Paradorn Srichaphan, who made headlines by beating Andre Agassi last year, came from two sets down and survived two match points to overcome Olivier Mutis and reach the third round at Wimbledon yesterday, beating the Frenchman 4-6, 1-6, 7-6, 7-5, 7-5.
The 12th-seeded Thai was under pressure from the start and dropped the first two sets. When Paradorn came out for the third set he looked more positive, and his better mobility put Mutis in trouble. He jumped to a 4-0 lead, breaking for 1-0 when Mutis hit a clumsy forehand volley and for 3-0 when the Frenchman double-faulted.
But the Thai soon found himself in trouble again. After building a 5-1 lead he allowed Mutis to level at 5-5, double-faulting at 5-2 and surrendering to a winning forehand at 5-4. Paradorn earned a break point for 6-5 when Mutis double-faulted but made a poor return, but he then took the tie-break.
In the fourth set, Mutis made two winning passes and took advantage of two errors from Paradorn to break at love for a 3-2 lead. The Frenchman then earned two match points at 5-4. He sent a backhand long on the first and Paradorn saved the second with a drop volley before breaking for 5-5 - and again to level the match at two sets all.
At 6-5 up in the fifth set, the Thai gained the only break of the set to claim a narrow victory when Mutis netted a backhand volley.