Friday 28 June 2013
Grega Zemlja of Slovenia overcame the No.29 seed Grigor Dimitrov after four hours and four minutes on No.3 Court with the match stretching over two days before there was a decision. Zemlja won 3-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4, 11-9.
When rain ended the match on Thursday evening Zemlja was ahead 9-8 in the final set with Dimitrov to serve next. But a resumption was not possible until early Friday afternoon and the pressure was on Dimitrov to reinstate himself after saving two match points before the rain.
Under overcast skies and with a hint of more rain in the air Dimitrov had to fight to level the final set and did so after saving three more match points. Zemlja gained the first as Dimitrov fell behind the baseline but then the weather intervened, forcing a 14-minute wait before the court was judged playable again.
Dimitrov saved two more match points before levelling the set at 9-9 and putting himself back in the reckoning. In the next game Dimitrov missed a break point, which Zemlja saved with a service winner and led 10-9, the 10th time he had held the advantage in the set.
Now the pressure was back on Dimitrov. He lost the first two points but clawed his way back to 30-30.
But a backhand error gave Zemlja another match point and this time the Slovenian did not flinch, hitting a forehand down the line to seal his victory.
"I was calm when stopped overnight because I had a clear mind. There was nothing better I could do. I was happy in the fifth set because I moved well."
Zemlja said he would have been happy to play on yesterday when play stopped. "Mentally it's tough to focus on that situation but I had a clear mind, that's what I do best."
The win earns Zemlja a match against the No.8 seed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina. "I played del Potro in the ATP finals in Vienna last year and I lost in two sets. Even though he played well I thought I had given him a match.
"He is a great champion, he has his strengths, he has his weaknesses and I think I have a chance because grass is his least favourite surface."
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