Nadal beats Petzschner in five sets

Rafael Nadal won the battle of the walking wounded with Germany's Philipp Petzschner to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon but his victory was tinged with controversy after he was accused of receiving on-court coaching.

The world number one was forced to endure a second consecutive five-set match before securing a 6-4 4-6 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 6-3 triumph over the 33rd seed in a Centre Court match lasting 15 minutes short of four hours.

Nadal, who was taken to five sets by Robin Haase in his last match, three times called for the trainer to have treatment to his left arm and his right leg while Petzschner twice had a courtside massage as the effects of five-set matches in each of his first two rounds caught up with him.

In an incident-packed duel, the Spaniard was issued with a code violation by umpire Cedric Mourier in the deciding set for receiving tips from his coach, uncle Toni Nadal, who was sitting in the players' box.

Nadal, who next plays Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu for a place in the quarter-finals, shrugged off his injury woes and admitted he was relieved to win through to the second week.

"The match was very difficult for me," he admitted. "Philipp served unbelievably all match. I think I played well."

Of his injuries, Nadal said: "I will be fine. It's not a big problem. It's a long season for me, I've played a lot of matches in the last few months.

"I had a five-setter two days ago and another today and that's tough. But I'm very happy to be in the fourth round and I'll try to be better for Monday."

Nadal, who has not lost at Wimbledon for three years, beat Petzschner in straight sets in each of his two previous meetings and today's clash seemed to be going the same way when he broke his opponent's serve in the first game.

Petzschner produced a 139mph serve but was forced to save three break points to stay in the game before Nadal succeeded at the fourth attempt to draw first blood.

It looked like being an uphill battle from then on but the German took the game to his opponent at every opportunity, hitting 63 winners as well as 40 errors and 25 aces.

Petzschner grew more comfortable on his serve in the second set and went to the net with increasing frequency in a bid to unsettle the 2008 champion.

The ploy began to work and the match took a sudden twist in the 10th game when Nadal, up to then virtually impregnable on his serve, put a smash into the net to offer a first break point to Petzschner, who seized his opportunity by neatly putting away a forehand at the net.

He took the second set 6-4 to level the match and the break did wonders for his confidence of the German number two, who came up with a second consecutive love service game at the start of the third set.

Nadal's forehand began to let him down and he provided a possible explanation when he called for the trainer to examine a problem with his left arm, although he decided to delay any treatment.

Petzschner was two points away from taking the second set but Nadal strengthened his resolve to hold his serve and take the set into a tie-break.

The breaker was a virtual carbon copy of the first set, with the German broken at the start but he fought back to nudge in front with two blazing forehands.

Nadal saved two set points on his serve but could do nothing to prevent his opponent sealing the tie-break 7-5 with another booming serve to go 2-1 ahead.

The German tired in the fourth set but he was given the chance of a breather at the end of the third game when Nadal again called for the trainer, this time to examine his right leg.

Whatever his precise problem, there was nothing wrong with Nadal's movement on the resumption as he rediscovered his shots to immediately break his gutsy opponent.

The second seed then consolidated the break with a whipped forehand in the next game as he moved 4-1 ahead before receiving yet more treatment from the trainer.

By this time Nadal was playing his best tennis of the match and broke his opponent's serve for the second time to take the set 6-2 and level the match.

It was the tiring Petzschner's turn to call for the trainer before the start of the deciding set, perhaps hoping it would provide him with a similar pick-me-up.

The German managed to put pressure on Nadal's serve at the start of the fifth set, earning only a second break point, but he missed an easy forehand at the net to allow the chance to slip away.

Nadal was then given his warning for receiving coaching and, although clearly angered by the decision, maintained his focus, breaking Petzschner in the eighth game and then safely holding to book his place in the last 16.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen