Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Vaidisova v Mauresmo as it happened

All England Club, 25 June-8 July

Wimbledon fourth round result:

N V’SOVA (Cze) 14 v A MAURESMO (Fr) 4

7-6 4-6 6-1

By Tom Fordyce


Vaidisova 6-1 Mauresmo
C’est tout. Fin. The reigning champion has been dethroned! Mauresmo slumps to 15-30, smashes a ball clean out of the stadium in disgust and just gives up, patting two forehands into the bottom on the net. Vaida squeals with delight – she’s into the quarter-finals for the first time, but Mauresmo is heading home.

Vaidisova 5-1 Mauresmo
France – reach for your prayer-books, your lucky cloves of garlic, your soft cheeses of good fortune – your champion is heading for la sortie a toute vitesse here unless something dramatic happens. Vaida breaks her again as Maurie fluffs in two more double-faults, and we’re on the brink.

Vaidisova 4-1 Mauresmo
La Champe is looking desperately for a way out of this spicy pickle, but Vaida’s brows are furrowed with focused determination – there’s zero sign of cracking from the Czech tyro yet. Could we be on the brink of an enormo-whopper of an upset?

Vaidisova 3-1 Mauresmo
Whoosh – big, big hold from Amelie, saving a break point that would have seen her careering to 0-4 in this decider. Vaida misses a forehand pass and explodes into a teenage strop, bashing her racquet into the turf and putting a large crack in it in the process. She smiles winningly at the umpire and skips back to her chair for a new one, avoiding any sniff of a penalty in the process.

Vaidisova 3-0 Mauresmo
Shocking again from La Champe, battering a forehand miles out and then going even wider the other way with her clattering backhand. Nervous shouts around Centre – and not only because of the fat grey clouds lurking just over the back of the stands.

Vaidisova 2-0 Mauresmo
Goodness – Maur’s normally-reliable backhand goes whoopsie, sailing way wide on three successive points to hand Vaida the break on a polished plate. The match ticks into its third hour.

Vaidisova 1-0 Mauresmo
Blue skies and fluffy white clouds over SW19, and people are reaching uncertainly for their sunglasses. Vaidi teeters on the brink of trouble at 30-30, but booms in her meaty forehands and comes in to the net again to slip out of the net. Cliff applauds regally.


Vaidisova 4-6 Mauresmo
We’re up and running again, and Mauresmo polishes off in fast-forward time. Third-set shoot-out it is…

1412 BST: That’s better – the rain has been suspended because of sunshine. Yup – the covers are off, and smallish shadows from the net posts are visible on the turf of Centre Court.

1409 BST: Apologies for the error some of you spotted, where I’d written the words “RAIN SUSPENDED BECAUSE OF RAIN”. Look, it’s all beginning to take its toll, okay?

Vaidisova 4-5 Mauresmo
Woeful news as Vaida holds confidently to love – it’s raining again. A tiny bit. So off they run, even though it looks like it’ll be dry again in seconds. Was that the sound of Cliff clearing his throat?

Vaidisova 3-5 Mauresmo
Ace no.10 from Amelie, and Nicole must now hold serve to stay in the set. Centre Court’s filling up a fraction now too – hovering around the 45% full mark.

Vaidisova 3-4 Mauresmo
Vaida comes out bouncing again, and holds to love with the assistance of another crispy volley at the net. She’s now won 13 of the 15 points when she’s come to the net, while Mauresmo has won just 14 of her 33. Pick some tactics out of that one.

1324 BST: Wake up at the back – we’re back on. Just in time, too – I’ve just spotted Cliff Richard in the Royal Box, eyeing the sky hopefully. The artist formerly known as Harry Webb is wearing a turquoise sports jacket and an official Wimbledon tie in green and purple.

Vaidisova 2-4 Mauresmo
Big hold for the Gallic galloper, saving a break point after conceding her 10th double fault of the day and then taking the game when Vaida clunks a forehand into the bottom of the net. As she does so, we’re hit by another shower, and the players leg it once again.

Vaidisova 2-3 Mauresmo
Vaida, perhaps scenting the sweet smell of victory in her flared nostrils, suddenly goes giddy-eyed and starts spanking her forehands wide. Champe doesn’t need asking twice, and snatches the first break of the set.

Vaidisova 2-2 Mauresmo
It’s Vegas or bust at the moment for La Champe – she thumps out her 23rd double-fault of the championships, a move which puts her clear at the top of that particular table of shame, but then clumps in three aces to drag herself level. Vaida’s now bringing the grunt out on every shot, letting rip with an urgent “Ah-eeerrrrr!” which makes her sound like a toucan in distress.

