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2 Responses to wb96washington_radulescu

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 32-38, 48-41, 33-37, 41-39, 32-29 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    40 % Washington – 72 of 179
    40 % Radulescu – 78 of 191

    Only one point separated Radulescu [91] from becoming, arguably, the least expected semifinalist in the Wimbledon history (Open Era). The 22-year-old Romanian German, who had been known just in the Challenger circuit prior to 1996, created some attention around himself already in the first round because he ousted – in his major debut – a 15th seeded Arnaud Boetsch in a dramatic contest (the Frenchman led 3:1* and was serving at 6:5 in the decider). Radulescu also won another two matches in five setters, and statisticians noticed that no-one before him had served so many aces in the opening three rounds of a major and no-one had played at least 10 hours in the first three rounds of Wimbledon (10:10h in total):

    1R: Boetsch 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 5-7, 9-7… 3:09h… 27 aces
    2R: Pescosolido 4-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-1, 10-8… 3:43h… 36 aces
    3R: Wheaton 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3… 3:18h… 28 aces

    Radulescu withstood four match points serving at 5:6 in the 3rd set vs Pescosolido, he was serving four times to stay in the decider. Two miraculous victories in the first two rounds, super easy 4R win over a qualifier, who also achieved a career-best result (Neville Godwin), and the luck was on his side in the quarterfinal too (he trailed *3:5 in the first tie-break and saved two mini-set points at 4-all in the 3rd set, then when he had a set point at 6:5, the rain interrupted the game for a few minutes). Great journey was spoiled in the 4th set – Radulescu led 6:5* (40/15) being on verge of a dramatic 4-set victory when he made two backhand errors (passing-shot & return off Washington’s 2nd serve). Washington [20] won the ensuing tie-break easily and saved a break point at 1-all in the decider. Radulescu stayed calm with fresh memories of prolonged 5th sets in the opening two rounds; he ceded the first point in game no. 9 (Washington’s line called out), there was *4:5 (40/15) when his third two-game advantage set seemed inevitable – then occurred a minor catastrophe. Up to that moment, Washington had been struggling to win two points in a row as a receiver, and then he obtained four (!): FH volley error – double fault – overhead error – double fault… the dream was over. The crazy encounter on court no. 1 lasted 3 hours 31 minutes (7 hours 35 minutes including four rain breaks!), the tie-breaks: 5/7, 7/1, 7/3. Radulescu would play only two more times at Wimbledon, and due to injuries he needed to quit at the age of 25.
  2. Voo de Mar says:
    It was the first match in history in which the winner got his only break in the last game of the match; in latter stages of majors only once before had occurred a five-setter similarly dominated by holding, in Melbourne 1992 when Krajicek survived against Stich after four minutes longer encounter with one more break

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