pulled out good serves to save himself. Matters were eventually levelled, but you would never want to play a best-of-three against this opponent on grass, which is what it now became. Janowicz began to demand to know when the roof would be closed as the clock ticked past 8 pm, but instead of distracting him – as would have been expected, given his irascible temperament – it inspired him to play a superb game to break for 3:1. Accompanied by some bestial grunting he forged ahead, only for Murray to get back level at 4-all and then round the set off with five straight games. This gave him all the momentum before the roof decision at 8.39 pm, which had shades of Rafael Nadal versus Lukas Rosol last year, when the Spaniard was forced off after he had won the fourth set. “It’s unfair, it’s an outdoor tournament,” Murray complained. “You’re only doing it because he’s been complaining about it for 45 minutes.” If Murray was also spooked by memories of last year’s final, when his fortunes faded under the roof, there was no sign of it on the resumption. Far from it, the Scot played superbly on the restart, curling a forehand winner down the line on his way to break in game three and backing it up with some dominant serving. Janowicz was a beaten man by the time two double faults in a row brought up match point for Murray, and the world number two cracked a forehand return winner to keep his Wimbledon title hopes alive. Stats of the match.
Quarterfinals: Guardian, ATP
Jerzy Janowicz banged down 30 aces to win the battle of the Poles with a 7-5 6-4 6-4 victory over Lukasz Kubot to seal a place in his first Grand Slam semi-final. Exuding power and showing no outward sign of nerves, the 22-year-old reeled off a string of stunning returns and blistering passing shots to become the first Polish man to reach the last four of a Grand Slam event. In just his second Wimbledon, the No. 24 seed broke once in each set and staved off a number of break-point chances on his own imperious serve. One service game lasted only 47 seconds as the 6’8 Janowicz blasted holes in world No. 130 Kubot, who was left to rue a number of missed opportunities. After crunching down yet another unreturnable serve, Janowicz sank to his knees and burst into tears, before being embraced by the 31-year-old Kubot. The players exchanged their T-shirts. “I’m just really, really happy,” said Janowicz, who could barely speak. “I didn’t expect that I could get this far in a Grand Slam, at Wimbledon. I have not many words to say right now.” Kubot showed why he had reached the last eight for the first time at a major with some brilliant volleying, at times off his shoelaces. One Janowicz serve was clocked at 140 mph and he averaged well over 120 mph throughout the match, always coming up with an answer when Kubot threatened. The unseeded Kubot had a set-point chance at 5:4 in the opener but Janowicz saved it and then broke in the next game before serving out for the set. Janowicz had to dig deep on a couple of service games in the 2nd set, Kubot missing four chances to achieve the vital break and the younger Pole came up with the break of his own, clinching it with a forehand pass and again serving out for the set. Still Kubot threatened but Janowicz saved a break point at 1:2 and then broke in a long ninth game before serving out to love, clinching a place in his first semi-final when Kubot could only lay a racket on yet another, final, blistering serve. Andy Murray pulled off a dramatic comeback from two sets down to beat Fernando Verdasco in the Wimbledon quarter-finals and keep up home hopes of a first British champion since 1936. The second seed defeated the 54th-ranked Spaniard 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-4 7-5 in a thrilling match on Centre Court that lasted nearly three and a half hours. “I came through an incredibly tough match. It could have gone the other way. I found a way to get through and that’s all you need,” said Murray, the US Open and Olympic champion. “I started to play more solid and really took my time when I had the chance. Towards the end it was an unbelievable atmosphere. It was great to get through that one.” With closest rivals Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga already out of his half of the draw, the weight of expectation from British fans and media was all on the 26-year-old’s shoulders. “I know how good these players are and it’s everyone else who keeps trying to say that they’re not,” he said of his opponents, calling Verdasco “incredibly dangerous”. Fans inside the 15,000-seater court were on their feet as Murray came back from the brink. Outside, the world number two was roared on by supporters packing the Aorangi Terrace, where fans waving British and Scottish flags watched on the big screen. Murray had not dropped a set going into the quarter-final, the second time he has achieved the feat. But he was severely tested by Verdasco, who had only beaten Murray once in their previous nine tour-level meetings: likewise a five-setter in the 2009 Australian Open fourth round. Murray served his first double fault to hand Verdasco the 1st set after squandering a break point at 4-all. With the crowd getting nervous, Murray started the 2nd set in lacklustre fashion but turned it around to break for a 2:1 lead. Murray led 3:1* (30/0) and leveling at one set apiece seemed a matter of time, however, Verdasco broke back as Murray hit a string of unforced errors. The left-hander broke again for 5:3 with a lucky backhand return that hit the net and dropped over. In the next game, Murray had three break points but Verdasco recovered as Murray repeatedly chose the wrong shot, and the Spaniard took the set. Exasperated, Murray screamed at himself: “What are you doing?” as he let off steam at the break. Giving himself a good telling-off seemed to do the trick as the Scot broke at the first opportunity in the 3rd set. Reinvigorated, he raced on to take the set 6-1, coming in from the baseline much more to win points. In the 4th set, Murray broke for 4:3 (he saved a break point in the 6th game) as the momentum swung his way. Serving for the set, he sealed it with a forehand smash. The 5th set decider then became a battle of who would blink first. Neither player gave an inch until Murray broke when Verdasco shot long, giving the Scot a 6:5 