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.”

Roddick v Kohlschreiber as it happened

Australian Open, Melbourne

Men’s third-round result:

A Roddick (US) v P Kohlschreiber (Ger)

4-6 6-3 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-3) 6-8

   

By Sarah Holt

Roddick 6-8 Kohlschreiber
The German steals the first point from Roddick with an unstoppable return and does likewise to have a sniff of the match at 0-30. The American sixth seed looks in his pocket and digs out a trusty ace. But another great passing shot brings up two more match points for the 29th seed. Roddick goes perilously close with a forehand and there is a scream from the crowd as it almost pops wide. That one wasn’t wide but the next one is – and Roddick hands Kohlschreiber the match on his fifth match point.

“Breathtaking – one of the best matches I’ve ever seen by far.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Roddick 6-7 Kohlschreiber
On we go then and thanks to my colleague David, who did a wonderful job covering me while I ducked out for my own extended bathroom break. So, Kohlschreiber is 40-15 and he thumps down another ace to hold again.

“Kohlschreiber stands firm yet again – and they are approaching the four-hour mark now.”
BBC Sport’s Chris Bailey

Roddick 6-6 Kohlschreiber
He will have to because Roddick is going nowhere without a fight. There’s no tie-break this time so we could go on and on and on into the night (in Australia that is)…

Roddick 5-6 Kohlschreiber
Roddick is so charged up I think he might explode. But it works against him as Kohlschreiber serves out with considerable ease. This guy is amazingly calm but can he remain so?

“Tennisemp clearly hasn’t been following Roddick for long because he has always had a temper. To blame Jimmy Connors is ludicrous!”
Anon, via text

Roddick 5-5 Kohlschreiber
Kohlschreiber shows outrageous character to stick with Roddick to 40-30 before the American double-faults. Kohlschreiber earns himself a match point but Roddick sends down an ace in the advantage court. Ditto three more times until, after the German’s fourth match point, Roddick holds his nerve. An ace in the deuce court puts him on advantage and then Kohlschreiber hits his backhand long and wide.

Roddick shouts “cumon!” about 30 times before preparing the receive.

Roddick 4-5 Kohlschreiber
As magnificent as the tennis has been, the unpredictability has vanished. Just when Roddick looks like striking a killer blow – well, he took the opening point of the game off Kohlschreiber’s serve – the German snuff’s out the trouble. Kohlschreiber joins Roddick with more than 30 aces in the match as he makes it 4-5. Can he break for the match?

“Connors changed a nice kid with a good game to a nasty man without changing his game for the better. Connors used to feed of his own bad behaviour on the court. He could entertain the crowd with his antics and yet focus on the task at hand. To expect his prodigy to do the same is somewhat foolish.”
tennisemp on 606

Roddick 4-4 Kohlschreiber
We have a third point won against the serve this set but Kohlschreiber is barely in the game and a couple more Roddick aces make the difference.

Roddick 3-4 Kohlschreiber
Roddick wins a point against the serve, the first time he’s done so all set! But low and behold he can’t push on from there and Kohlschreiber meanders on.

Roddick 3-3 Kohlschreiber
And he does. 40-0.

I do apologise for the lack of detailed updates but these two a reeling off games quicker than the fingers can move. In a nutshell, Roddick can’t cope with Kohlschreiber’s groundstrokes, Kohlschreiber can’t cope with Roddick’s serve.

What time does anyone think this is going to finish? I need some lunch!

Roddick 2-3 Kohlschreiber
Each time Kohlschreiber ticks off a love service game I’m more and more convinced he’s going to win this. But no doubt Roddick will respond in exactly the same fashion.

Roddick 2-2 Kohlschreiber
Deary me, no wonder this has gone the distance. Neither player can win more than one, maybe two, points off the other’s serve. Roddick’s ranting is over but coach Connors looks like he can’t take much more of this.

Roddick 1-2 Kohlschreiber
But, yes, you guessed it, Kohlschreiber responds with aplomb.

Roddick 1-1 Kohlschreiber
Bang, bang, bang bang. That’s another love service game.

Roddick 0-1 Kohlschreiber
Well, what a way to bounce back – a love service game and not a hint of fatigue. Whichever way this goes, Kohlschreiber has surely not played a finer match on a stage as big as this. His serve doesn’t come close to A-Rod’s for speed but his placing is magnificent and then when into a rally he leaves Roddick chasing shadows.

Fourth set:

Roddick 7-6 Kohlschreiber
Kohlschreiber makes his first two unforced errors of the set and it costs him dear. Both players exchange venomous groundstrokes but Roddick was always slightly on top and he prevails 7-3.

