TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather
Thursday, Jul 31, 2014
Sports

Lu upsets Roddick in 4th round at Wimbledon

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 06:30 AM
WIMBLEDON, England -

Three-time finalist Andy Roddick was stunned in the fourth round at Wimbledon on Monday by an 82nd-ranked Taiwanese player who hadn't won a match here the past four years.

The fifth-seeded American was ousted 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 9-7 by Yen-hsun Lu in a match that lasted more than 4 1/2 hours.

Lu sealed the victory in the 16th game of the fifth set with his only service break of the match.

The 26-year-old Lu had lost in the first round at Wimbledon four straight times and failed to win a match at the past five Grand Slams.

He's the first Asian man to reach the quarterfinals of any Grand Slam since Shuzo Matsuoka of Japan did it at Wimbledon in 1995.

Roddick had 38 aces, but converted only one of eight breakpoint chances. Lu finished with 22 aces.

"I thought he served better than he has against me before," Roddick said. "That being said, I had shots. I didn't take advantage of them."

Lu's win overshadowed victories by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on the men's side, and the Williams sisters and Kim Clijsters among the women.

Before Monday, Lu was 9-18 in Grand Slam matches, 11-17 on grass and 2-10 overall against top-10 ranked players. It was his first win over a top-10 player since he beat Murray in the first round of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion, has lost three times to Federer in Wimbledon finals, including last year's epic match that went to 16-14 in the fifth set. He had beaten Lu in straight sets in three previous meetings.

Roddick evened Monday's match by serving a 126 mph ace on the final point of the fourth-set tiebreaker, and had a chance for a decisive break in the fifth. But, on break point at 4-4, Lu came up with a perfect backhand volley and went on to hold serve.

Serving with Lu ahead 8-7, Roddick hit a forehand long at 30-all to set up match point. Lu converted by hitting a running forehand passing shot down the line.

"Through three sets I was playing horrendously, I mean really, really badly," Roddick said. "I was trying to think of how to put balls in the court. I think the fifth set was probably the best set that I played ... but when you dig yourself a hole, it's tough to get out."

Lu said he didn't believe he could win but told himself to keep fighting.

"I just told myself, 'If I can stay longer, longer, longer, then probably something happens'," he said. "And finally then I waited for the last chance to close the match."

Lu, who held up a finger to the sky, dedicated the win to his father, a chicken farmer who died in 2000.

Earlier, defending women's champion Serena Williams overcame Maria Sharapova 7-6 (9), 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals and avenge her loss to the Russian in the 2004 final.

Clijsters rallied to beat Justine Henin 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 in an all-Belgian duel between former No. 1-ranked players making Wimbledon comebacks after returning from retirement.

Defending champion Federer, 2008 champion Nadal, third-seeded Djokovic, No. 4 Murray and five-time women's winner Venus Williams also advanced on an action-packed day featuring all remaining 32 men's and women's players in fourth-round matches.

Serena Williams served 19 aces for the second straight match - taking her total to 63 for the tournament - and held off the resurgent Sharapova in a tight battle on Centre Court.

"I don't serve like this too often," Williams said. "I don't know what it is about this court that makes me serve well."

In 2004, Sharapova - 17 years old at the time - stunned Williams 6-1, 6-4 for her first Grand Slam title.

"That was so long ago that I don't think it gives me any more added or any less satisfaction," Williams said after Monday's match. "We're both different players. She's obviously improved. Hopefully I've improved since six years ago."

Williams finished with 31 winners and 17 errors, while Sharapova had 14 winners and 18 errors.

"I had a few looks at her serve, but even when you had a good look and the ball's coming at you in 120s (mph), it's pretty tough to do much with it," Sharapova said.

Clijsters came from a set down against Henin and is 13-12 in career meetings against her compatriot.

Henin received treatment on her right elbow on three changeovers after slipping and falling to the turf as she charged to the net at 2-1 in the first set. She said the elbow was "quite painful" and bothered her on her serves and backhands, but didn't know the extent of the problem.

"I don't really know how it affected (the match)," said Henin, who has seven Grand Slam titles but has yet to win Wimbledon. "We'll see in the next few days."

Henin seemed in complete command after easily winning the first set, but Clijsters - a two-time U.S. Open champion - lifted her game in the second. Clijsters made the decisive break in the eighth game of the final set, and the two exchanged kisses on the cheek at the net.

"I can't believe we're back to this after so many years of battling against each other," Clijsters said.

Federer, chasing a record-tying seventh Wimbledon singles title, swept past 16th-seeded Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 to reach his 25th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal.

"I thought I played great," said Federer, who next plays Tomas Berdych. "Aggressive right from the start."

Nadal, forced into five sets the previous two rounds, needed only three Monday to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, and showed no sign of the right knee trouble which bothered him.

Nadal faces sixth-seeded Robin Soderling, the Swede who beat him in the fourth round at the French Open last year. Nadal beat Soderling in last month's French Open final.

Soderling, who hadn't dropped a set until Monday, needed five sets to beat No. 9 David Ferrer 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 to make the quarters for the first time.

Djokovic beat 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals for the second year in a row. The Serb received medical treatment in the third set for stomach cramps, but regained the advantage in the fourth with two service breaks.

Murray beat American Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final eight for the third consecutive year. He's the only player in the men's draw who hasn't lost a set.

Murray, seeking to become the first British player to win the men's singles title since Fred Perry in 1936, will next meet 10th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Venus Williams pulled out a tough 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory over Jarmila Groth of Australia, the lowest-ranked player left in the draw at No. 92.

Third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki lost 6-2, 6-0 to unseeded Czech Petra Kvitova.

Also making the quarters were No. 9 Li Na of China, Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria and qualifier Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

Comments