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.”

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Nadal v Eschauer as it happened

All England Club, 25 June-8 July

Wimbledon second round result:

R NADAL (Spa) 2 v W Eschauer (Aut)

6-2 6-4 6-1

By Tom Fordyce


Nadal 6-1 Eschauer
Finito. Pretty easy for the Mallorcan magician this evening. Tougher tests will lie ahead. I just hope Werner gives that shirt a good wash before he lobs it back to his generous-spirited pal.

Nadal 5-1 Eschauer
We’re nearly done here. I’ll dot the i’s and cross the t’s, and if you need to pop off urgently, you do so.

Nadal 4-1 Eschauer
Nadal’s forehand has now taken over. His left arm is enormous – clearly not in reality not twice the size of his right one, but sometimes it certainly looks that way. I’ve seen flats in London that are smaller.

Nadal 3-1 Eschauer
Nadal comes into the home straight at pace, avoiding the error-strewn oil slicks that Werner skidded on and heading for the chequered flag at pace.

Nadal 2-1 Eschauer
Dear oh dear – three more unforced shockers, and Nadal has his break without having to unload his big guns.

Nadal 1-1 Eschauer
The unforced errors are creeping back into the underdog’s game, and the crowd sigh in unsurprised disappointment.

Nadal 0-1 Eschauer
At 0-30, Wernie looks to be in big trouble. But he reaches for his big serve, smacks down his seventh ace and comes away with the game thanks to a lovely flick of a half-volley that even rocket-heeled Rafa can’t quite retrieve.


Nadal 6-4 Eschauer
Nadal is starting to motor – he creams in two wicked first serves to engineer three set points, and blasts in another to take the set. He then scurries off for a gentleman’s break while Werner – of course – stands stern-faced by his chair.

Nadal 5-4 Eschauer
Solid serving from Wernie. He belts a beaut down the middle which Nadal nicks into the netting behind him like flat-footed batsman.

Nadal 5-3 Eschauer
Werner’s managing to pour a little pressure on Nadal, but every time he does the scampering Spaniard just ups his game to the required level. Nadal polishes things off with a drop-shot and serve that ooze grass-court class.

Nadal 4-3 Eschauer
Alas for the plucky Austrian – he leaves a dipping Nadal top-spinner, only to see it bite the line. That sets up a break point, and the power of the clay king takes it away.

Nadal 3-3 Eschauer
Nadal holds to love. Sighs from the crowd – they want this to be a rip-snorter of a contest, but it’s a big ask.

Nadal 2-3 Eschauer
Just for getting here, Werner has apparently won £16,000 – more than he made in the whole of last year. Apparently he didn’t have any grass-court shoes, so he borrowed a pair off a pal. And he didn’t have a white shirt either, so he borrowed one of them. Wonder if he’s camping in Wimbledon park.

Nadal 2-2 Eschauer
Rafa thumps down the second ace of the match to draw level. If I were to come up with an unfair lookalikey for Werner, it would be Borat. Or cousin of Borat. The umpire, meanwhile, is sporting a delightful Arthur Ashe-style ‘fro.

Nadal 1-2 Eschauer
A crunching double-handed jumping backhand pushes Werner in front. Once again he eshews his chair at the changeover, draining almost an entire bottle of water as he stands legs akimbo. In the BBC commentary box, Jimmy Connors is officially staggered.

Nadal 1-1 Eschauer
Nadal canters through his service game with the ease of a monkey shelling peanuts.

Nadal 0-1 Eschauer
That’s more like it from the native of Hollenstein – he gets on the board and wins some sympathetic applause in the process.


Nadal 6-2 Eschauer
Wallop – that’s the set gone, and Werner looks baffled. He shouldn’t do – he’s only won 33% of points on his first serve, and 23% on his second.

Nadal 5-2 Eschauer
Werner might be a touch anxious here – he slams two forehands long and another service game has gone. At the changeover he doesn’t even bother sitting on his chair – he stands up and glugs from his bottle of juice, attracting strange looks from the umpire as he does so.

Nadal 4-2 Eschauer
Make that four – normal service officially resumed. There’s a woman in the crowd who’s incredibly pale – she looks like a dead Julianne Moore. Oops – she just moved.

Nadal 3-2 Eschauer
Werner, who has lost two of his three matches on tour this year, is taken apart as Nadal wakes from his slumber. Three games on the bounce for the Iberian tyro.

Nadal 2-2 Eschauer
Nadal is looking rusty – he makes two unforced errors on his backhand and has to scamper sideways like a distressed crab to save another break point. The battle has perked up Centre Court, which has been in a slough of despond since Tim’s exit.

Nadal 1-2 Eschauer
The miffed Mallorcan moves to stop the rot, capitalising on Werner’s mistakes to break back immediately. Windy out there on Centre Court – if you were eating crisps off a paper plate you’d be in all sorts of trouble.

Nadal 0-2 Eschauer
Could we be on the brink of one the greatest upsets in Wimbledon history? Almost certainly not, but Werner’s going at Nadal like a raging bull at a matador – he double-fists a fine backhand down the line to set up an extraordinary three break points, and takes the second when Nadal balloons a forehand long.

Nadal 0-1 Eschauer
I know what you’re thing – Werner who? Shame on you – he’s been a pro since 1995, and he’s won almost $500,000 in prize money. Who’s laughing now? He holds jovially.
Story from BBC SPORT: