Monday, February 06, 2023

Distractions don't derail Nadal

| June 27, 2010 9:00 PM

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - Things got quite complicated for Rafael Nadal on Saturday.

His right knee was bothering him "a lot," something he later would say he's "a little bit scared about." His left elbow was briefly in pain, too, following one serve.

He got into a dispute with the chair umpire over whether Toni Nadal, Rafael's uncle, was coaching during the match, which is against the rules.

Oh, and then there was this issue, of most immediate concern Saturday: For the second consecutive round at Wimbledon, Nadal fell behind by two sets to one.

For the second consecutive round, though, the generally indefatigable Nadal came back and came through, this time pulling out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3 victory over 33rd-seeded Philipp Petzschner of Germany to reach the second week.

"This match was very difficult for me," Nadal acknowledged. "Having a five-set match two days ago and one today - that's tough. I'm happy to be in the fourth round. I'm going to try to be better for Monday."

That's when the grass-court Grand Slam tournament will resume after observing its traditional day of rest on the middle Sunday, all 32 players still in the event will be on the jam-packed schedule.

Nadal will meet 66th-ranked Paul-Henri Mathieu of France, who beat Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6), 6-7 (8), 6-4. No. 18 Sam Querrey reached Wimbledon's fourth round for the first time by defeating 2002 semifinalist Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2, 5-7, 9-7.

Next up for Querrey, a 22-year-old from Santa Monica, Calif., is a Centre Court contest against No. 4 Andy Murray, trying to become Britain's first Wimbledon men's champion since Fred Perry in 1936.

"I think it'll be 99 percent for Murray," Querrey said, "and, like, my mom and dad and sister cheering for me."

Murray, who hasn't dropped a set so far, beat No. 26 Gilles Simon of France 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 Saturday.

Other fourth-round men's matches Monday will include two-time French Open runner-up Robin Soderling of Sweden vs. No. 9 David Ferrer of Spain, and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. No. 32 Julien Benneteau in an all-French pairing.

Neither of those is nearly as intriguing as the women's matchup between 12-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and three-time major winner Maria Sharapova. It's a rematch of the 2004 Wimbledon final, which Sharapova won, but Williams leads their career series 5-2.

"I love going on the court and playing someone that's obviously the favorite," Sharapova said.

She struggled at the start of her 7-5, 6-3 victory over 68th-ranked Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic. Defending champion Williams, in contrast, overwhelmed 46th-ranked Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia at the outset of what would become a 6-0, 7-5 victory. Williams hit 19 aces in the triumph.

Recent Headlines