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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Nadal slams schedule despite win
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal
Nadal was taken to the limit in a fiery encounter with Soderling
Rafael Nadal said that Wimbledon officials "did not think about the players" after his rain-interrupted win over Robin Soderling.

The pair had begun with the knock-up on Saturday evening, enduring seven rain breaks across five days, before Nadal won 6-4 6-4 6-7 (7-9) 4-6 7-5.

But the Spaniard was unhappy with how the weather situation had been handled.

"I don't understand why we don't play on Sunday when the weather was OK," said Nadal.

"It was so much better than yesterday, Monday and today too. I don't understand why they cancelled yesterday, when at 8.10pm the sunshine is here for one hour so we can play.

We have to play a lot of days in a row, although on the other side of the draw Roger was having a holiday for the last week

Rafael Nadal

"I don't understand why we are going to the courts to play for (only) 15 minutes, and they know because they have the (information).

"That's very tough for the players. They don't think very much about the players here, maybe."

Nadal completed what he described as "the toughest match of my career" by winning the fifth set on Wednesday, saving a break point before converting his fifth match point in game four of the day.


It had been a bad-tempered clash, with Soderling mimicking Nadal at one stage and the pair barely shaking hands at the end.

"In the locker room, for other players he's not the best guy," said Nadal, who complained that Soderling had not raised his hand to apologise after a lucky net-cord, asked if he was OK when the Spaniard fell over, or looked at him when shaking hands.

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic is into the last 16 for the second year in a row

Soderling was repeatedly pushed for a response but insisted: "I have nothing to say."

The hard work is just beginning for Nadal, who must return on Thursday for a fourth-round clash with Mikhail Youzhny, while champion Roger Federer has had five days off.

"We have to play a lot of days in a row, although on the other side of the draw Roger was having a holiday for the last week," joked the Spaniard.

Novak Djokovic beat Nicolas Kiefer in the final third-round match.

The pair resumed at one set all and fourth seed Djokovic immediately took control on Court Two, breaking twice to wrap up the third set.

The Serb missed numerous break points in the fourth and was taken to a tie-break before winning 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-5), and he faces Lleyton Hewitt in round four.

Matt Millington
Sport interactive TV editor

The 20-year-old's view on the scheduling debate was clear. "What I didn't agree with is that there was no play on Sunday," he said. "I think it's a bad decision by the organisers.

"They knew the forecast for this week is bad, there's going to be a lot of rain and the end of last week there was a lot of rain.

"Sunday was a very nice day so they would have finished all the matches. I can blame them for that situation, but on the other hand it's nature and you can't fight against it. It's stronger than us."



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