lead. Murray sent down an ace to give himself three match points and won it when Verdasco hit long again, sending waves of relief and elation around Centre Court. Murray held at ‘love’ serving to stay in the competition. It was his seventh comeback from two-sets-to-love deficit… The last point of the 2nd set summed up why Novak Djokovic won Wednesday’s quarter-final – and now 14 of the 16 matches he has played – against Tomas Berdych. The Czech crashed down a 125 mph hammer blow and stood back to admire his handiwork. The ball practically decapitated Djokovic but he somehow returned it. It landed mid-court, but a shocked Berdych, his feet an illegible squiggle, could only blast a forehand into the net. He had lost his serve, the set and the match would soon follow. Defeating Djokovic, the world No. 1, over the best of five sets is an attritional feat. Any opponent knows that it will most likely take at least four hours and damage them to their internal organs. Berdych, the No. 7 seed, fought valiantly in the 1st set (two points away in two different games), and broke Djokovic twice to go 3:0 ahead in the second, but ultimately his one-dimensional game was clinically dismantled 7-6(5) 6-4 6-3. Juan Martin del Potro will play World No. 1 Djokovic in his first Grand Slam semi-final since 2009 after defeating David Ferrer 6-2 6-4 7-6(5) in a terrific display of shot-making on Wednesday in the quarter-finals of The Championships at Wimbledon. “Many things came to my mind after the match point,” said Del Potro. “It’s my first semi-final here, another semi-final in a Grand Slam after a couple of years. I think I’m in the fight again with the top guys. That is my challenge for the future. And to be one of the four players left in this tournament, it means a lot for the future and for myself.” The outlook seemed bleak for Del Potro as he lay at the back of Centre Court, clutching his knee, after slipping and falling awkwardly at 15/40 on Ferrer’s serve in the 1st game of the match. After gingerly making his way back to his chair, with the physio, the doctor was called and administered anti-inflammatories. There was no medical timeout and Del Potro was able to resume, albeit far from comfortable in his movement. He lost the game but quickly realized nothing serious happened to him, and started spreading winners all over the court. With neither player able to breakthrough, the 3rd set went to a tie-break (Del Potro leveled at 5-all after five ‘deuces’ but never faced a set point). The Argentine looked to be in command as he went up *4:1. Ferrer fought back to level at 4-all, but two stunning forehand winners proved decisive for Del Potro. He earned match point at 6:5 with a scorching forehand cross court winner and he clinched victory by sealing a lengthy rally with another forehand bomb down the line. “I tried to do my best all the time,” said Roland Garros runner-up Ferrer, who will rise to a career-high World No. 3 on Monday. “I think the first set I didn’t play so good. I didn’t serve very consistent with the first serve. But in the second and third sets I played better. Juan Martin was more focused, he was playing more aggressive than me, and he served very, very good the [whole match].”
Fourth round: Martyn Herman, ATP
Hammering down serves, bickering with the umpire and even engaging in cheeky banter with his opponent’s support team, livewire Jerzy Janowicz roared into the Wimbledon quarter-finals on a momentous day for Poland. The 22-year-old with a seeding to match his years came through a ferocious duel with grizzled Austrian Juergen Melzer, winning 3-6 7-6(1) 6-4 4-6 6-4 to set up a last-eight clash with 130th-ranked compatriot Lukasz Kubot. Not since Wojtek Fibak reached three consecutive Grand Slam quarter-finals in 1980 has a Polish man survived until the last eight and two achieved the feat in a matter of minutes (Janowicz and Kubot became third and fourth Poles to reach the major quarterfinals in the entire history – Ignacy Tloczynski lost in the last eight at Roland Garros in 1939). “It’s unbelievable what is going on right now,” the 6 feet 8 inch Janowicz who rose 200 places up the rankings last year, told reporters, just as a scoreboard flashed up women’s fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska completing a great day for the Poles: “We have this moment two players in quarter-final draw. This is by far the best thing to happen to Polish tennis. I went straightaway to Lukasz’s locker room. We hugged.” Janowicz had barely stopped signing autographs and throwing his shoes to the Court 12 crowd before, over on the even tighter confines of Court 14, Kubot, with the help of 26 aces, clinched a 4-6 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory (on fifth match point, wasted a triple match point in the 9th game) over fellow outsider Adrian Mannarino of France. The 31-year-old doubles specialist then launched into his comical celebratory “can-can” dance routine, known simply as the “The Kubot” as the crowd roared their approval. Whoever wins on Wednesday will become the first Polish man to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam singles event. Janowicz, who a year ago had to qualify for Wimbledon and went on to reach the third round in his maiden slam, is an animated character on court – a welcome change to the poker-faced demeanour of some players higher up the rankings. Melzer can be fiery too and the pair ensured there were plenty of sparks flying on in front of an enthusiastic crowd on a court that is about as close to muck and nettles as you can get at the All England Club. Janowicz had problems with his shoes, the net-cord sensor and the line judges – as well as Melzer’s crafty left-handed style – in the early stages and smouldered his way through the first two sets, losing the first before cranking up the power to edge the second with an emphatic 7/1 tiebreak. During a tight 2nd set dominated by serve Janowicz branded the net-cord sensor “useless” after being made to take one seismic first serve again. The crucial was 3rd game of the set when Janowicz saved a break point and held after five deuces. He then took exception to Melzer’s support team who greeted their man’s winners with loud shout of “Jawohl” – sarcastically congratulating the Austrian with the same response. Later he described the Court 12 surface as “unplayable” after a few tumbles and some quizzical looks during the match. Despite the histrionics, Janowicz played spectacular tennis, mixing crunching groundstrokes with dabbed drop shots that appear to defy gravity while all the time softening up opponent’s with a serve that has topped the speed charts at 140 mph so far during the tournament. He is prone to losses of concentration, though, as he showed when leading breaking in a testosterone-fuelled 4th set, only to hand it back in the next game – prompting some eye-balling and fist-pumping from the wily Melzer. When Janowicz got the break in the 5th (at 1-all) he did not falter and closed out the match before collapsing to the court and kneeling with his head pressed against the grass. Second seed Andy Murray advanced to the quarter-finals of The Championships for the sixth straight year on Monday. Murray defeated No. 20 seed Mikhail Youzhny 6-4 7-6(5) 6-1 on Centre Court. It extended his grass-court winning streak to 15 matches. He has yet to drop a set in four matches this year at the All England Club. Having taken a 2:0* lead in the 2nd set, Murray lost five games in a row. Backing himself on return of serve, Murray worked his way back to a tie-break. He soon trailed due to a concentration lapse. At 2:2, Youzhny hit a smash winner and was then gifted a double fault. From 3:5, Murray won four straight points. He ripped a crosscourt backhand return winner on set point. “I was pretty pumped up, especially after I won the second set, because I came back from 3:5 down in that tie-break and played four very good points to get that set,” said Murray. “It was an important set, as well, because obviously I was up a break, then down a break. He served for the set. Then I had chances to break at 5:5. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing. It was good to get the crowd into it in the end.” Fernando Verdasco got the better of Kenny de Schepper, the World No. 80, to become the seventh Spaniard in the Open Era to reach Wimbledon quarter-finals. The former World No. 7 has reached the stage on his 11th appearance at the tournament. Verdasco lost one of his 15 service games in a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over 1 hour and 49 minutes for his 20th match win at the All England Club. “I felt pretty good in general,” said Verdasco. “Of course, it was a little windy and sometimes some games were not that easy. But I think I played a good match. I felt good on the court and happy to [have] won and be in quarter-finals for first time.” David Ferrer reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second year in a row on Monday as he finished strongly to defeat Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-7(3) 7-6(6) 6-1 6-1 on No. 2 Court at the All England Club. “I’m trying to play more aggressive,” said Ferrer. “I need to serve better than other courts, obviously when I am playing the second shot. Every match I am playing better with my game. I am confident.” Ferrer found himself in trouble in the 2nd set. The Valencia resident held from 15/40 down in the 7th game and then rallied from a 3:1 deficit in the tie-break to convert his second set point, hitting a dipping return which Dodig volleyed into the net. Eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro completed a set of Grand Slam quarter-final appearances at Wimbledon on Monday, defeating 23rd seed Andreas Seppi 6-4 7-6(2) 6-3 on No. 1 Court. Nerves crept in as he attempted to serve out the match, but Del Potro converted his fourth match point opportunity after 2 hours and 22 minutes, having hit 36 winners and broken Seppi twice. “I played really well, but in the end I was so nervous I couldn’t close the match out easily,” admitted del Potro. “In the third set, I missed easy forehands because of nerves. I think I played really well the last two points of the match.” World No. 1 Novak Djokovic passed his toughest test yet at The Championships as he beat the No. 13-ranked Tommy Haas. The Serb had lost both their previous grass-court meetings in 2009, but was in impressive form as he defeated Haas 6-1 6-4 7-6(4) to reach his 17th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final. “He’s always tough,” said Djokovic. “Coming into this match I knew I had a bad record against him on grass. He’s a grass specialist, he has great variety in game, can come to net. It was a tough challenge for me, but I played a really, really good match.” Djokovic made Haas play on 81 per cent of his return points and hit 40 winners, including 13 aces. “It was never going to be as easy as the first set,” said Djokovic. “I knew he was going to start playing better. I had to work for my games. I was serving well and returning exceptionally good in important moments. I had a minor setback at 5:3, serving for match at 30/0. He got back into it. I’m really glad I closed it out in three sets.” Tomas Berdych was also tested in a 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 victory over Australia’s Bernard Tomic. The 27-year-old Berdych is bidding to reach his second Grand Slam final, having finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the final at the All England Club in 2010. He hit 68 winners, including 24 aces, as he fought past Tomic in just under 3 hours. Berdych claimed the a topsy-turvy 1st set tie-break, reeling off the closing four points as Tomic let a precious opportunity slip when ahead 4:3 and serving. The tense battle continued in the 2nd set. First Tomic and then Berdych staved off break points. Tomic was more adventurous in the tie-break, steaming to a 6:3 buffer after a glorious backhand chip down the line. Berdych saved two set points to get back on serve before over-hitting a forehand to allow Tomic to draw level. Underlining the closeness of the match, the first service break came after almost two hours in the 3rd game of the 3rd set – and it fell to Berdych as Tomic appeared to tire. Bizarrely, Tomic’s lapse ignited three service breaks in five games. Tomic saved four set points in the 9th game before Berdych took control – and the set. And when tiring Tomic lost his serve in the 3rd game of the 4th set, the match was quickly slipping away. Despite Tomic’s gritty resistance, Berdych held his nerve to close out the match with a forehand winner down the line.
