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.

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent