Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Line Judge Collapses as Nadal Faces a Struggle

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Line Judge Collapses as Nadal Faces a Struggle

Article excerpt


A LINE JUDGE collapsed in front of thousands of shocked spectators at Centre Court today during a second round match that saw Rafael Nadal battling to stay in Wimbledon.

The official, in his 40s, was put in the recovery position after fellow officials rushed to his aid.

Nadal, looking concerned, came over to help before the man was helped away by an emergency crew from the St John's Ambulance.

Happily, a stadium announcer later told spectators: "Ladies and gentlemen, this gentleman is okay. He just fainted. Thank you."

Nadal, who was taking on US qualifier Robert Kendrick, struggled to find his rhythm after the incident and lost the first set 7- 6. The Spaniard blew a 3-0 tiebreak lead, serving up an uncharacteristic double fault to allow his opponent back into the breaker and Kendrick finished off nervelessly to take the advantage.

The world No2, who claimed his second French Open title earlier this month, is 235 places above Kendrick in the world rankings but was looking in big trouble as he was broken in the second game of the second set as Kendrick claimed a 4-1 lead.

Andy Murray was also due on Centre Court today and he is firmly in position as the main hope of British tennis.

Any lingering hopes that Tim Henman would summon up one last hurrah at SW19 ended yesterday with a very public dismantling.

Henman's 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 blitzing by defending champion Roger Federer was his worst beating on the most famous court in the world.

Despite the score, Henman will not be retiring and is committed to returning to Wimbledon. The world No64 said he would be coming back for a few more years and added: "I love what I do and I still think there are plenty of challenges for me."

It now falls to Murray to lift British tennis spirits against Julien Benneteau, who used the support of the Roland Garros crowd to reach the French Open quarterfinals last month.

The 19-year-old Scot will benefit from home bias today as he tries to set up a possible third-round clash with Andy Roddick, the third seed. …

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