Krajicek wins marathon to face Malisse

Nick Harris
Sunday 17 November 2013 03:18
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Richard Krajicek, the 1996 champion, maintained his position as the only former winner still in the men's tournament last night when he eventually overcame Australia's Mark Phillippoussis, 6-7, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4.

The 30-year-old Dutchman, who played his first singles match for 18 months at the pre-Wimbledon warm-up in the Netherlands last month, now meets Belgium's Xavier Malisse, the conqueror of Greg Rusedski, in the quarter-finals.

Krajicek's progress is remarkable not just because of lack of competitive practice but as he is just returning from a career-threatening elbow problem and umpteen minor ailments. He said earlier this week that, although he was feeling the effects of playing, at least one of his legs did not feel too bad.

"When I saw the draw I thought the third round was maximum for me," Krajicek said. "It's unbelievable. I would never have expected this. In fact, I'd already booked my holiday house for today. My wife is there."

Last night's match should have begun on Monday but did not start until Tuesday. Conditions then saw a suspension at two sets each. An interrupted day's play yesterday eventually finished at 9.11pm last night, with the total playing time running to a little over four hours.

Jennifer Capriati crashed out of the women's singles, losing to France's Amelie Mauresmo, who faces Serena Williams in the last four today.

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