Third round: ATP
Fernando Verdasco matched his best Wimbledon result when he reached the last 16 for the fourth time on Saturday, dismissing Ernests Gulbis 6-2 6-4 6-4. The Spaniard is bidding to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final in three years and goes on to face Kenny De Schepper. Verdasco hit just seven unforced errors in a polished performance against Gulbis. The left-hander hit 29 winners and converted four of his seven break points to prevail in 1 hour and 45 minutes. The 29-year-old Verdasco will play De Schepper for the first time on Monday. “I felt so good the whole match,” said Verdasco. “From the beginning of the match I took advantage in the score pretty fast. I just felt pretty calm and confident. I was playing good and feeling the ball good the whole match. If you tell me before the match that it was going to be like this, the score, it was hard to say. Because he’s a great player. He’s having a great year. I was expecting a very difficult match, like maybe going to four or five sets.” De Schepper sprung an upset as he knocked out No. 22 seed Juan Monaco 6-4, 7-6(8), 6-4 on Court 12. Monaco held two set points in the 2nd set tie-break, but could not convert them. The 26-year-old De Schepper, currently a career-high World No. 80 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, was beaten by World No. 442 Kyle Edmund in the first round at Eastbourne last week, but has found his form to reach the fourth round of a major for the first time in his career. World No. 26 Mikhail Youzhny is one win away from reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second year in a row after defeating Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-3 6-4 7-5 in just over two hours. The 31-year-old Youzhny will have his work cut out for him when he takes on World No. 2 and last year’s runner-up Andy Murray, who secured his place in the second week of Wimbledon with a comprehensive straight-sets win over Tommy Robredo. The second seed won 6-2 6-4 7-5 under the Centre Court roof to reach the last 16 without dropping a set. Robredo had come back from two sets down in three successive matches at the French Open earlier this month, and did not crumble this time. It took a Murray backhand volley that landed on the back of the baseline to set up the chance of a decisive break at 5:5, and Robredo netted to effectively end his challenge. Murray saw one match point slip by when Robredo fired a spectacular forehand winner, but moments later the Spaniard failed to repeat the trick and the British number one took his now customary place in week two. “I thought I struck the ball really well from the start of the match,” said Murray. “I had a lot of winners and that was probably the most pleasing part. It will be a tough match for me,” said Youzhny. “I need to be just ready to play and enjoy the Centre Court, because it’s not every year you can play against top players on Centre Court.” World No. 130 Lukasz Kubot equalled his best Grand Slam championship performance by breaking a four-match losing streak against Benoit Paire, the No. 25 seed. In a reverse of their Roland Garros meeting, five weeks ago, Kubot won 6-1 6-3 6-4 in 1 hour and 54 minutes. Kubot, who lost 10 points in a 21-minute 1st set, also reached the 2010 Australian Open and 2011 Wimbledon fourth rounds. The disappointed Frenchman called Wimbledon a sub-standard tournament. Paire vented his anger by smashing his racket against a wall as he left Court 18: “I don’t like Wimbledon. When I enter on the court they tell us we have to be careful with the courts but the courts are not so good.” Jerzy Janowicz banged down 30 aces on his way to a 7-6(6) 6-3 6-4 victory over the No 15 seed Nicolas Almagro, to reach the fourth round and no one will want to face him this fortnight. Almagro let slip a 4:1* lead in the 1st set (*5:3 in the tie-break), and once he had dropped that set, his head dropped. The Pole’s game is an unusual mixture of power and touch. His huge serve, which averaged 130 mph and peaked at 140 mph, is matched by a surprisingly deft touch and he frustrated Almagro with some brilliant drop shots. Almagro should have won the first set but once Janowicz had taken it, the Pole grew in confidence. After taking the 2nd set, Janowicz broke in the 9th game of the 3rd to clinch his place in the last 16. Few people would have predicted a Janowicz-Melzer fourth-round clash. Sergiy Stakhovsky, who stunned Federer in round two, could not cope with the Austrian’s style of play and Jurgen Melzer ran out a 6-2 2-6 7-5 6-3 victor. “I don’t mind playing big servers, so let’s see,” the 32-year-old Melzer said of the prospect of playing Janowicz. “The key will be to return his serve, to get a read, and get as many balls back as possible. But yeah, playing Janowicz in the fourth round at Wimbledon, you would take it. I’m playing well, I’m feeling great, let’s take it one at a time.” Stakhovsky admitted the emotional effort of beating Federer and