Share “Djokovic, Stepanek entertain at Wimbledon”

Djokovic, Stepanek entertain at Wimbledon

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 25, 2014 at 5:36 pm •  Published: June 25, 2014
Advertisement

LONDON (AP) — The Centre Court match at Wimbledon featured only two service breaks, but wait, there was much, much more:

— Novak Djokovic giving away a point to Radek Stepanek that could have been replayed following an over-rule on a line call during a crucial time in the match, a move seldom seen in tennis.

— Stepanek cutting his right knee on one of his dozen or so falls on the grass during the 3-hour, 17-minute second-round match Wednesday.

— And on the final point of the match, a successful challenge by Djokovic on a call originally called out, with Stepanek getting down on his hands and knees in a prayer pose.

"Today in the challenges I was so unlucky, a millimeter here, a millimeter there," Stepanek said. "I guess I hoped and I prayed that one time it will go with me."

It didn't. Djokovic's forehand cross-court pass was ruled in after the video replay showed the ball landed on the line. Djokovic completed a 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) win. The two players, good friends and frequent practice partners, hugged at the net.

The third-set tiebreaker featured each player winning five points in a row — Djokovic to take a 5-2 lead, only to have Stepanek come back to take it 7-5.

"I was two sets up, I had some break-point chances in the third and should have closed it out in the third-set tiebreak," Djokovic said. "But credit to him for fighting. He's 35 years old and still moving very well and surface wise grass is probably his most preferred. He loves to engage the crowd."

That Stepanek did, with his give-it-all style of play swaying the Centre Court spectators his way late in the match. Stepanek repeatedly made unsuccessful challenges on line calls. When he finally got one right, he looked up to the skies in relief.

Continue reading this story on the...