The biggest choke in the Wimbledon semifinals, actually a surreal outcome of the final set! The match was halted due to rain four times (like Washington’s previous incredible match vs Radulescu), the last time at two sets apiece. Soon as they came to the court the following day, Martin broke his compatriot twice to establish a *5:1 (15/0) lead. It was a moment when Martin had won 17 out of 18 points on serve, so his defeat in the match seemed beyond imagination. Washington played great forehand and at 15-all Martin committed two double faults in a row. He lost the game at ’30’, but acted like he stayed calm. It’s tough to say, but to some degree he probably became a victim of his winning streak in tight sets. Usually a player who advances to the Wimbledon final, has lost some tight sets in the fortnight, meanwhile Martin had won eight consecutive sets when the scoreline reached 5-all, including two against Washington – or four – counting their previous match… I suppose it could affect his vigilance, especially that he won sets Nos. 1 & 3 against Washingtion dropping a 5:2* advantage. He lost it again, despite serving at 5:3 (30/15) – Washington passed him with his backhand, then Martin manufactured another double fault. Washington firmly held at 2:5, 4:5, 5:6, 6:7 & 7:8, having squandered two mini-match points at 6-all in a game with Bruno Rebueh’s controversial decision. At 8-all Martin had a game point – Washington played an amazing point, winning it with a forehand around the post! Serving for a place in the final, Washington found himself at 0/30 with a second serve – the shaky Martin netted his return; on Washington’s first match point, Martin played a ridiculously weak lob and the older American finished the remarkable 3-hour 49-minute contest with a high-backhand volley. Martin admitted that he hadn’t been so tense in his career before as it happened to him at 5:1 in the decider. It was pretty obvious that a guy with his very good serve, wouldn’t lose another match in similar circumstances – but it was repeated on the same Centre Court four years later against Agassi (4-6, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2, 8-10) – that time Martin led 5:2 on serve in the decider!
You must be logged in to post a comment.