Rafa Pulls One Out As Soderling and Murray Surge

2010 Wimbledon Championships
By Hiland Doolittle, June 26th, 2010
Rafael Nadal defeated Philipp Petschner in 2010 Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal defeated Philipp Petschner in 2010 Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal was pressed hard in his second round win but 33rd seeded German showed why he is so highly regarded by pressing the world’s top player even harder in his third round match.  The hard playing, big hitting German fired 25 aces and blistered 63 outright winners against Nadal who was forced to comeback from a 2 set to 1 disadvantage in the three hour forty-five minute 6-4, 4-6, 5-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3 war.

The match marked the first time Rafael Nadal has had two five set matches in his first three rounds at a major tournament.  After dropping the third set, the Spaniard needed his usual treatment from the trainer for a sore knee and wrist.  Petschner also needed a backstretch after the fourth set.

Nadal will next face unseeded Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu who had a solid win over Thiemo DeBakker of the Netherlands 7-6(5), 7-6(6), 6-7(8), 6-4.  Nadal has played Mathieu nine times previously and has won all matches.

Sweden’s Robin Soderling took everything hard-hitting Tomas Bellucci of Brazil had to offer and still managed to dominate the youngster in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.  Soderling has yet to loose his serve or a set in this year’s event.  By luck of the draw, Soderling and Nadal could very well meet in the quarterfinals.

Experienced Spaniard David Ferrer will challenge Soderling next.  Ferrer saved a match point and then won three successive games to thwart an upset bid by France’s Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 7-5.  After dropping the first two sets, Chardy’s high-risk offense seemed to be in unstoppable gear when he reached the ad point at 5-4 in the fifth.  Ferrer cracked a winning forehand and then held, broke and held again to advance.

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Scotsman Andy Murray, playing in the final match of the day, thrilled the Centre Court and fans on Henman’s Hill with a smooth 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 triumph over another Frenchman Gilles Simon. Murray has somehow turned his game around at just the right moment.

The Scot will next face dangerous American Sam Querrey who notched a thrilling five set win over Xavier Malisse 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2, 5-7, 9-7.  Querrey’s big serve will pose a strong test for the Scotsman.

France’s Jo Willy Tsonga, the 10 seed, played his best tennis in two months against German Tobias Kamike in a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (1) victory.  Tsonga showed all the shot-making skills that make him such a dangerous opponent.


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