Andy Roddick brought former champion Lleyton Hewitt’s fine Wimbledon run to an end on Thursday with an energy-sapping 6-3 6-7 7-6 4-6 6-4 quarter-final victory on Court One.
Quick recap of this amazing 3 hour game between Andy Roddick & Lleyton Hewitt at the 2009 Wimbledon:
5pm: Would Murray prefer to face Hewitt or Roddick in the semis? “Both are tough, they’ve got a lot of experience, I’d just like them to have a long match,” he said in his post-match TV chat. With Hewitt a set down but a break up in the second, Murray’s wish may be granted. Needless to say, he’s the first Brit to reach the semis at SW19 since Tim Henman.
5.40pm: Sensational stuff on Court One as Hewitt shows his battling qualities to save three set points during a marathon tiebreak, then wins the set as Roddick goes long. One set all. The crowd are making plenty of noise. Not only are they enjoying an excellent match, the longer these two are on court, the better for the winner’s semi-final opponent, a certain A. Murray.
5.43pm: Shock as politician in need of good news jumps on Brit sporting success bandwagon. “You could see the reaction of the crowd that they were so impressed by his determination and his performance. I wish him well,” said Gordon Brown. Thought he was more of a football fan.
5.45pm: Strewth, Lleyton’s crocked. He’s apparently called the trainer to have a look at his muscle injury, though it doesn’t seem to be hampering his performance much. 1-1 in the third set.
6pm: Hewitt holds his serve comfortably and it’s three games all. Hard to predict the winner of this one.
6.20pm: Are we set for another tiebreak in this engrossing, even contest? We’re on serve and it’s 6-5 to Roddick. Shadows lengthening on Court One. Meanwhile, in more good news for the Murray clan, Jamie is through to the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles with his partner, Liezel Huber.
in the rally to make it two sets all. Incredible recovery from Hewitt. So we’re into a fifth set. Delight for Murray, who’s probably got his feet up right now, if he’s not in a pizza restaurant eating a margherita.
6.24pm: Hewitt’s ninth ace brings up a second successive tiebreak.
6.41pm: The American prevails 7-1 in the tiebreak and that may just have broken Hewitt’s brave resistance, given his injury problems.
6.50pm: Of course, the Aussie has immense character, and he’s hanging in there. He holds serve to lead 3-2, winning three straight games, to the delight of the yellow-shirted Fanatics in the crowd, who never seem to shut up, regardless of what’s happening on the court.
6.59pm: Four-four, and four-letter word as Hewitt’s frustration at failing to break Roddick gets the better of him.
7.05pm: A magnificent return of serve from Hewitt brings him set point and Roddick goes wide
7.08pm: Tommy Haas, the oldest bloke left in the tournament, at 31, is not going to set his sights too high when he faces Roger Federer, 21 successive Grand Slam semi-finals and all, on Friday. “There is not much this guy cannot do. I am going to try and go out there and see if I can annoy him a little bit and go from there,” Haas said.
7.11pm: Shadow has pretty well engulfed the whole of the court, which should make it easier for Hewitt to return those Roddick scud serves.
7.19pm: Hewitt holds in the first game of the final set, and the longest game of the match. He looks in real pain from his leg injury, but simply won’t give up. He’s going to need a nice warm bath and some Deep Heat rub after this match, for sure.
7.32pm: More break points saved by Hewitt. Roddick is furious at himself for failing to capitalize on the opportunities he’s getting. And furious with the umpire for a mix-up over a call between umpire and line judge that resulted in a challenge. The argument with the umpire carries on after the game. The umpire calls over the line judge for his explanation of what happened, then appears to accuse the judge of lying. Bizarre.
7.41pm: This is easily one of the matches of the tournament. Three-all, final set. It’s hardcore stuff and it’s been going for three hours and thirty minutes.
7.45pm: 4-3 to Hewitt, still on serve. If the Aussie could break Roddick now… it’s Roddick’s superior physical condition versus Hewitt’s greater bottle. The umpire is now involved in some sort of new balls/ not new balls confusion. He’s not having a good night.
7.49pm: It’s 4-4. A vital service game now for Hewitt.
7.56pm: Roddick breaks Hewitt to lead 5-4! He goes down the line at the net after another long game that both men had chances to win. Could finally be curtains for Hewitt.
8.01pm: Andy Roddick wins! So he’ll be up against Andy Murray on Friday in the semis. Hewitt goes long at the net and Roddick takes a nervy final game and wins the last set, 6-4. Huge credit to Hewitt for his battling qualities. Let’s hope the Australian cricket team don’t show as much courage later this month.
Hewitt, showing the determination and guts which helped him to the title here in 2002, refused to quit, twice coming from a set down before the 26-year-old American finally ended his rally. Roddick made the crucial break in game nine of the decider and held serve when Hewitt dumped a forehand volley long to claim victory. He gets to play British third seed Andy Murray for a place in Monday’s final. Do you think he will be in his best condition after this 3 hour match?