World No. 2 Rafael Nadal joined No. 1 Roger Federer in showing that the 2010 Wimbledon title will not be a cakewalk for any former champion, on Saturday coming from 1-2 sets down to defeat No. 33 seed Philipp Petzschner of Germany 6-4, 4-6, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3.
Nadal not only had knee problems during the match, calling for a timely break, but was accused by the chair umpire of receiving coaching from his uncle Toni in the crowd.
“I never call the physio when I don’t have nothing, not one time in my career,” Nadal defended himself before the media. “Today I needed to take a little bit time. I have the quadriceps muscle very tight and I need to relax it a little bit. Maybe with this relaxation, the knee works a little bit better…Today for me, Toni wasn’t giving me any tip. He was only supporting me.”
Other players surviving five-set challenges were No. 9 David Ferrer outlasting Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, and No. 18 Sam Querrey topping Xavier “X-Man” Malisse 9-7 in the fifth.
Other seeds advancing were No. 4 Andy Murray, No. 6 Robin Soderling, No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and No. 32 Julien Benneteau.
The only unseeded player advancing from the eight matches of the day was Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, who defeated the Isner-slayer Thiemo De Bakker in four sets.
Top-seeded Serena Williams continued her decimation of the women’s side Saturday at Wimbledon, defeating Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 6-0, 7-5 to set up an All England all-former champion meeting with Maria Sharapova. The No. 16-seeded Sharapova advanced with a straight-set win over Czech Barbora Strycova.
“I love playing against her,” Sharapova said of the younger Williams sister. “I love playing against, you know — she’s the defending champion. You know, she’s great on this surface. She’s won numerous Grand Slams. If there’s a challenge ahead of you, it’s definitely playing against her, and I enjoy that.”
Other seeds advancing Saturday were No. 3 Caroline Wozniacki who will next face Czech Petra Kvitova, and No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 9 Li Na who will next face off.
There will be no play on the middle Sunday at Wimbledon, but highlights of Monday’s play will be (1) Roger Federer vs. (16) Jurgen Melzer, (1) Serena Williams vs. (16) Maria Sharapova, (18) Sam Querrey vs. (4) Andy Murray, (8) Kim Clijsters vs. (17) Justine Henin, (3) Novak Djokovic vs. (15) Lleyton Hewitt, Paul-Henri Mathieu vs. (2) Rafael Nadal, Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu vs. (5) Andy Roddick, out on Court 12 (21) Vera Zvonareva vs. (4) Jelena Jankovic, the all-French encounter (32) Julien Benneteau vs. (10) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and way out in the boonies, (6) Robin Soderling vs. (9) David Ferrer.
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