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.”

Archive for mathieu

Nadal v Mathieu as it happened

Australian Open, Melbourne Men’s fourth-round latest:

R Nadal (Sp) v P-H Mathieu (Fra)

6-4 3-0 (ret)

* Nadal wins after Mathieu retirement


By Sarah Holt

Second set:

1127: “It’s strange it doesn’t look like he’s limping. It’s not the way to retire. You at least have to look as though you are in some kind of discomfort before you retire from a Grand Slam. I’m still in shock. It just looks like he was getting beaten and had enough.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Nadal 3-0 Mathieu
A third double-fault takes Mathieu to 15-15. Things are looking a bit ominous again here as Nadal moves to 15-40. Mathieu looks very casual and doesn’t move as Nadal passes him to break again. And Mathieu has had enough. He slings his racquet to the ground and then retires from the match.

Nadal 2-0 Mathieu
No danger of Nadal missing a single shot out here as he powers to a love service game, finishing it off with a back-handed drive volley at the net.

1119: “Nadal couldn’t have asked for a better draw in his wildest dreams. It’s not his “fault”, of course, but he’d probably acknowledge himself how happy he is he got a bit of luck.”
ShatteredHand on 606

Nadal 1-0 Mathieu
Nadal is a man of a mission here. He threads a couple of belters down the line to grab three break points and there is nothing Mathieu can do to stop the immediate break.

First set:

Nadal 6-4 Mathieu
A rare double fault takes him to 15-15 and Mathieu sends him dashing around the court, and then hits a big forehand at 15-30. No luck for the Frenchman after another close exchange of shots, and Nadal lashes down a third ace for 40-30. And no mistake from the Spaniard as he closes out the game for the first set.

“That was a brilliant exhibiton of serves from Nadal, and Mathieu just can’t get at it at the moment. You just think how can Mathieu really hurt Nadal?”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Nadal 5-4 Mathieu
Mathieu hangs on, so Nadal will have to serve out the set.

Nadal 5-3 Mathieu
Mathieu receives more treatment at the changeover and his luck changes a little as he gets to 30-30 on the Nadal serve. Lots of groaning out there in a long rally but Mathieu goes long at 40-30 and does likewise to hand the Spaniard the hold.

Nadal 4-3 Mathieu
Mathieu is doing his best to stay with the French Open champion out here at 30-30. The Frenchman clatters down a forehand after a long rally and eventually holds, but it’s not easy.

Nadal 4-2 Mathieu
Nadal is showing no signs of letting up here and he holds to love to march onwards.

1050: Mathieu is taking an injury timeout to get his left calf seen to. Meanwhile, the BBC’s commentary team in Melbourne amuse us by concurring that they would agree to coach Roger Federer for a small fee – as long as they also negotiated a share of his bonuses.

Nadal 3-2 Mathieu
A better game from the Frenchman as he hits some solid serves to hold to 15. When Mathieu returns to his seat the trainer is immediately called out and starts massaging the Frenchman’s shin. A problem already?

Nadal 3-1 Mathieu
Nadal is yet to miss a first serve and looks pretty unstoppable right now as he knocks out a love service game.

Nadal 2-1 Mathieu
Mathieu is in a bit of trouble here as Nadal manoeuvers his way to three break points. The Frenchman hits long and it’s an easy surrender to the world number two.

“He’s looking very sharp tonight. Mathieu is trying to put him under pressure but Nadal just doesn’t look like he’s going to miss.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Nadal 1-1 Mathieu
A more straightforward game from Nadal, who holds to 15.

Nadal 0-1 Mathieu
Mathieu opens the serving in a dashing black and white outfit. Nadal is straight onto him and takes him to deuce. The second seed hits long and then nets to see Mathieu hold. The office rota guru asks: “Are all Frenchmen plucky?” Hmmmn Mathieu might have to be after that game.

1032: “Sarah, are you married to Michael Holt by any chance? I have heard a few rumours”
Sooty in Devon via text Oooh no, not snooker. Neither am I married to Chicago rapper Hollywood Holt.

1028: If we look at the head-to-head record between these two then Nadal is the overwhelming favourite. The Spanish 21-year-old has a 6-0 record over Mathieu and beat him in four sets on his way to his third French Open title in 2006. But Mathieu is a plucky Frenchman and could give him another test in Australia.