numerous media requests had left him a little spent. But the Ukrainian acknowledged he had got his tactics wrong. “I was a break up in the third – that was a chance,” he said. “But in general, if I think, I just played stupid. It would be the exact word of showing how I should not play Jürgen and I should have realized that somewhere in the end of the second set.” Bernard Tomic certainly did not need his hand held yesterday on what was his debut on Centre Court, where he produced one of the biggest wins of his young career to move into the last 16. Tomic had been on an 11-match losing streak against top-10 opponents but he repeated his 2011 third-round upset of Robin Soderling with an outstanding 7-6(7) 5-7 7-5 7-6(5) victory over ninth seed Richard Gasquet. The world No. 59 complained bitterly last week about father John’s one-year suspension over allegations he assaulted his son’s former playing partner – something Tomic senior denies. And the 20-year-old was in no mood to backtrack yesterday, bristling when asked whether he was actually better off on his own. Tomic took to the court minutes after his rugby-playing compatriots had staged a thrilling fightback to beat the British and Irish Lions. “I saw a bit in the locker room,” he said. “By the time I went on, they were still going. I heard the news after, which was good stuff.” Tomic demonstrated just as much Aussie grit against fragile Frenchman Gasquet, himself once men’s bright young thing, a player who has been dogged by the kind of brittle brilliance that was all too evident again yesterday. The 27-year-old blew a triple break point in game four, missing a sitter on his usually-imperious backhand. He had break point, then set point again at 6:5* up but Tomic maintained his winning streak – and Gasquet’s losing sequence – in tie-breaks at Wimbledon, surviving another set point to take it 9/7 with a beautifully angled forehand. The 2nd set went with serve until Gasquet served up another trademark wobble with a double-fault to gift Tomic triple set point in the 10th game. In fairness, Gasquet showed the kind of fortitude often missing from his game to hold and then broke before serving out to level. Tomic regrouped, ensuring the 3rd set was just as tight until game 12 when he took the second of two set points with a horrible shot right at the feet of Gasquet. The Frenchman saved another break point in game two of the 4th set, which went all the way to another tie-break. There was only one winner, with Tomic going up a mini-break early on and never really looking back. The 20-year-old will next face seventh seed Tomas Berdych after he beat Kevin Anderson of South Africa 3-6 6-3 6-4 7-5. Berdych came back from *2:5 in the 4th set improving his record versus Anderson to 9-0 (all matches within 1.5 years!). Andreas Seppi is also through to the last 16 for the first time following a 3-6 6-2 6-7(4) 6-1 6-4 win over Japanese 12th seed Kei Nishikori. Seppi won his seventh consecutive five-set match in 2013! He will face Juan Martin del Potro next after the Argentine beat Grega Zemlja in straight sets, winning 7-5 7-6(3) 6-0. Igor Sijsling joined the lengthy list of players to retire from the event when he conceded his third-round match against Ivan Dodig while trailing 6-0 6-1 1-0 on Court 18. His was the 13th withdrawal at the All England Club this year, equalling the record for the most singles retirements during one Wimbledon in the Open era. It also means Dodig has reached the last 16 following two unfinished matches, after his first-round opponent Philipp Kohlschreiber also retired. Novak Djokovic made just three unforced errors on his way to a 6-3 6-2 6-2 win over Jeremy Chardy, who found his opponent unplayable. The Serb, 26, lost just six points on his own serve, in a match which lasted 1 hour and 26 minutes, to send out a warning to the rest of the draw. Djokovic and Chardy’s last meeting came at Wimbledon in 2011, when the eventual champion again made easy work of his opponent, winning 6-4 6-1 6-1. “I felt very confident stepping onto the court but it’s never easy against Chardy, he’s a quality player,” said Djokovic. David Ferrer may be thinking he should avoid any opponent in future who holds off-court ambitions to be a rally driver. Not for nothing is Alexandr Dolgopolov’s style of play noted as somewhat mercurial. In a third round match, which lurched all over the competitive road on No. 1 Court, would-be racing driver ‘Dolgo’ slewed the No. 4 seed this way and that before the Spaniard finally took the chequered flag with a bumpy victory over the No.26 seed, winning 6-7(6) 7-6(2) 2-6 6-1 6-2 in 3 hours and 12 minutes. “It was a very hard match, very tough,” said 31-year-old Ferrer. “Wimbledon is special. It is the best tournament in tennis. It is a dream to play. The toe is ok. I had problems with my ankle [which he hurt when he fell in his first round match on Monday]. But I’m ok. I have time to rest.” Ferrer wasted a set point leading 5:2* in the 1st set.
Second round: ESPN
As tumultuous a day as professional tennis has produced in its nearly half-century history ended in the most unforeseeable, unexplainable way of all: a second-round loss by Roger Federer 7-6(5) 6-7(5) 5-7 6-7(5) to Sergiy Stakhovsky. The seven-time Wimbledon champion and 17-time Grand Slam champ shuffled off Centre Court with dusk approaching on the fortnight’s first Wednesday, his head bowed, his streak of reaching at least the quarterfinals at a record 36 consecutive major tournaments snapped by a man ranked 116th. The third-seeded Federer simply was unable to derail Stakhovsky’s serve-and-volley style, breaking the 27-year-old Ukrainian only once (as he was 2:3 in the final set). Still, there actually was a real chance for Federer to get back in the thick of things. Ahead 6:5* in the 4th, he held a set point as Stakhovsky served at 30/40. But Stakhovsky came up with this sequence: volley winner, 111 mph ace, serve-and-volley winner. “I had my opportunities, had the foot in the door. When I had the chance, I couldn’t do it,” said Federer, who is 122-18 on grass over his career, while Stakhovsky is 13-12. “It’s very frustrating, very disappointing. I’m going to accept it and move forward from here. I have no choice.” In the closing tiebreaker, with spectators roaring after every point, Stakhovsky raced to a 5:2* lead, and the match ended with Federer pushing a backhand wide on a 13-stroke exchange. Stakhovsky dropped to his back, then later bowed to the stadium’s four sides. He sat in his sideline chair, purple Wimbledon towel draped over his head, as Federer quickly headed for the locker room. Stakhovsky peeked out and saw Federer leaving, then applauded right along with the fans’ standing ovation. “You’re playing the guy and then you’re playing his legend,” Stakhovsky said. “You’re playing two of them. When you’re beating one, you still have the other one who is pressing you. You’re saying, ‘Am I about to beat him? Is it possible?’ Beating Roger here on his court, where he’s a legend, is, I think, having definitely a special place in my career.” The fourth seed, David Ferrer, was below his best but fought his way to 6-3 3-6 7-6(4) 7-5 win over his fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. The French Open runner-up says he is feeling a little pain in an ankle injury and he may well be tested again when he meets Alexander Dolgopolov. At 35 the oldest player in the men’s draw, Tommy Haas, continued his superb form with a 6-3 6-2 7-5 win over Jimmy Wang of Taiwan. The 13th-seeded German has been through more than his fair share of injuries but plays Feliciano Lopez of Spain on Saturday, with the world No. 1 Novak Djokovic likely to be waiting in the fourth round. Djokovic ousted Bobby Reynolds 7-6(2) 6-3 6-1 under the roof. “I’m healthy right now,” Haas said. “I’m playing good tennis. Yes, I’m 35. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m later in my career. These are all things that don’t matter once you get out there.” Seven players were knocked out of Wimbledon on Wednesday by withdrawals or mid-match retirements, believed to be the most in one day at a Grand Slam tournament in the 45-year Open era. Sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stopped playing while trailing Ernests Gulbis two sets to one after having his left leg treated by a trainer. The 39th-ranked Gulbis was leading the second-round match 3-6 6-3 6-3 when Tsonga quit. He was the runner-up at the 2008 Australian Open and a semifinalist at the All England Club each of the past two years. Following the 2nd set, Tsonga sat on the grass while a trainer wrapped tape below his left knee. Among the other men’s players bowing out due to injuries Wednesday was the Belgian who stunned Nadal in the first round and the American who won the longest match in tennis history here three years ago: Steve Darcis, who beat two-time champion Nadal in straight sets on Monday in one of Wimbledon’s greatest upsets, pulled out on Wednesday because of a right shoulder injury. The 135th-ranked Darcis withdrew just hours before he was scheduled to play Lukasz Kubot while John Isner, the 18th-seeded American, retired during his match against Adrian Mannarino with a left knee injury after only two games. Also withdrawing with injuries were 10th-seeded Marin Cilic (left knee) and 2006 quarter-finalist Radek Stepanek (left hamstring). Darcis said he hurt his shoulder while diving for a shot in the first set against Nadal. “After the match, a few hours after, I start to feel so much pain, I couldn’t sleep that night,” he said. “I saw the physio, the doctor, yesterday. They did a good job. It’s a little bit better today. But no chance I can play. I cannot serve. It makes no sense to go on the court to withdraw after two games.” Darcis had become an overnight sensation after beating the eight-time French Open champion and holder of 12 Grand Slam titles. “When you beat a guy like Rafa first round, you want to show more, you want to play more matches,” Darcis said. “I was playing maybe the best tennis in my life here. Not to go on the court today, it’s maybe the biggest disappointing thing I have to do.” Milos Raonic’s serve overpowered opponents, particularly indoors, with his legs serving as the springboard. Mardy Fish said in 2011 of the 6-foot-5 Raonic, “From the waist down, he’s as strong as I’ve ever seen anyone’s legs.” But Raonic, a Canadian, has not progressed as many thought he would. He has yet to make a Grand Slam quarterfinal or a Masters Series semifinal, and he has not secured a place in the top 10. Only twice has Raonic reached the quarterfinals or better in 2013 – he won the SAP Open in San Jose for the third time – and he cut ties with his coach, Galo Blanco, in May. His slump continued Thursday at Wimbledon as Raonic, ranked 15th, lost to Igor Sijsling, 7-5 6-4 7-6(4). Raonic swas visibly dejected as he spoke with four reporters Thursday. He said that he had mostly played “depressingly poor tennis” this year and that he was the problem here, not the grass, which can take some time to get used to. Raonic said he had had one good week in 2013, presumably referring to his win in San Jose. Unfortunately for Raonic, San Jose will not host an ATP World Tour event in 2014. “I think this is the first time, other than through an injury, that I’m sort of dealing with a bit of a low in my tennis,” Raonic said. Cutting ties with Galo Blanco, a good friend, was not easy, Raonic said, and the process of finding a new coach was a draining experience, with Raonic eventually choosing Ivan Ljubicic, a former top-five player. Sijsling saved all four break points he faced, set point at 4:5 in the 1st set and three in a row at 5:4 in the 2nd set. Whereas Sijsling claimed 74 percent of his second serve points, the figure for Raonic was 49 percent. “I wish I was holding a bit better,” Raonic said. “I think I lost my serve more than I would have liked the last four, five matches. But I think it’s just everything.” British number one Andy Murray made his way safely through to the third round on a remarkable day of upsets and injuries at Wimbledon. Murray did not put a foot wrong as he saw off Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu 6-3 6-3 7-5 on Court One. A first match point went begging at 5:4, and a second two games later before Murray sealed victory when Lu thumped a backhand long after 2 hours and 1 minute. “I thought I kept my concentration well and did well on my serve,” Murray added. “Each game I was putting pressure on his serve, but he played ultra-aggressive and it was very tough.” The Court No. 2 crowd greeted with a sort of stunned delight. They came to pay homage to Lleyton Hewitt, the veteran former champion. They left singing the praises of his conqueror, Dustin Brown – the qualifier ranked No. 189 in the world, who won 6-4 6-4 6-7(3) 6-2 to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time. “I cried like a little girl,” he said. “It’s going to take this a while to sink in. I’m not normally the kind of guy to cry. I’m playing Lleyton Hewitt, a guy you grow up watching.” World No. 55 Grega Zemlja knocked out No. 29 seed Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 7-6(4) 3-6 6-4 11-9 on Friday in a rain-interrupted match at The Championships. “The rain was pretty tough,” said Dimitrov, who was watched by his girlfriend Maria Sharapova. “It was a bit slippery again. It was a great match, a great five setter. [I have] to give all the credit to my opponent today.” The pair resumed their clash, with Dimitrov serving, at *8:9 in the 5th set. After four points, Dimitrov slipped, lost a point and then complained to the chair umpire that the grass-court was too wet. Trailing 30/40 – a third match point for Zemlja – the rain returned. “When I slipped, I fell down, I hit my hip,” said Dimitrov. “I told [the umpire], I’m not serving. Basically we had to stop and wait for another chance.” The players remained on Court 3. Upon the resumption of play, some 12 minutes later, Zemlja hit a forehand return that hit the top of the net tape. He squandered his fourth and fifth match points with return errors. Zemlja became tight at 9:9, but recovered from 15/30 and one break point with fluent winners. Dimitrov dropped to 0/30 at 9:10, but at 30/30 he struck a backhand into the net. On Zemlja’s sixth match point, Dimitrov attacked the net. The Slovenian calmly hit a backhand passing stroke – his 54th winner – to complete victory in 4 hours and 4 minutes.
First round: BBC, ATP
Rafael Nadal was sensationally beaten on Monday. Steve Darcis, currently No. 135 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, won 7-6(4) 7-6(8) 6-4 on No. 1 Court to condemn the fifth seed to his first loss in the first round of a Grand Slam championship. Darcis, who had never before beaten a Top 5 player, finished the match with his 13th ace. He converted three of his 11 break point opportunities for victory in 2 hours and 55 minutes. “Sometimes you play well and you have the chance to win,” said Nadal, who arrived in London six days ago. “Sometimes you play worse and your opponent plays well and you lose. I just want to congratulate Darcis. I think he played a fantastic match. At the end [of the day it] is not a tragedy. That is sport. Two weeks ago I was in a fantastic situation, winning a fantastic tournament [at Roland Garros]. Two weeks later, I lost here in the first round. That’s the positive and the negative thing about this sport. It is tough losing in the first round.” Nadal lost his serve in the 11th game but broke back immediately to force a tie-break in the 1st set. He looked like he might fight back from a 3:6 deficit in the tie-break, but Darcis converted his second set point chance with a forehand volley. Nadal broke serve for a 6:5 lead in the 2nd set, but this time Darcis recovered to reach a tie-break. Darcis moved into a 6:3* lead, but Nadal won three straight points. Nadal saved his fourth set point at 6:7, but then squandered an 8:7 advantage when he sliced a backhand into the net. Darcis opened up a 2:0 lead in the 3rd set. Nadal could have broken back in the eighth game, but struck a backhand into the net and Darcis went on to coolly seal the biggest win of his career. “Rafa didn’t play his best tennis today,” the 29-year-old Belgian said. “The first match on grass is always difficult. It’s his first one. Of course, it’s a big win. I tried to come to the net as soon as I could, not play too far from the baseline. I think it worked pretty good today.” Darcis is the lowest-ranked player to defeat Nadal at any event