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Beck v Nadal as it happened

Men's singles first round result:

A Beck (Ger) v R NADAL (Spa) 2

4-6 4-6 6-7 (0-7)

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By Tom Fordyce at Wimbledon

Beck 6-7 Nadal
The shoot-out starts badly for Beck as he misses with his first serve and is left stretching helplessly on the firey return. He then has a chance to forehand a cross-court winner off a short one but misses it by the width of an Ivanovic eye-lash, and then goes wide on the other side under little pressure. Nadal stretches away with another ace, glugs a quick mouthful of aqua sin gas and polishes things off when Beck goes wide again. Great work on all the big points, and Rafa flings his wrist-bands into the adoring masses.

Beck 6-6 Nadal
Beck's taking tiny chips off the Nadal serve - he gets to 40-30 this time - but he's still yet to have a break point. Tie-break o'clock.

Beck 6-5 Nadal
Beck creams a sweet backhand past Rafa to set off in the right direction, only to net another to wobble at 15-30. Surprisingly, Rafa then over-hits on a cautious second serve before Beck plays his best drop-shot of the match to turn it round to 40-30. Beck gurns as he tosses the ball in the air and arrows in a big serve to inch in front. Zehr gut.

Beck 5-5 Nadal
When Nadal mysteriously mis-hits a mid-court backhand into the net, Beck is at 30-30 and just two points from the set. Rafa sniffs danger and snuffs it out with muscular rapidity.

Beck 5-4 Nadal
That's Beck-better - his first hold to love since the first game of the entire match. He ruminates on his chair at the changeover, rubbing his face wearily into his dark green towel and emerging with eyebrows askew.

Beck 4-4 Nadal
15 aces now for Nadal - that's got to be close to a record. Wonder what Roger thinks about that - Rafa now officially has another weapon in his armoury. Gulp.Nadal's service games seem to be lasting about a fifth of the time of Beck's, which tells you all about the pressure that's been squeezed on out there.

Beck 4-3 Nadal
Big serving again from Beck, hammering through his third ace to save one break point. He nets a forehand as he tries to come in to the net to set up another and then repeats the trick - acer at 130mph down the middle. Rafa conjures another with a forehand whipper down the line; Beck saves with a big boomer. Brilliant Iberian backhand brutality pegs Beck back again, only for the German to stay strong on that thumping serve and come through after eight nervy minutes. A large man in the crowd wearing a tent-like Hawaiian shirt claps with toothy enjoyment.

From Dan in London on text: "Don't worry Stuart. Andy will make a meal of it as usual. There will be plenty of time to witness him roaring at the crowd."

Beck 3-3 Nadal
The fainter is back with us. Good work, SJA. Raf turns on the style in her honour, clattering a window-smasher of an ace onto the T. A pale sun is shining overhead - no-one need reach for anything more than a Factor 10 at this point.

Beck 3-2 Nadal
Commotion in the crowd as a woman appears to faint while taking her seat. That's what those Rafa biceps can do to the ill-prepared, I'm told. Beck bounces a ball patiently while St John Ambulance men get busy, and as the woman comes to he serves out the game.

Beck 2-2 Nadal
Glimmer for Beck at 30-30, but that's as far as he can get. Good colours in the crowd, reflecting this summer's cat-walk trends for bright, 1980s inspired clothing. What a shameful sentence for a man to type.

Beck 2-1 Nadal
Nadal spots the Beck wide one a mile off and cracks it dismissively cross-court for another unplayable answer to go to 15-40. A big first serve saves one, and an even bigger second serve does the same on the next. Not afraid to take a punt, this lad. When a blocked backhand from Rafa sails too far, Beck is briefly in front. Completely empty Royal Box now - must be tea-time.

Beck 1-1 Nadal
Beck finally slopes in behind a deep one to the corner, and is left wishing he hadn't when Rafa somehow flips a stretching forehand cross-court for a mouth-agape winner. Nadal is still yet to ship a single break point in his serve.

Beck 1-0 Nadal
23 unforced errors now for the stringy German, and it looks like 24 when a forehand down the line is called out. But Beck decides on a call-challenge, and Hawk-Eye decides the ball just nibbled the titanium powder. Nervy hold.

From Stuart in Birmingham on text: "Can you tell Nadal to slow down a bit? I was hoping Murray wouldn't get on till after 5pm so I could get home from work in time to see it."

SECOND SET

Beck 4-6 Nadal
You might as well try to stop a tank with a pea-shooter. Nadal holds to 30 as Beck backhands into the tape, and there's a mass dash to the conveniences as the set is sealed. Beck has never played a five-set match in his nascent professsional career; you wouldn't put big piles on him breaking his duck this arvo.

Beck 4-5 Nadal
Easy move to 40-15, but then Beck goes all Las Vegas on his serve and gives Nadal a glimmer with a double-fault. A better boomer aimed again at the Nadal navel limps him across the line, and he piles into another banana to fortify stomach and spirit.

Beck 3-5 Nadal
Sizzle - another ace arcs down the middle, and Beck needs to hold again to prevent himself dropping two sets down. An hour and seven minutes on the clock, and Beck is still as likely to step forward as a novice nun at a karaoke night.

