Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Updated: July 1, 1:15 PM ET
Tandon's Wimbledon live blog -- Day 9
By Kamakshi Tandon
Special to ESPN.com
Need the inside scoop on all the latest news, results and gossip during the 2009 Wimbledon Championships? Our fearless blogger Kamakshi Tandon is on hand to fill you in on all the happenings every day. Don't hesitate to ask your questions.
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 7 | Day 8
11:10 a.m. ET: Now to the match the entire Britain nation has its eyes on: Juan Carlos Ferrero has brought his A-game against Andy Murray today. Ferrero has received constant pressure on his serve, but he has fended it off with some wicked forehands.
But Murray knows how to be patient. Returning at 6-5, he produced a crosscourt return winner to reach break point and grabbed the set as Ferrero finally cracked and served a double-fault.
And just as we wrap things up here, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick are about to start on Court No. 1. A fascinating encounter is expected between these old rivals who have lost none of their competitive fire over the years. Enjoy, and see you Thursday at 8 a.m. ET.
11:01 a.m. ET: And Haas has done it -- a service winner on match point that unleashes a huge roar from the crowd. Haas served and volleyed 41 times in this match -- perhaps more than all the other quarterfinalists have all tournament.
But now it's a semifinal against his nemesis Federer, so this is probably the end of the road. Haas was up two sets and a break point during their match at the French Open but lost. "I'm going to go out there and see if I can annoy him a little bit, and go from there," Haas says as he walked off the court.
10:49 a.m. ET: Haas is the oldest man left in the tournament and Djokovic is the youngest, but it's the Serb who looks like he's flagging as he goes down 4-1 in the fourth set with some sloppy play.
Djokovic's heat problems and retirements are well-documented, of course, but hopefully the latter are behind him. He came back from 7-5, 5-2 and three match points to defeat Florent Serra in Halle, and said, "It's a big lesson I learned today, to fight until the last point."
Djokovic eventually got to the final in Halle and lost to ... Haas.
Now Haas is on the verge of his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon -- his first Grand Slam semifinal outside the Australian Open. To do it at this stage -- at 31, after shoulder injuries almost ended his career twice over -- would be a sweet feeling indeed.
10:32 a.m. ET: You can't tell much from his on-court demeanor, but Karlovic experiences quite a bit of internal fury after his losses. You can imagine why, after all the pressure of having to serve bomb after bomb and usually having just a couple of high-pressure points decide the outcome.
But he seemed pretty philosophical today. "I did everything right. I don't know what else I could do," said Dr. Ivo. "He was just better."
He did admit, however, that he was a bit nervous at the start of the match and that his ball tosses early on might have telegraphed his serve a bit more than usual.
10:22 a.m. ET: Back on Court No. 1, Djokovic has suddenly lifted his form and broken Haas on his way to a 5-3 lead. Haas looks caught off guard, and because it's him you have to already start considering the possibility for five sets.
At this rate, fiancée Sara Foster's acting career is going to be ruined by all the wrinkles and gray hair she's getting from watching Haas.
Djokovic has served out the third set 6-4.
10:16 a.m. ET: Andy Murray and Juan Carlos Ferrero are warming up on Centre Court.
Ferrero is the first wild card to get through to the quarterfinals since Goran Ivanisevic, who knocked out British hopes Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman on his way to the title in 2001.
Ironically, Henman is now on the seeding committee that recommended Ferrero for a wild card, so he'll have to hope doubly hard that Ferrero doesn't pull off an improbable upset -- can you imagine the recriminations and accusations!
10:01 a.m. ET: As the tiebreaker on Court 1 ends, another begins on Centre. There's a bit of comedy: Federer gets the crowd laughing at him by challenging a Karlovic ace that ends up being a few inches inside the service box, and the umpire calls the score as 6-4 when it's actually 6-3.
But in the end, Federer negotiates his way through and is in the semifinals with a 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (3) win.
The only dumb move made by the five-time champ (apart from that Hawk-Eye challenge) was wearing that navy captain jacket in this heat.
9:50 a.m. ET: Ooh -- A double-fault from Haas put Djokovic up 4-2 in the tiebreaker, but according to Hawk-Eye, Haas' first serve was in. But he didn't challenge, and the call stood. That would have been a tough pill for Haas to swallow if he had ended up losing this tiebreaker.
But Djokovic fell apart after reaching set point (at 6-3), getting run around on Haas' backhand at 6-5 and missing a routine ball at 6-6. A winning volley from Haas won the tiebreaker 8-6, and now he's up two sets to love.
Djokovic gestured angrily at his box while walking to his chair.
9:38 a.m. ET: The second set between Haas and Djokovic looked be heading to a tiebreaker when Haas broke to 6-5 just like he did in the first set. But as Haas attempted to close out the set on his serve, he got in trouble early on and collapsed, so in the end we're on to the breaker anyway.
9:35 a.m. ET: Serena had everyone in stitches yesterday when she mentioned that she uses some of her trophies to keep makeup brushes in. Which trophies, she was asked? "Indian Wells," she grinned wickedly.
9:31 a.m. ET: It's sweltering here again today; feeling more like summer in Melbourne than London.
Consider this: When the tournament started, Wimbledon had no heat rule. It does now -- one was in effect for the Serena Williams-Victoria Azarenka match on Tuesday, and the word is that it'll be in force Thursday as well. The women's semifinalists will have the option of a 10-minute break if they go three sets.
9:26 a.m. ET: Catching up on some other scores: The Williamses have gone through to the semifinals in women's doubles with a win against King and Groenefeld, and Blake and Fish have done likewise in men's doubles with a straight-sets victory over Aspelin and Hanley.
The Brits are biting their nails as Laura Robson gets treatment for a back injury during her girls' singles match. The young British star lost the first set 6-2.
Robson's victory in the girls' final last year pulled 4.5 million viewers on BBC -- more than the women's final between Venus and Serena Williams.
9:19 a.m. ET: Have you noticed? The eight men's quarterfinalists are from eight different countries, and five are former Grand Slam champions.
9:15 a.m. ET: But no matter -- Federer breaks a few games later for 6-5 and holds to go up two sets. The greatest active streak in tennis -- 20 straight Grand Slam semifinals -- looks set to become 21.
9:06 a.m. ET: Back on Centre Court, Federer has a real chance to break at 30-30 and a second serve from Karlovic, but sends a passing shot just wide and poof goes that opportunity.
8:58 a.m. ET: The pressure mounts for Djokovic as Haas awkwardly blocks back a return and ends up winning the point when Djokovic sends it long.
Now a quick error from Djokovic gives Haas the first break point of the match, and the German rips a passing shot that Djokovic couldn't get back over the net.
Haas serves it out without too much trouble, including a bit of a bluff serve-and-volley at 30-15 and a real net approach at set point. He now has the first set 7-5.
8:50 a.m. ET: Here's what Haas has done in the last couple of return games: Another missed backhand and another hard smack on the thigh with his racket, then he pulls himself just short of a collision with the courtside chair, and now he's just gone sprawling on his back after losing his footing on the grass.
Hope he manages to stay in one piece till the end of his match.
The old man of the final eight at 31 years old, Haas isn't having any trouble holding serve, however -- two love holds to get to 5-5.
8:39 a.m. ET: A love game and Federer takes the first set 6-3.
Things are a lot tighter on Court No. 1, meanwhile: It's 3-3 and Djokovic just won a 21-stroke rally to make it 15-15. Haas then flubs his chance for a break point at 30-30 and Djokovic holds with an ace.
Neither man is playing his best yet.
8:34 a.m. ET: Ivo is not taking any chances on getting broken again while serving into the sun -- he's just walked over to his bag and put on a pair of sunglasses. It works; he holds to make it 5-3 and is probably thinking, "Why didn't I do that the last time?"
8:29 a.m. ET: Great stat from the BBC commentators: Karlovic has broken Federer only once in a 120 tries. Something tells me Rog is feeling pretty confident about taking the set now -- he just served and volleyed on a second serve.
8:26 a.m. ET: Break! Two return winners from Federer to grab a service game from Dr. Ivo. Karlovic, remember, hadn't faced a break point since the first round of the tournament. It's now 4-1 as Federer holds easily. He has lost fewer points on serve than Karlovic so far.
8:15 a.m. ET: Hi everyone, and welcome to men's quarterfinal day at Wimbledon. Singles action is about to begin, but doubles is well under way around the grounds.
While the Williams sisters have been demolishing the singles field, they've been bulldozing through the doubles draw as well. They're up 6-2 against Vania King and Anna-Lena Groenefeld on Court 2. James Blake and Mardy Fish are yukking it up after taking the first set against Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley in a tiebreaker.
The singles guys are on the grounds. Juan Carlos Ferrero, freshly showered in white track pants, is kicking back on one of the couches in the players' lounge and staring blankly at a juniors match. Lleyton Hewitt is finishing a sub sandwich in the dining area, chatting with coach Tony Roche.
Andy Murray has just finished his practice session and is walking back into the players' area -- yes, they do scan his pass when he comes in.
They're all playing second on the show courts. The other two quarters are just under way. Karlovic won the toss against Federer and elected to receive!
6 a.m. ET: Wednesday is men's quarterfinal day at the All England Club. Here is the schedule of play:
Ivo Karlovic (CRO)  vs. Roger Federer (SUI) 
Andy Murray (GBR)  vs. Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP)
Tommy Haas (GER)  vs. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) vs. Andy Roddick (USA) 
See you at 8 a.m. ET.
Keep those e-mails coming (firstname.lastname@example.org), as I also will be answering your questions and comments throughout the day.