Vaidisova 2-1 Mauresmo
Vaida’s got confidence coming out of her ears – she’s now coming to the net like a grass-court veteran. Keep your eyes on this one – we could have an upset baking in the oven.

Vaidisova 1-1 Mauresmo
Mauresmo powers to 40-0, only to dig herself a massive hole with more appalling serving and jump straight into it. It takes four deuces for her to climb out, and Vaida is all over her like a wasp in a jam factory.

Vaidisova 1-0 Mauresmo
Confusion reigns on Centre as the umpire forgets whose serve it is, and both women stand ready to receive. Umps climbs off his perch and rummages in a holdall before deciding Vaida can have a joust. She does so, and Maur is unseated once again.

“Mauresmo is in trouble here – she should have won the first set, no doubt about it.” John McEnroe, BBC TV


Vaidisova 7-6 Mauresmo
Zut alors – La Champe est dans, er, trouble! Vaida steals the set from right under her nez, saving two set points with vicious pacey returns and then taking her first set point by out-lasting Maur in a devastating duel of forehands.

Vaidisova 6-6 Mauresmo
It’s Tie-Break o’clock here on Centre as the teenager canters through her service game like a frisky colt.

Vaidisova 5-6 Mauresmo
Maur’s serve is looking dicey, but Vaida loses concentration on her returns and lets her off the nervy hook. Big grey clouds overhead, but you probably guessed that.

“Mauresmo is obviously not confident with her serve and I think that lack of confidence is seeping into the rest of her game.” BBC Sport analyst Tracy Austin

Vaidisova 5-5 Mauresmo
Vaida unleashes two forehands with the power of traction-engines to leave La Champe flailing desperately. Hey – the sun’s out. And there are now enough spectators to fill a brace of minibuses.

Vaidisova 4-5 Mauresmo
You thought I was joking – that’s the sixth break of serve we’ve had in the nine games so far. Maur doffs in her seventh double fault of the match to go to break point, floats in a drop-shot and watches helplessly as Vaida pops it past her to save the set.

Vaidisova 3-5 Mauresmo
Go on – you break my serve. No honestly – you break mine. Okay, but only if you break mine next. Honestly – I couldn’t. Really – I insist. Really? Seriously. Help yourself. Alright then.

Vaidisova 3-4 Mauresmo
Interesting tactics from the chap on the PA system – he announces gravely that play will continue on Centre Court, halfway through a rally which demonstrates relatively well that play probably has continued. It’s Vaida who comes out throwing the big punches, cracking a meaty forehand down the line and snatching back the break sharpish.

1149 BST: Ah, twas nothing but a shower. The cover is dragged off again, the net-posts shoved back into the turf and brollies returned to their scabbards.

Vaidisova 2-4 Mauresmo
Vaida labours to deuce, managing to miss the ball completely with one lacksdaisical forehand waft and giving away another break as the rain begins to fall.

Vaidisova 2-3 Mauresmo
Best game of the match so far, that one – Vaida passes Mau beautifully with a dipping backhand to set up break point, but her attempted backhand winner then snaps against the tape and dies on her her side of the net. Mau blasts in a stinging forehand to edge her Gallic snooter back in front.

“Bit of a rollercoaster so far, this match.” John McEnroe, BBC TV

Vaidisova 2-2 Mauresmo
Sigh. Vaida fails dismally to protect her break, slipping to 0-40 with three head-shaker errors and then losing the game when Maures successfully appeals to Hawk-Eye on a lusty forehand. The stands are still 80% empty here – you could bring everyone in the contacts section of your mobile and still have room to put your feet up on the seat in front.

Vaidisova 2-1 Mauresmo
Hello – this is just what we wanted… Vaida rakes a forehand down the line and breaks the mighty Mauresmo’s chunky serve. Could we have a game on here?, he asks with possibly misplaced optimism.

Vaidisova 1-1 Mauresmo
Vaida holds as Mauresmo drifts a backhand drop-shot wide and then slams an easy volley onto the tape. Zero atmos at the mo, though – the crowd almost outnumbered by line judges and ball-boys.

Vaidisova 0-1 Mauresmo
Useful start to this one – Mauresmo strides to the net to dink away a volley as delicate as a baby hummingbird, while Vaida’s walloping groundstrokes look threatening already.

Guten morgen my friends – we’re good to go here on Centre, where the rain is off-holding and about 30 people are in the stands.
Story from BBC SPORT


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