Beck 3-4 Nadal
Beck's shirt is now sticking to his chest as Rafa makes him toil like an angry aerobics instructor. Nadal floats a rare error into the tram-lines to slip to 40-30 and blocks a return into the net. A Nadal fan wearing a red cap plus Spanish flags crayoned on her cheeks smiles happily as her favourite bends to check his shoe-laces mere metres away.

Beck 2-4 Nadal
Beck drops short with a frantic blocked return and is thrashed away by the salivating Spaniard. A murmour runs around Centre as a rare double-fault delays the inevitable. Beck thinks he's got another point in the pocket when a forehand forces Rafa way beyond the tram-lines, but Rafa accelerates like Usain Bolt at 60m and drills an unstoppable forehand into the corner for another winner.

Beck 2-3 Nadal
Enormous second serve from Beck as he wobbles again - a 122mph navel-gazer that almost cuts Nadal in half. A man hoves into view in front of me with three punnets of strawberries balanced precariously on each palm.

Beck 1-3 Nadal
Crash bang wallop - Nadal howitzers to 40-0. Beck balloons long and the gap widens.

Beck 1-2 Nadal
Aahhs from the crowd as a lame Beck mis-hit rolls along the tape before dropping wearily onto his opponent's side of the divide. Beck is stuck on the baseline like a hare in the headlines and Nadal brutalises him with two smoking forehands - another break. Beck needs to change tactics here - get into the net sharpish, because he's being disected like a toad in a science lab.

In response to IK, Beck doesn't have a devil's haircut, but he's likely to be a loser baby. From J in Macclesfield

Beck 1-1 Nadal
Another hold to love for the number two seed. Beck can't get a toe-hold on the face of Mount Rafa at the moment.

Beck 1-0 Nadal
Beck has a pop at a cheeky dropper but tips it into the net. He then runs around a backhand to thread a sweetly-timed forehand down the line to warm applause from the well-oiled patrons.

FIRST SET

Beck 4-6 Nadal
Wallop - Rafa thrashes a fizzer down the middle, Beck can only frame it a few inches and the first set is in the bag. Two service games to love on the bounce, and Rafa bounces his legs around with manic twitchiness as the pair seat themselves for refreshments.

Beck 4-5 Nadal
And stay alive he does, teetering at 15-30 before gambling again on a second serve and foxing Rafa with a slider out wide. Breeze picking up out there, and a woman with a wide-brimmed straw hat clutches at her head.

Beck 3-5 Nadal
Super serving medley from Rafa - a boomer down the middle, a slicer-dicer and a rib-masher to complete the set. Beck under big pressure now to stay alive in the set.

From IK, Southampton via text: "Does Beck have a devil's haircut?"

Beck 3-4 Nadal
Gamble from Beck, crashing a big forehand down the line but missing by millimetres to ship a break point. A big serve, driving forehand and overhead dismisser save the moment, but Nadal scuttles along the baseline like adrenalised beetle to retrieve the irretrievable and force a netted error from Andreas. That's the break, spirited away with sheer energy.

Beck 3-3 Nadal
Super backhand passing-stinger down the line from Beck to go to 15-30, only for his fellow leftie Nadal to slide away a sliced serve and thrash down a straighter one to draw level. Rafa takes a towel from an obedient ball-boy and wipes the sweat from his nose and biceps.

Beck 3-2 Nadal
Saucy little lob from Nadal as Beck canters to the net, and the 22-year-old German is left reaching. His banging leftie serve pins Rafa back and he edges back in front with creditable poise. Over on Court no.1, Maria Sharapova has just unveiled her "tuxedo-inspired" outfit. Take it from me - it works better than Roger's cardie.

Beck 2-2 Nadal
Lordy - Nadal almost breaks a line-judge's arm with a thumper of a serve that ghosts past Beck's stretching racquet. Good meat on that one. He then slices in a backhand that dies with a sigh on kissing the turf and pops in a drop-shot that has Beck stranded. Uncle Toni watches on from the VIP slots from behind dark glasses.

Beck 2-1 Nadal
Good serving again for the 6' 3" Beck in his first tour-level tournament outside the homeland. He forces an entire banana into his snout at the changeover and laughs as he ill-advisedly tries to communcate with a ball-boy. Centre Court now at 90% capacity.

Beck 1-1 Nadal
Chunky hold for the massive-armed Mallorcan, who has never lost in the first round at Wimbledon. Slightly cloudy out there now, but the Pimms-guzzling is in full effect.

Beck 1-0 Nadal
Beck's first ever service game in a Grand Slam tournament, and he holds to love with long-armed accuracy. The Royal Box is like a Boater-Wearers' Club day outing.

1445: White bandages below both knees for Rafa, although nothing too much to worry about there - we've seen them before. Beck hidden under a white cap.

1439: Here come the players - and of course Rafa doesn't have sleeves on his top. Could Nike do him a sleeveless cardigan to compete with Roger's?

1430: On Monday we had the sensational debut of Roger Federer's cardigan - what will Rafa be tugging out of his locker to match that? Here's my tip - it won't have sleeves.



see also
Live - Wimbledon day two
24 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 08 |  Tennis
Men's singles latest
02 Jun 08 |  Live scores
Women's singles latest
23 May 08 |  Tennis


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