Nadal strikes back for Murray test
Originally published on: 01/07/10 11:23
Rafael Nadal picked out the moment he lost his cool with the umpire as a turning point in his Wimbledon quarter-final against Robin Soderling.
The Spaniard bounced back from losing the first five games to win 3-6 6-3 7-6(4) 6-1 and set up a last-four meeting with Andy Murray.
“It’s a dream to be in the semi-finals here another time,” the 2008 champion said.
“I’m very happy how I’m playing, how I arrived in the semi-finals. I know I’m going to have a difficult match against Andy in the semi-finals, but I am playing well.”
Nadal, who was one point away from a first-set whitewash, almost started the second in similarly disappointing fashion when umpire Pascal Maria handed Soderling break point after the Swede had successfully challenged a line call.
The Spaniard had clearly stopped playing after the ball was called out and was incredulous when Maria refused to order a replay.
Nadal complained to the man in the chair but the second seed and world No.1 prevailed in the lengthy ensuing rally to save the break point, before roaring in delight and leaping into the air.
Fired up, Nadal immediately broke his opponent’s serve and began to take hold of the contest.
“For me it was too important a point, because it was 30-30, to make this drastic decision,” the world number one said.
“If you’re asking me if that call affected me, I say yes. When the line (judge) said ‘out’, I did not play the shot properly.
“It was a mistake, but everybody can have a mistake. After that I played a very good point on the break-point.
“I was a little bit lucky to break in the first game on his serve in the second set. After, I think I played a great match.”