What a belter of a fifth set this is going to be.

Roddick 6-6 Kohlschreiber
Ready for another tie-break? There was never any doubt Kohlschreiber would take the game, although he did require another successful video challenge to help him on his way. BBC Sport analyst John Lloyd is comparing him to Roger Federer. Lloyd says he hasn’t seen anyone apart from the world number one play such a stunning variety of ground strokes.

Roddick 6-5 Kohlschreiber
Roddick really is doing his best to impersonate a certain Mr McEnroe. Kohlschreiber sticks with him to 40-30 – even succeeding with an audacious drop-shop from the base-line. He then fires down a back-hand that a video challenge shows grazes the Roddick’s base-line and the American is furious. He walks over to the umpire and offers to “speak slowly so you can understand me” before explaining that he was a foot away from the ball and was 100% correct. Eventually he serves out. This is sensational stuff.

Roddick 5-5 Kohlschreiber
I can’t think of a single unforced error from Kohlschreiber all set and he sails through his serve imperiously again.

Roddick 5-4 Kohlschreiber
Touché. Now he’s done with the crowd and referee, Roddick is taking his anger out on the ball. Another 40-0.

Roddick 4-4 Kohlschreiber
Try as he might, A-Rod simply cannot contain Kohlschreiber on his serve. 40-0. Simple as that.

Roddick 4-3 Kohlschreiber
Roddick is going mental. The Germans in the crowd are irritating him so much that he screams at them to “shut up”. After storming through the game with some blistering serves he lays into the umpire at the change of ends, berating him for not intervening sooner or with more vigour. The poor man sits there soaking up the abuse as Roddick tells him to “do your job”. A-Rod then offers to send him a fax or email to explain just how that job should be done. Incredible scenes in what is sure the game of the tournament thus far.

“Roddick can lose matches very quickly when he gets angry so at least this one is not over yet. Hopefully he’ll calm down now he’s level.”
Steph, via text

Roddick 3-3 Kohlschreiber
But Kohlschreiber is not for moving. He seems to be saving himself for his own service games and, if he can keep reeling them off like this, the pressure will pile up on Roddick.

Roddick 3-2 Kohlschreiber
That’s more like it. Although still muttering furiously underneath his breath, Roddick mixes power and aggression with guile to take the game.

Roddick 2-2 Kohlschreiber
Sensational stuff from Kohlschreiber, who races into a 40-0 lead with some delicious groundstrokes before Roddick shows some fight. A-Rod’s blistering forehand has been anonymous for much of the match but he brings it out to take a point. Not that he does enough to halt Kohlschreiber’s progress, the 24-year-old sealing the game with a fine ace. Roddick challenges is but more than half the ball was over the line. That’s two challenges remaining for Andy.

Roddick 2-1 Kohlschreiber
If I was a gambler I’d put my money on the German. Roddick is losing his rag all too often and must be dangerously close to receiving a one-point penalty. He manages to save break-point and power his way through but must take a leaf out of his opponent’s book – calm down and stay composed. Otherwise, defeat is on the cards.

Roddick 1-1 Kohlschreiber
Roddick is getting pretty miffed out there. He’s already on a warning for bad language when he yells another expletive after squandering a break point and allowing Kohlschreiber to draw level. Roddick could easily have been two sets to one up and 2-0 up in the fourth and it seems as though that’s playing on his mind.

Roddick 1-0 Kohlschreiber
The A-Rod begins with a bang, serving out the first game of the fourth set before I could catch my breath.

Keep your texts and 606 posts coming.

Third set:

Roddick 6-7 Kohlschreiber:
So to the tie-break then and Roddick takes a 2-1 lead. Kohlschreiber pounds down an 18th ace to level it at 2-2. The tie-break is following the story of the set at the minute; it’s tight at 3-3. Roddick sniffs a chance and thunders down a volley to move to 5-3, but he goes long for 5-4. More cat and mouse as Kohlschreiber saves a set-point once more. It’s 6-5 to Roddick. The German lobs the American at 6-6.

Really tight out on centre court and Roddick gets a third set-point at 8-7, but unbelievably the German saves it again. A cross-court forehand from Kohlschreiber takes him to 10-9 – and a fifth set point. This time Roddick goes long and he takes it.

Tensions are high as Roddick demolishes his racket, but he can hardly complain. Kohlschreiber has really the initiative – hitting 32 winners to the American’s 20 – and we’ve the potential of a barnstorming fourth set.

