Things are getting stormy for the top players at Queen’s Club.
Rafael Nadal needed three sets, almost four hours on court and a three minute injury time out to get past world No. 76 Uzbek Dennis Istomin on Thursday: 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-4. Things looked particularly bad for Rafa after the second set, as he lay down on the grass and had the trainer work on his right thigh. Via Times of India.
“I called the physio to check how my leg was,” world number one Nadal told reporters. “I’m still doing some tests and they are going to do more to know how I am.
“I felt something after he handled it,” Nadal added, standing up and pointing to his posterior to explain exactly where it hurt. “I have to be sure that’s it’s nothing dangerous. If something happened this week, it’s difficult to be ready (for Wimbledon) in one week.”
He told the post-match interviewer that “I’m feeling good now.”
It will be interesting to see how Rafa fares next against his good friend, Feliciano Lopez, in the quarterfinals. Rafa and another buddy, fellow Indian Wells doubles champ, Marc Lopez, are scheduled to play doubles tomorrow.
Andy Roddick’s Wimbledon warm up took a nosedive on Thursday, when he lost to Israeli Dudi Sela: 6-4, 7-6. Roddick says he’s not concerned (via FoxSports)
“I’m not super concerned about the way I’m hitting the ball,” Roddick said. “I’m not stressed out about any one part of my game too much. But you know, if I’m being frank with you guys, I had a lot of time practicing before the French (after pulling out of Madrid with a virus), played some matches and had a lot of time practicing here. Now I have a lot of time practicing before Wimbledon. It’s basically getting over my own impatience as opposed to worrying about my game. If this match had happened in two days and the guy had played really, really well and I felt like I had not played badly, there wouldn’t be a whole lot of problems. But, you know, I’m just going to have to show off my awesome ability to be a patient person.”
So what’s the awesomely patient Roddick going to do with all of his unexpected free time in London?
“I’m open for suggestions. We can put a ballot box here. You locals can inundate me with ideas if you like.” Andy Roddick teased the press (via lta.org).
Sela will take on Rainer Schuettler, who advanced after opponent Richard Gasquet withdrew with a back injury.
Andy Murray’s quest to avenge this year’s Miami loss to Mardy Fish was interrupted at 3-3 in the third set on Thursday night. Murray, who had just clawed back from 0-3 down, was not pleased at Fish for persuading the officials to stop play due to darkness. Via The Daily Mail:
“Ten minutes ago he was very happy to play on, the only reason he wants to stop now is that it’s 3-3,’ protested the Scot.
He stood his ground at the back of the court long after Fish had walked off to a chorus of boos. It was as near to uproar as it gets in this deeply conservative corner of West London.
‘It’s absolutely ridiculous, I’ve never known this in a tennis match,’ continued Murray.
‘It’s not dark and it’s not slippy. How can you stop play without consulting one of the players?”
These photos perfectly capture Fish’s side of the story. The fish that swallowed the canary:
The winner of the Murray vs. Fish match will take on Michael Llodra, who surprised 5th seed Marin Cilic: 7-6 (7-2), 6-2. Must be Coach Mauresmo’s input. (Yes, really!)
Novak Djokovic continues to struggle, losing 6-3 4-6 6-2 on Thursday to Xavier Malisse. Sad to admit that I’m not shocked by this result. At least Nole’s still alive in the doubles quarterfinals, playing with Jonathan Erlich. American Sam Querrey has seemingly rebounded from his bout of homesickness, beating Ginepri and Granollers to meet Malisse next.
Over on the Continent, Roger Federer enjoyed an easy, breezy 6-1, 6-2 win over Alejandro Falla on Thursday. He’ll likely have more of a fight against German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the next round, who was a finalist in Halle last year. Kohlscribbler’s countryman, Benjamin Becker, scored an upset over Nikolay Davydenko.