Wimbledon – Day 4 (2R)

Rain interrupted matches a couple times. One of the rain-breaks helped Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [19] to avoid a 5-set match against Grigor Dimitrov [62]. When the match was resumed in the 4th set, Tsonga saved a break point at 0:3 and the momentum totally swung in his favor. He led 5:3* (30-15), in the following game had two match points (double fault and Dimitrov’s passing-shot), but the young Bulgarian managed to make another swing and a few minutes later had a double set point. In the tie-break, Tsonga led 4:2, then Dimitrov saved three match points. At 8:8 Tsonga won the point with an awkward volley falling on the grass. On the sixth match point, Dimitrov dived, but couldn’t control his volley and Tsonga celebrated spectacular win (6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6) jumping over the net. Dimitrov was smiling in the end picked up by Tsonga from the court, happy with a good performance on a big stage (Court No. 2); he is the youngest player in the Top 100, but his idol Federer, ten years ago exactly at the same age, ousted Sampras on Centre Court at Wimbledon in five grueling sets… A two-day meeting of Juan Martin del Potro [21] with Olivier Rochus [73] had two completely different phases. Yesterday evening, Del Potro had problems with his movement on a slippery court, lost a tie-break wasting one set point and visibly disconsolate threw away his shoes into the crowd. Today he was pleased throwing wristbands into the crowd after a quick demolition his 30 cm shorter opponent. Del Potro sealed a 6-7, 6-1, 6-0, 6-4 win with 30th ace – his personal record.  John Isner [47] obtained amazing experience in winning service games on Court No. 18 last year, during the extraordinary marathon against Mahut. Today he came back on that court to play against Nicolas Almagro [15], and won 18 consecutive games on serve, but it was enough only to win one out of three tie-break sets. At the beginning of the 4th set Almagro (23 aces) broke Isner’s serve (28 aces) the only time in the match to post a 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 victory just before the darkness (the match would’ve been probably suspended if Almagro had not won the 9th game). I haven’t noticed particular changes in Robin Soderling‘s [5] game in the last few years. The Swede has added to his repertoire better slice, but he serves, hits ground-strokes and plays average volleys as always. What distinguishes Soderling as a No. 20-50 in years 2004-2008 from Soderling as a strong Top 5 player in the last two years… his mentality. He confirmed it today on Centre Court playing against the former champion Lleyton Hewitt [130]. Being 2-sets-to-0 down, Soderling won four points in a row at 3:3 (0-30) and an hour later, broke back immediately at the beginning of the 5th set. His almost 4-hour win over the most experienced 5-set active player, Soderling celebrated on the knees. “I tried not to think about the scoreline. Instead, I tried to keep looking forward. I know I was playing pretty well. I served well. And if I could just start to move a little bit better, start to return a little bit better than the first two sets, I knew I had a good chance.” ‘Toad’ assessed.

Three matches have been suspended at 9 p.m. (each of them in the 4th set) due to darkness: Harrison vs. Ferrer (2-1, 2:4), Melzer vs. Tursunov (2-1, 1:1) & Andreev vs. Tomic (2-1, 0:0).

Longest match:
3 hours, 54 minutes – Robin Soderling d. Lleyton Hewitt 6-7(5), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4
Most aces:
30 – Juan Martin del Potro, defeated Olivier Rochus in 4 sets
5-set barometer:
30-17 Lleyton Hewitt
8-9 Robin Soderling
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