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Rafa’s Revenge, Serena’s Twirl: The best of Day 4

Roger Federer on Centre Court with the roof closed
by Nicholas McCarvel
Thursday 26 June 2014

Does lightning strike twice in the same place? Not on Thursday for Lukas Rosol on Centre Court at Wimbledon. He gave Rafael Nadal a scare two years after shocking the Spaniard in the same round on the same court, but wasn’t able to see through another stunner. That and more in a what-went-down run-through of Day Four at The Championships.

Match of the Day [WC] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d [13] Richard Gasquet (FRA) 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5, 10-8
If there is a match in any player’s career that is a coming-of-age moment, Thursday was that for 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios, who has been making his way up the rankings and the consciousness of the tennis world over the last two years.

The wild card ranked No.144, who won the Nottingham Challenger two weeks ago, looked like he was in for a good-but-not-great effort against the more experienced Gasquet, a semi-finalist in here 2007. But the Australian turned the tide in sets three and four, then saved nine (yes, nine!) match points against the No.13 seed (more on that below) and serving out the victory.

The biggest win of his young career earned him a first-ever major third round, and a meeting with fellow youngster Jiri Vesely, 20.

Honorary Match of the Day: [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d Lukas Rosol (CZE) 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4
For two sets, it looked like Lukas Rosol would do the unthinkable - again. But it wasn’t to be for the Czech player who stunned Nadal on this same court in the second round in 2012, Nadal storming back from 3-5 and then set point down in the second-set tie-break to win it before never looking back.

Rosol, applying the same hit-as-hard-as-I-can game plan as he did two years ago, double-faulted down set point in the breaker, a groan travelling throughout Centre Court as the crowd watched the wind go out of his sails.

Upset of the Day: Zarina Diyas (KAZ) d [15] Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) 7-6(12), 5-7, 6-2, and Jiri Vesely (CZE) d [24]Gael Monfils (FRA) 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-7(3), 6-4
The biggest upset was no doubt Kyrgios’ win, but there were a sprinkling of big wins otherwise, including 20-year-old Diyas’ triumph over Suarez Navarro, the No.15 seed. It was the biggest win of the world No.72’s young career and she next gets former finalist Vera Zvonareva.

Vesely, also 20, blew a two-set lead but made up for it by capturing the fifth and booking an aforementioned meeting with Kyrgios on Saturday.

Photo of the Day: Play on, boys. Seen above, the roof was closed on Centre Court for the first time this tournament, Roger Federer and Gilles Muller allowed to continue their second-round clash as play was suspended on the other courts due to rain.

Tweet of the Day: In the 21st Century, a big win must come with a big tweet, right? Certainly so if you’re 19 and just scored a major win at Wimbledon.

Stat of the Day: Another John Isner match, another tie-break. Two, actually. The American escaped in a straight-sets win over Jarkko Nieminen, but not without playing the second longest tie-break in Wimbledon history. In the first set Isner won 19-17 in the breaker, two points shy of the 20-18 record held by Bjorn Borg and Premjit Lall, way back in 1973.

Also: It’s impossible to ignore Kyrgios’ win, which came after he saved nine match points to defeat Gasquet. It’s the most match points saved by a player who went on to win at Wimbledon since 1966, when Helga Schultze saved 11 of them against Janine Lieffrig.

Quote of the Day: Nadal on how tennis is a game of inches – and single-point momentum swings. "The difference maybe is one point. Maybe if I lose that set point in the second set, if that forehand down the line went out, maybe will be here with a loss. But that's the sport."

Video of the Day: What has been notable about Serena Williams so far in this Wimbledon? The fact that her opponents have been able to make little headway against her, the world No.1 losing just five games in two matches. On Thursday she won again, and celebrated on No.1 Court with a textbook twirl:


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