Love or hate grass tennis, if you can serve well and give yourself a chance to win, anything can happen.
And so it goes, with Rendy defeating RAndy in what is surely the bigest “what the FFFUUUUU?” result of the tournament so far, on either side.
Dick got off to a pretty routine start, grabbing a break, serving things out, first set 6-4. Lu was persistent, however, and kept serving huge, and finding ways to get aggressive. Before anyone knew what was going on, Lu took the second set tiebreak, he took the third set tiebreak. Huh?
Dick brought the heat in the fourth set tiebreak, and evened it up. A set a piece. I figured that that was the match. Dick would keep serving big, keep holding serve, and Lu would eventually crack. Not the case. Thanks to three wonky errors from Dick, and an awkward net approach, Lu found himself with the biggest win of his career, 9-7 in the fifth.
Make no doubt about it, Lu was in control on his serve, and looked a legit contender after taking the second set. His small size helped, and he actually reminded me of a lesser Roddick. He took low balls, scooped them with authority, and got ‘em back deep. He was able to keep Dick pinned on the baseline and without options. From there he’d slowly creep his way in and find a way to turn it into brilliant offense. And he wasn’t missing.
That being said, it really did seem that Andy was incredibly reactive and passive, especially in those second and third sets, and while he was able to hold serve, it burned him in the tiebreaks. Even on net approaches, he didn’t really give off the vibe that he was comfortable or knew what was going on. I would have liked to see him have a few “go for broke” return games, try something new, work some drop shots… just something nuts. In his own words, his return game was “crap”.
But that’s grass court tennis. Dick hadn’t been broken since the first set against Llodra… and is then broken in 16th game of the fifth set three matches later. And loses. So it goes.