Roddick 6-6 Kohlschreiber:
Roddick gets himself into trouble and hands Kohlschreiber a set-point at 40-30. The American is able to dig himself back to deuce but the German is putting him under real pressure once again. The sixth seed conjures up two aces to hold and the third set will be decided by a tie-break.

Roddick 5-6 Kohlschreiber:
Hang on a minute, there could be a little opening here for Roddick as he grabs two break points courtesy of two errors from the German. A tremendous rally – 31 shots in total – sees Kohlschreiber hang on with a flashing backhand down the line, and he goes on to hold.

Roddick 5-5 Kohlschreiber:
And closer it gets indeed as Roddick is untroubled on his service game.

Roddick 4-5 Kohlschreiber:
The old romantic Kohlschreiber holds comfortably again and a bunch of German fans with the national flags painted across their chests stand up and cheer roundly. The tie-breaker is looming closer and closer.

Roddick 4-4 Kohlschreiber:
Yet more news on Kohlschreiber’s lovelife – more of a hot topic than I thought to be honest. Steventre on 606 reveals the mystery blonde supporting the German is called Lena and they have been dating for six years. Ahhh. Meanwhile, Roddick holds.

Roddick 3-4 Kohlschreiber:
A little lull in the match perhaps and the momentum isn’t really swinging in either man’s favour. Kohlschreiber holds to love.

Roddick 3-3 Kohlschreiber:
A loose forehand from A-Rod sees him slide to 30-30 but some extra pace on the ball bamboozles Kohlschreiber and the American holds.

Roddick 2-3 Kohlschreiber:
Kohlschreiber moves into the net to flick a volley over for 40-30 and the 29th seed lands down an unreturnable ace to keep the set tight. Meanwhile, the BBC commentary team in Melbourne are concerned because someone appears to have brought a baby in to watch the tennis – at well almost quarter to midnight Melbourne time. John Lloyd calls it “selfish parenting” – well.

Roddick 2-2 Kohlschreiber:
The American sixth seed stretches for a difficult backhand at the net to hold after a testing game, and we are all level again.

Roddick 1-2 Kohlschreiber:
Good old Kohlschreiber keeps it steady, thumping down a serve to edge ahead, and it seems interest in the German’s lovelife is on the rise.

“I certainly hope there is not an attractive blonde with her eyes on Philipp.
From Mrs Kohlschreiber, Southampton via text
I have to say, it’s the Southampton bit that makes me thing this is perhaps not the real Mrs K.

Roddick 1-1 Kohlschreiber:
Another nervous look from Jimmy Connors but his man Roddick holds, and there is a shout from an equally anxious member of the crowd, “Come on Andy, finish it off.”

Roddick 0-1 Kohlschreiber:
A solid service game from the German who holds.

Second set:

Roddick 6-3 Kohlschreiber:
Roddick needs a big serve to get him out of trouble as Kohlschreiber pushes him back to 30-30. And a big serve he delivers to take the second set, and with that he is off to the bathroom.

“The first set was like a magic wand for Kohlschreiber but maybe now he needs to focus a bit more. Roddick needs to keep the aggression up and keep the serve working because if he drops the level then he could still be in a lot of trouble here.”
BBC Sport analyst John Lloyd

Roddick 5-3 Kohlschreiber:
I have no idea what Kohlschreiber’s lovelife is like, though he does seem to have a blonde supporting him in the stands. Anyway, he holds to love to force Roddick to serve out for the set.

Roddick 5-2 Kohlschreiber:
More big-serving from Roddick who powers to a love service game. Over on the Margaret Court Arena, there was bad news for fellow American Mardy Fish who lost in four sets to Jarkko Nieminen. So Roddick might have to console his pal Fish later on. Fish is getting hitched to a future Mrs Fish this year and by all accounts A-Rod is in charge of the Bucks party – or stag-do as we say on this side of the Atlantic.

Roddick 4-2 Kohlschreiber:
Kohlschreiber, who won the Auckland title earlier this month, is under a bit more pressure on his serve but he stays close holding to 30.

Roddick 4-1 Kohlschreiber:
Kohlschreiber gets a dead net-cord to gain a break point on the Roddick serve, but the American fights back to deuce with an ace. Roddick’s coach Connors looks on anxiously but Roddick pulls away to take a 4-1 lead.

“Kohlschreiber is just making a few more errors on the groundstrokes now – that’s understandable as he was immaculate in the first set and you can’t keep that up over five sets.”
BBC Sport analyst John Lloyd

Roddick 3-1 Kohlschreiber:
There is a little drop in tempo out on court in Melbourne, and Roddick takes advantage of the German’s errors to garner two more break points. Once again, Kohlschreiber digs deep to save one of them and delivers a smash to save the second. The 29th seed thwacks the ball into the net-post to hand Roddick advantage and Kohlschreiber misses a volley to surrender the break.

Roddick 2-1 Kohlschreiber:
Some relief for the sixth seed as he holds without any trouble, finishing it off with an ace.

Roddick 1-1 Kohlschreiber:
A slight opening for Roddick early on in the second as Kohlschreiber dumps the ball into the net for 0-30. The referee has to hush a rather exuberant growl of “Come on Andy” from the stands. Roddick gets lucky at the net to grab three break points. Kohlschreiber keeps forcing Roddick to play on his backhand and he claws back some ground at 30-40. The German keeps toughing it out and saves deuce. Kohlschreiber holds after a third deuce. That was a missed chance for Roddick but also proves just how tenacious the German can be. Roddick will have to think again.

Roddick 1-0 Kohlschreiber:
Roddick gets back on track with an easy service game in the second.

First set:

Roddick 4-6 Kohlschreiber:
Kohlschreiber looks lively as he darts along the baseline and quickly gathers up three set-points. The German whips across a cross-court forehand to take the first set.

“To be frank, Andy Roddick looked very one-dimensional in that set. This is a big tournament for Andy, if he has a poor showing here we don’t know what his mental attitude will be going forward.”
BBC Sport analyst John Lloyd

Roddick 4-5 Kohlschreiber:
First in-road for Kohlschreiber on the Roddick serve as he moves to 15-30. Well, he has got Roddick moving all over the court and the American’s short volley is called out, so he hands the German two break points. Roddick nets to see Kohlschreiber take the break at the first time of asking.

“He deserves it as he has been the sharper of the two in the opening games, but what a tame way for Roddick to concede the break.”
BBC Sport’s Chris Bailey in Melbourne

Roddick 4-4 Kohlschreiber:
Roddick hangs his head as he goes long with another forehand to see Kohlschreiber move to 30-0 and the German 29th seeds nips to the net and dinks over a gentle drop-shot to hold to love.

Roddick 4-3 Kohlschreiber:
Kohlschreiber nets the ball as A-Rod holds with ease once again.

Roddick 3-3 Kohlschreiber:
No break points so far in Melbourne as Kohlschreiber holds as the pair of them whiz through the first six games in just 17 minutes.

Roddick 3-2 Kohlschreiber:
Two more aces from the big-serving Roddick as he holds comfortably, and Steph, who has just texted in, will be pretty pleased about that. A Roddick fan, judging by her text: “C’mon Andy!”
Steph via text (just to be clear on that)

Roddick 2-2 Kohlschreiber:
Roddick pumps the ball far over the baseline to see the German hold to 30, and so far there have been few indications as to which way this match is likely to go.

Roddick 2-1 Kohlschreiber:
Well, it won’t be close if that game is anything to go by as Roddick holds to love. BBC Sport’s John Lloyd says he spoke to Roddick’s coach Jimmy Connors earlier and this is the news from camp A-Rod:

“Roddick likes to challenge himself in the warm conditions. They are a bit disappointed to have another night match. They thought Roddick might have had the edge in the more physically testing conditions during the day.”
Roddick 1-1 Kohlschreiber:
Sorry folks my dentist just called, but don’t worry still had an eye on Kohlschreiber as he gallops to holding his own service game. Apparently, the word in the locker-room is that this match is expected to be a close run thing, so let’s see.

Roddick 1-0 Kohlschreiber:
No problems for Roddick, seeded sixth in Melbourne, as he holds the opening game to 15.

1111: Red-hot Kohlschreiber won the toss and . . . . has elected to receive the A-Rod serve.

1110: So they are out on court knocking up under the closed roof of the Rod Laver Arena. Just before coming out onto the court, Kohlschreiber fancied his chances against A-Rod, saying: “I’m hot and ready and hopefully my shots are coming.”

1100: Andy Roddick and Phillipp Kohlschreiber have the honour of rounding off day five’s play in Melbourne.

But the pair of them will have to go something to match the excitement of Casey Dellacqua’s shock win over Amelie Mauresmo. Still at least the crowd should be buzzing.

A-Rod will be looking to make short work of the German world number 27 and leads the German 2-0 in their head-to-head record.

In fact, the American beat Kohlschreiber in the fourth-round of the Aussie Open in 2005.

Story from BBC SPORT

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