June 28, 2010
On Wimbledon's manic Monday, Andy Roddick's match against world No. 82 Yen-Hsun Lu was an afterthought. The three-time runner-up hadn't been tested thus far on the grass courts at the All England Club and nobody believed he'd have much trouble with a player who had never advanced past the second round of the championships. Serena-Sharapova, Henin-Clijsters, Djokovic-Hewitt, Murray-Querrey; those were the matches to watch. Roddick was certain to cruise into the quarters and keep alive his pursuit of a Wimbledon title.
It didn't happen quite that way.
In the biggest upset thus far at Wimbledon, Roddick was stunned by the Taiwanese Lu in a five-set thriller, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 9-7. Lu became the first Asian man ever to advance to a Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Roddick didn't play well, looking tentative from the baseline and clueless at the net. His returns were ineffective, as he converted just one of eight break-point chances in the match, none after the first set. At times it seemed like Roddick was waiting for Lu to fold on his serve, not a terrible strategy since Roddick himself wasn't broken until the final game of the match. And, indeed, when Lu blew a 3-0 lead in the fourth set tiebreak, it appeared that he would fold.
Instead, the 26-year-old played fearless tennis in the deciding set, attacking with his groundstrokes and staying composed when Roddick wrestled away momentum. Guys ranked No. 82 don't often recover from blowing a lead in a Grand Slam against the defending runner-up.
Lu never wavered. This match was his victory, not Roddick's loss.