Roddick scrapes through
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:35
Roddick, twice a beaten finalist at the All England Club, opened the match with two aces and raced into a 5-0 lead for the loss of just three points in 12 minutes on Centre Court.
But after taking the first set 6-3 and the second on a tie-break, Roddick lost the third set and looked bereft of ideas before a timely ‘comfort break’ helped the former world number one regain his composure and secure a 6-3 7-6 4-6 6-3 victory.
After such an inauspicious start in the opening set, Chardy began to look more like a former Wimbledon junior champion – he won the title in 2005 – and saved two break points in the opening game of the second set.
The 22-year-old saved a total of four more to keep his nose in front throughout the set, but was unable to put any pressure on Roddick’s serve before the inevitable tie-break. That clearly favoured the sixth seed and former US Open champion, who had won 19 of his 22 tie-breaks in 2009, and Roddick duly took it 7-3 for a two-set lead.
Roddick had never lost in the first round at Wimbledon on eight previous visits, but Chardy was putting up a real fight and threatening to keep those fans wanting to see Andy Murray waiting for a good deal longer.
The world number 41 was holding his serve with relative ease and finally managed to break in the ninth game of the third set, Roddick saving one break point with an ace but then slicing a backhand into the tramlines on the next point.
And Chardy held his nerve to serve out for the set 6-4, reducing his arrears and giving Roddick plenty to think about as he contemplated an increasingly difficult assignment.
Roddick headed for the locker rooms after the third set – while Chardy received treatment to his left foot – and whatever he said to himself in the privacy of the bathroom seemed to have the desired effect.
After holding serve in the opening game of the fourth set, Roddick broke Chardy in the next game and then quickly held serve again to open up a 3-0 lead. Chardy won his next three service games to at least force Roddick to serve out for the match, and the 26-year-old did so to love to secure an unimpressive win.