Nadal in Five, Murray Rolls

2010 Wimbledon Championships
By Hiland Doolittle, June 25th, 2010
Rafa Nadal after wining against Robin Haase

Rafa Nadal after wining against Robin Haase

It was only fitting that that Rafa Nadal be tested in his second round match against Robin Haase of the Netherlands. The second seed took all Haase’s best shots and finally found a way to gun down his firsts serious challenge at the All England Club, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Leading two sets to one, Haase had the Spaniard on the ropes. But, as other young contenders are finding out, these high ranked veterans protect their turf with vigor. After being frustrated with Haase’s big serve and penetrating forehand, Nadal made a move and worked the backhand side until the challenger crumbled.

When Rafa goes into high gear, everything starts to come back. There are very few short points when Rafael Nadal is against the ropes. The pressure was just too much for Haase and for most of the players on tour.

However, in the upper levels of the grandstands and on Henman Hill, there are quiet whispers that the big two, Federer and Nadal, are beatable. Some dare say they will not make it to the final because players are seeing gaps and someone will break through.

One player who has looked inspired this week is Scotsman Andy Murray, who met the Queen on Thursday. Apparently the inspiration worked. Murray cruised past number 67 Jeremy Neminen in one hour 43 minutes 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Perhaps the distraction of focusing on his deep bow helped the Scot who seems to be playing with more passion than usual.

Murray started slowly but held four break chances in the first game. From there, the red head struck 18 aces and hit 49 outright winners.

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For the French, other than Mahut, it was a day of five set wins. Julien Benneteau and Jeremy Chardy joined Jo Willy Tsonga in registering tough five set wins. All three winners had to come back from 2-1 set deficits.

Isner’s doubles partner, Sam Querrey advanced with a four set win. Robin Soderling, the fifth seed, trounced Spain’s Granollers 7-5, 6-1, 6-4. Soderling is scheduled to meet Nadal in the quarterfinals. The Swede is playing some of his best tennis of the year thus far.


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