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Wimbledon diary: Magic Monday

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Originally published on: 29/06/10 10:34

Asian delight
Andy Roddick had won all three of their previous meetings, but Yen Hsun Lu made history yesterday when he became Asia’s first male grand slam quarter-finalist since 1995. Lu put Roddick out of the Championships in a five set match that finished at 3am in his hometown (but a more reasonable 8pm on SW19’s Court 2). It could be another late night in front of the box for the people of Chinese Taipei when Lu takes on Novak Djokovic, who was extended to five sets in his opening tie with Belgian Olivier Rochus.

Doctor for Djokovic
Talking of the Serb, Djokovic booked his place in the quarter-finals after battling past Lleyton Hewitt on Court One. Though Djokovic prevailed 7-5 6-4 3-6 6-4, judging by Nole’s celebration, he was pretty darn pleased to come through against the 2002 champ. Labored by stomach pains midway through the third set, there was a whole lotta Leyton-esque fist-pumping after the Serb sealed match point. “I didn’t really get a lot of oxygen because I had that… the doctor helped me out and everything was OK in the fourth,” said Djokovic, who is becoming rather well known for his bouts of mid-match physical strife. It didn’t distract Hewitt, who wasn’t too sympathetic toward his victorious opponent. “He’s always got something. So I wasn’t focusing on it, yeah, at all. I was just trying to play my game,” said the Aussie, adding “He looked fine again in the fourth.”

Sharapova out but onto good works
In a repeat of their 2004 final, Serena Williams defeated Sharapova 7-6 6-4 to reach the quarter finals, and the Russian believed Serena’s serve made the difference. “Even if you have a good look at them there’s a good chance you won’t win the point if she keeps serving them,” said Sharapova, who believes her game is steadily improving. “I am in a much better spot than I was last year…I had my chances in the French and I had my chances today.”

Sharapova will head to Chernobyl on Wednesday morning. “My goal is really to restore that and to send the message that we’re all very aware of the situation, what has happened many years ago, and that people on a daily basis are still affected by it, are getting sick, and are living in those regions.”

Capriati in hospital
Two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Jennifer Capriati was rushed to hospital on Sunday morning after taking an ‘accidental overdose of prescription medication’. Her father told a celebrity website that the 34-year-old was “recovering well” in hospital, while Serena Williams offered her countrywoman any help she might need, saying yesterday: “I probably will definitely see how that goes and pray for everyone involved. If there’s any way I can do anything to help, reach out, I definitely will do that”.

Anybody out there?
In the much-anticipated battle of the Belgians, Kim Clijsters took away Justine Henin’s Wimbledon dream with a 2-6 6-2 6-3 victory after recovering from a sluggish opening set. “I was just very overwhelmed in the beginning by the speed of her game,” said Clijsters. “She was definitely overpowering me on every aspect of the match. She was serving extremely well, and returning extremely well.” Though she recovered from going missing in the opener, Clijsters added: “I was out there somewhere, but I’m not quite sure where.”

Federer scores himself highly
It took just an hour and 24 minutes for Roger Federer to beat Jurgen Meltzer 6-3 6-2 6-3, and after his two testing opening ties, the top seed was happy with his performance. “I thought I played great,” enthused the Swiss. “Aggressive right from the start, which I think was key today because I knew Melzer was going to try every chance he was going to get. He was going to hit the ball and come forward as well. You want to counter that and play aggressive yourself. I was able to do that very well today.”

Murray into quarter-finals
Sam Querrey was generous in his assessment of Andy Murray’s game after losing 7-5 6-3 6-4 to the Scot on Centre Court. “He’s playing at a very high level. He’s hitting his backhand well. He hits the passing shots as good as anyone. So he’s a tough guy to play. Makes a lot of returns,” said the American. Compatriot John McEnroe has long-maintained that Querrey himself will be a top 10 player in the future.

Venus fashionably late
She had no real problems on court, but Venus was pretty fortunate to make it through to the quarter-finals after nearly failing to turn up for her own match. Explaining why there was a delay before her fourth round clash with Jamilla Groth – which she won 6-4 7-6 – the elder Williams said: “I didn’t know the procedure for Court 2, so I was waiting on someone to get me. No one came.  So eventually I just came out.“ Perhaps she should have had a word with sister Serena, who was denied the chance to play in front of the Queen on Royal Thursday and allocated a spot on Court 2 instead.
 
Czech mates
Petra Kvitova defeated No. 3 seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-0. The shock win propels the 6ft southpaw into the quarterfinals where she will face Kaia Kanepi. The Czech player – ranked 62 in the world – was born in Bilvec and lives in Fulnek but practices in Prostejov. If that has you suitably nonplussed and reaching for an atlas, you can place her by the fact that she practices at the same club as Thomas Berdych and Lucie Safarova.

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