Novak falls to Melzer in five-set marathon

Third-seeded Novak Djokovic lost a five-set battle to no.22 seed Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 6-7(3), 4-6 in 4 hours and 15 minutes.

Djokovic seized the initiative with a break of serve in the eighth game of the opening set and closed it out 6-3 with a forehand down the line.

Nole cruised through the second set, breaking his opponent twice, in the third and seventh games, for 6-2.

It seemed the world no.3 was going to win the match in straight sets when he was up a break in the third, leading 2-0. He lost his momentum though, Melzer raised the level of his game and made a triple break to take the set 6-2.

Novak saved seven break points in the eighth game of the fourth set, which was decided in a tiebreaker. The Austrian won it 7-3.

The 23-year-old Belgrade native was broken in the ninth game of the decisive final set. He had two chances to break and come back into the match, but Melzer held and used his third match point to set up semi-final with no.2 seed Rafael Nadal.

The Spaniard defeated his compatriot no.19 seed Nicolas Almagro 7-6(2), 7-6(3), 6-4.
Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych meet in first semi-final match on Friday.

Match statistics: aces (4-9), double faults (10-5), winners (53-59), unforced errors (62-59), total points won (169-173)

”I think he played really well in the last three sets,”
said Djokovic. “But I made a big mistake there. I made him come back into the match with my unforced errors, and then he caught the momentum and he was playing really well, especially on his service games.”

“I’m very disappointed, obviously, to lose the match that I was in control of totally a set and a break. This is tennis, you know. This is Grand Slams. You always have to play up to the end, because these things happen, especially at this stage of tournament.”

Novak’s next tournament, and preparation for the third Grand Slam of the season-Wimbledon (June 21-July 4), is AEGON Championships in London. The ATP World Tour 250 event (grass) begins on Monday, June 7.

Share post