1025: World number two Rafael Nadal walks out on court to face Paul-Henri Mathieu for a place in the quarter-finals of the Australia Open.

Story from BBC SPORT


Roddick v Mathieu as it happened

Wimbledon third round result:


6-2 7-5 7-6


Roddick 7-6 Mathieu
What a collapse… P-H was 5-0 in that tie-break, and then 6-3 – and yet he still blows it, even managing to fall over at 6-7 to concede the match. A-Rod marches on, P-H tumbles out.

Roddick 6-6 Mathieu
Right – it’s tie-break time. Both these boys have sensational records in tie-breaks this year, with Rodders just in front on the stats. Here we go…

Roddick 5-6 Mathieu
Phews from P-H as he holds, despite his 24th unforced error of the match. Ouch. It’s spitting here – hold on, it’s stopped. Plus ca change.

Roddick 5-5 Mathieu
Crackeroo – a 140mph boomer of an ace from Roddick, and he’s bang back in this. Connors beams, Champion sighs.

Roddick 4-5 Mathieu
Mathieu’s last three service games were won to love. This one, which he only needs to hold to win the set, sees him tighten up like a rusty bolt and slip to 0-40 with three mis-hit backhands. A-Rod just pats the ball back and waits for the inevitable choke, and clenches his fist when it comes. That capitulation will come as no surprise to seasoned P-H watchers, if there is such a racey breed.

Roddick 3-5 Mathieu
Rodders stays afloat in the set by hanging on to the life-jacket of his serve. Two women wrapped in large white coats and sunglasses the size of dinner plates applaud delicately.

Roddick 2-5 Mathieu
Another rapid hold to love from P-M, and A-Rod is staring down the barrel here. The rain’s eased off. Get in there.

Roddick 2-4 Mathieu
Is that rain in the air? Put that brolly down, woman – if we all pretend it isn’t happening, we might get away with it. Rodders holds with a crashing ace wide of P-M’s stretching backhand.

Roddick 1-4 Mathieu
If you were to make a stirring, evocative film of this match, you’d call it Boys Of The Baseline. Neither wants to go near the net – it’s like it’s made of rotting fish or something. That woman from Green Wing is in the VIP box – Tasmin or Tamsin somebody. Standards are dropping.

Roddick 1-3 Mathieu
He’s on the board at last, but he’s looking a little stiff, old A-Rod. Less than half-full on Centre again today, and jumpers very much in evidence.

Roddick 0-3 Mathieu
P-H trades backhands with relish, working Rodders hard and then creaming a forehand down the line to move further in front. His own coach, the legendary Thierry Champion, brushes his sandy hair away from his face diffidently. Sir Tim Rice, perched once again in the Royal Box, leafs idly through his programme.

Roddick 0-2 Mathieu
Jimmy C grimaces, and no wonder – P-H gets a foothold on the slippery slope that is Roddick’s serve, and converts the break point with a whip-cracker of a forehand.

Roddick 0-1 Mathieu
Super hold from P-H, who’s wearing a white shirt with a red collar. What is about the French and red accroutrements at this year’s Wimbledon?


Roddick 6-2 7-5 Mathieu
That was easy enough – Rodders’ 12th ace of the match powers him to the second set. Jimmy Connors, wearing a pair of glasses that you can bet he hates, claps slowly in the VIP box.

1200 BST: Right – I’m taking over on this one now, as The Bard’s gone to pick up his new Vauxhall Zafira. After four unbroken hours of warm sunshine this morning, the organisers are finally getting things started at midday. Under grey clouds.
By Mark Barden

Roddick 6-2 6-5 Mathieu
The players batter the ball in a lengthy rally before a deft Mathieu drop shot makes it 40-30, but Roddick powers his way to the break before more rain rolls in and play is suspended yet again. It’s enough to drive a saint to drink, as my mum used to say (usually about something me and my brothers had just done).

Roddick 6-2 5-5 Mathieu
Roddick delivers one 139mph effort and also hits ace number 11 of the match to level matters. There are some horrendous looking rain clouds in the distance – let’s hope they stay there. Fat chance.

Roddick 6-2 4-5 Mathieu
The Frenchman refuses to be intimidated and shows some deft touches as he noses ahead to put pressure on A-Rod to stay in the set.

Roddick 6-2 4-4 Mathieu
Play resumes again at 1815 BST with Roddick’s exocet serve quickly bringing him level.

“We had more rainfall last night than the whole of July last year,” Sue Barker laughs off Wimbledon’s weather woes on BBC TV.

1709: Sorry to report that play is once again suspended as the heavens re-open for business. The groundstaff get the covers on in record time, according to Barry Davies. It is properly hammering it down at SW10 and some top quality thunder and lightning action to boot. Summer has well and truly left the country.

Roddick 6-2 3-4 Mathieu
The thunderbolts have arrived at Centre Court – and I’m not referring to Roddick’s serve. Mathieu finds himself under severe pressure on his own serve and heads to the net for pretty much the first time. He saves two break points and then produces a wonderful drop shot and a beautifully-placed forehand to hold bravely.

“Mathieu can’t read the Roddick serve yet,” Boris Becker, BBC TV

Roddick 6-2 3-3 Mathieu
Roddick notches ace number 50 of the tournament. Number 51 is not far behind and another service game goes by faster than my chubby fingers can type.

Roddick 6-2 2-3 Mathieu
Mathieu is at least holding his own as he produces another serve to love. In fact it’s all going with serve at the moment. Only two points against the serve in this set so far.

Roddick 6-2 2-2 Mathieu
Roddick pummels a forehand and some more booming serves past Mathieu and at the minute it looks like Mathieu has about as much chance of breaking the American as there is of a day without rain in Wimbledon.

“There is no wind above SW19 so the clouds are not moving. We think there could be some rain in a minute.” Boris Becker, BBC TV

Roddick 6-2 1-2 Mathieu
Some big serving by Mathieu and some net chord fortune enables him to enjoy an easy ride and a service game to love. Now he just needs to find an answer on the Roddick serve.

Roddick 6-2 1-1 Mathieu
As well as a double-barrelled forename Paul-Henri also seems to have a double-barrelled grunt. It doesn’t put off the A-Rod who is in the zone on his serve. He holds after Mathieu whips an ugly forehand well out of bounds.

Roddick 6-2 0-1 Mathieu
After starting so well Mathieu is being bogged down by some unforced errors. He fires down his first ace of the match and then produces a forehand winner to take the first game of the second set. Better stuff from the man with three first names.


Roddick 6-2 Mathieu
Roddick fires down an ace but Mathieu answers with a clear winner. A further two aces hands Roddick two set points and when Mathieu can only get a bit of metal to another booming serve the first set is over in a rapid 27 minutes.

Roddick 5-2 Mathieu
I think I must have put the knockers on Mathieu by talking him up early on. He hands Roddick three break points. A-Rod blows the first but appears to take the game at the second opportunity only for the players to be called back after some Hawkeye intervention. It matters little as Mathieu fires an easy forehand into the net.

Roddick 4-2 Mathieu
Roddick holds serve to take a stranglehold on the opening set.

Roddick 3-2 Mathieu
Mathieu sends a forehand long to give Roddick the first proper whiff of a break. The Frenchman saves the first break point when Roddick carves a forehand into the net. But he cannot deal with a wide Roddick return and puts a backhand wide to hand the game to the American.

Roddick 2-2 Mathieu
Mathieu gives Roddick a taste of his juicy backhand and gets a sniff of a break at 15-30 but Rod sends down a 140mph and then a serve that Hawkeye appeared to show just nibbled the outside of the line to hold serve.

Roddick 1-2 Mathieu
Mathieu produces a heavy serve of his own and then a couple of glorious winners to go to 40-0. A backhand into the net halts his progress but the Frenchman then seals the win and the early signs are that Roddick might be in for a long shift today.

Roddick 1-1 Mathieu
A-Rod wastes no time in breaking out the big guns as he fires down a couple of aces. Mathieu finally gets one back but Roddick is too strong as he levels things up.

Roddick 0-1 Mathieu
Some meaty forehands on show early doors from both boys but Mathieu comes out on top to hold serve pretty comfortably.

1618: The players are out and ready to go.

Roddick and Mathieu have met once before, with the Frenchman claiming a two-set hardcourt win at the 2005 Masters Series event in Montreal.

But the US third seed, a two-time Wimbledon finalist, will be confident of reaching the quarter-finals against an opponent who had never previously gone beyond the second round.
Story from BBC SPORT