since World No. 690 Joachim Johansson at the 2006 If Stockholm Open. Gustavo Kuerten was the last reigning Roland Garros champion to lose in the first round of Wimbledon in 1997. It is 10 years since Lleyton Hewitt, the defending Wimbledon champion at the time, was stunned by Ivo Karlovic in the first round. Strange as it sounds, back then Roger Federer had not won a Grand Slam, no one had heard of Nadal, and Hewitt who was widely tipped to make a successful defence of his title, was the best player in the world. Those days are long gone, though, and not even the most optimistic Australian fan would back Hewitt to lift the trophy a second time. Yet none of that bothers Hewitt, who still backs himself to excel on grass. He may have plummeted to 70th in the world, his body might be feeling the strain of countless niggling injuries and, at the age of 32, he may not have too many tournaments left in him. But for the time being he is still here, still fighting, still snarling and still capable of upsetting players of the calibre of Stanislas Wawrinka, the 11th seed, whom he beat 6-4 7-5 6-3 to reach the second round, where he will face Dustin Brown after the unseeded German of Jamaican heritage, beat 6-3 6-3 6-3 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. “It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Hewitt said. “I knew it was a tough draw. He’s a quality player. I knew I had to come out here and play well and I played really well. I didn’t feel like a total underdog going into the match. I backed myself.” There were times when he had to dig in, not least when Wawrinka led 4:1* in the 2nd set. Then it seemed that the tide had turned and Hewitt, who had raised the prospect of an upset by snatching the first set, found himself hanging on. But he stayed in contention, broke back for 4-all and then earned the chance to serve for the set when a Wawrinka forehand clipped the top of the net and went wide. Wawrinka, furious with himself for relinquishing the advantage, sent a tame slice into the net a ran out a 6-2 2-6 7-5 6-3 victor.nd was warned by the umpire after throwing his racket to the floor in a fit of anger. Hewitt had taken up residence inside Wawrinka’s head. The Swiss lost his. His backhand, arguably the finest in the game, deserted him and a string of bad misses in the 1st game of the 3rd set handed Hewitt a crucial break. Top seed Novak Djokovic progressed into the second round of Wimbledon with a 6-3 7-5 6-4 victory over Florian Mayer, whom beat a year before on the same court in the quarterfinals (6-4 6-1 6-4). Djokovic, meanwhile, admitted there is still room for improvement in his game, despite recording a straight-sets victory. He told BBC Sport: “It was my first match on a grass court this season and my first at Wimbledon, and I’m satisfied. “It was tricky, because Florian is a very good opponent with a good variety of shots. His game is suited to grass. It took a lot of effort to come through. There are still a few things I would like to do better on. I could serve better. But my game is there. I’m still trying to find my rhythm.” Seventh seed Tomas Berdych eased past Martin Klizan 6-3 6-4 6-4, while ninth seed Richard Gasquet was a 6-7(2) 6-4 7-5 6-4 victor over Marcel Granollers of Spain. German 13th seed Tommy Haas ended Dmitry Tursunov‘s involvement with a 6-3 7-5 7-5 triumph, but Australian Bernard Tomic defeated American 21st seed Sam Querrey 7-6(6) 7-6(3) 3-6 2-6 6-3. Tomic came back from a break down (2:4) in the 1st set. He was physically struggling in the 3rd and 4th sets, but regrouped and risky display helped him to win the decider. Querrey struck career-high 36 aces, winning 13 points more in total. Gilles Simon, the 19th seed, also fell as grass-court specialist Feliciano Lopez notched up a 6-2 6-4 7-6(11) victory over the Frenchman. Lopez withstood six set points in the tie-break (3:6, 6:7, 8:9 & 10:11). They faced each other three days before in the final in Eastbourne, and Lopez prevailed 7-6 6-7 6-0. Andy Murray‘s 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over Benjamin Becker could hardly match the seismic shock taking place little more than a miscued lob away on Court No 1. “I don’t think too much about the draw. You just concentrate on who you’re drawn against. In a one-on-one sport it depends on how well you play on the day.” said the title contender. If there was a cause for concern it was chiefly his second serve. A wild double fault caused him to be broken and go from 4:1 up in the first set to 4-all, but he increasingly took control under a grey sky that half-threatened rain all day. There was one moment when Murray lost his sang-froid, his head rolling around like a ragdoll when he found himself a break point down in the 1st game of the 2nd set. Had his concentration wavered. Philipp Kohlschreiber raised eyebrows when he quit his first-round match against Ivan Dodig when trailing 1:2* in the 5th set. The 16th-seeded German, who reached the quarter-finals a year ago, had taken the first two sets, and was two points away from winning the match at 6:5* (30/0) in the 3rd set, only to allow Dodig to level. Kohlschreiber had been upset at a number of line calls during the clash on Court 18 and he said: “I’m totally exhausted. In the last two or three days I was almost entirely in bed. I have had flu and felt like my body was pretty bad. I had no energy left. I have only been able to practice for 45 minutes over the last two days. I tried to hang in as long as I could but in the end I was tired and slow in the head and felt a pain in my leg. Maybe it was bad timing but it is hard to speak about because this is the best Grand Slam I played last year. I’m angry and sad but there is nothing I can do.” Kohlschreiber’s second retirement in the fifth set this year.