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Bogdanovic v Melzer as it happened

Davis Cup

Great Britain 0-1 Austria

Singles result:

A Bogdanovic (GB) v J Melzer (Aut)

6-3 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 1-6

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LATER MATCH - A Murray (GB) v A Peya (Aut)

By Tom Fordyce

Bogdanovic 1-6 Melzer
That's your lot - Melz blitzes through his serve and Boggs can do nothing whatsoever about it. Classic Bogdanovic, some might say - flattering to deceive after a promising start. Those two break points in the sixth game of the second set were the key, and how quickly the match slipped away.

Bogdanovic 1-5 Melzer
A mournful air-horn hoots like a lonely owl as Melzer slams a sizzling forehand cross-court to move to break point and then strolls to within a whisker of the match as Boggo capitulates. The fat lady picks up her lyric sheet.

BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon: "This place is half empty now - everyone's out to lunch. You can't really blame them - this is not pretty."

Bogdanovic 1-4 Melzer
Tiny wobble from Melz as Bad Jurgen makes a final attempt to take over - a mis-hit volley giving Bogs a break point that shocks all concerned, but the Melz serve flickers into life again and the Brit is blown away. A familiar look of disillusionment drifts across the Boggy brow.

Bogdanovic 1-3 Melzer
And that might just be the death-knell. Melz races to 0-40 with his dander up, and when Bog flails his backhand halfway down the net, another break slips away. Get warmed up, Andy.

Bogdanovic 1-2 Melzer
Bog's going for his shots now, and coming into the net a little more too. Trouble is, his touch when he gets there is feeble. He hasn't got close to a break of the Melzer serve for an age. A worried frown creases the Lloyd brow.

Bogdanovic 1-1 Melzer
That's more like it - a sweet approach shot and a punchy volley from the perspiring Brit to win his first game in six. Melz still marching around with menace, looking 20 times as happy as he did two hours ago.

Bogdanovic 0-1 Melzer
With horrible inevitability, Good Jurgen rattles through his service game. Boggo is now trudging along the baseline like a man wearing concrete trainers.

THIRD SET

Bogdanovic 2-6 Melzer
Woe is Boggo - Melzer careers through his serve, setting up a set point and taking it with a forehand that clatters the tape and rolls gently into the British court. Groans from the flag-wavers around the court. Normal service being resumed out there, you fear.

Bogdanovic 2-5 Melzer
Only the occasional dink from the thundersticks now as Melz holds without beading his brow. Bogs is shrinking back into his shell, and must now hold serve to keep the set alive.

Should this blistering tie for some reason not keep you gripped, the 37th Ryder Cup has just got underway in Valhalla - you can follow all the action now with the hugely excited Andrew McKenzie:

Bogdanovic 2-4 Melzer
Two of the best shots of the match from GJ - a forehand lob so well disguised it virtually disappeared, and a blistering drive that almost sets the grass on fire to snatch the break back. Boggo calls for the trainer and receives a leg massage from the trainer and an ego massage from Lloydy.

Bogdanovic 2-3 Melzer
And then, once again, Good Jurgen takes over from Bad Jurgen. Easy hold of serve, even as a young chap in the crowd lets his head loll forward and falls into a gentle slumber.

Bogdanovic 2-2 Melzer
Solid serving, and we're level again. Melzer's mind is flakier than a well-known brand of chocolate - no sooner does he appear to be on top than something happens behind those Austrian eyes and he starts playing like a man holding his racquet between his toes.

Bogdanovic 1-2 Melzer
Oh - there. Melzer is cruising at 30-0, but for some reason then loses concentration like a bored child in a physics lesson. You don't give a man like Boggo an opening like that - he stays alive in the points and lets the Austrian make the inexplicable errors. That's the break back. John Lloyd squints into the sun like a ageing gunslinger.

Bogdanovic 0-2 Melzer
If you're still in the queue for the tattoo mentioned earlier, it might be time to slip quietly out of the shop. Melz roars to 0-40 on the creaking Bog serve and snatches the break when a lame Brit forehand eats nets. Boggo - where is thou sting?

Bogdanovic 0-1 Melzer
Officially ominous. Melz holds to love with serving so smooth that there's not even a glimpse of a foothold for Boggo. The earlier clamour on Court No.1 has gone, replaced by a nervy silence.

BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon: "The Austrian support camp have gone mental. Told you those thundersticks were a bad idea."

SECOND SET

Bogdanovic 6-7 Melzer
Super work from the Brit, having slipped to 0-2 and looked as shaky as a jelly on a rollercoaster - deep serving and a sweet forehand the other way to leave Melzer nowhere. Melz pops away a volley at the tape to make it 3-3, produces a big kick serve to go to 4-3 and then rushes Bogs into a backhand error to grab the mini-break at 5-3. Bog then leaves the court open by shaping up for an inside-out forehand to go three set points down, and is picked off by a raking forehand to leave Melz fist-pumping to his compadres. One set all - and Skipper Lloyd now has his work cut out again.

Bogdanovic 6-6 Melzer
Now then - this is a test... Melzer serves with brutal efficiency to bring up the tie-break. Got to be a few concerns now with the way the Austrian has started to serve. Prove me wrong, Bogmeister, prove me wrong.

Bogdanovic 6-5 Melzer
And he steps up to the plate, too, despite two crashing forehand returns from Melzer. A lovely deep approach from Boggo edges him ahead at 40-30 and a rock-solid first serve does the rest.

Bogdanovic 5-5 Melzer
Big serving from Melzer. Bogs has a tiny sniff at 30-15 but thunderous thrashers blow him away. A rumbling noise echoes under the rafters every time Bogs does well - it's hundreds of schoolkids thumping those inflatable tubes together, but for some reason it's somewhat menacing to the ear. Big game coming up for hometown hero.

Bogdanovic 5-4 Melzer
Whoosh - at 30-30 and on second serve, Bogs comes up with a spinning, spitting brute that Melzer can only fend off into the divider, and when a forehand drive leaves Mel scampering fruitlessly, the rot has been stopped. Pressure back on Melzer - he needs to hold to prevent himself slipping two sets down. Hold onto your keyboards.

Bogdanovic 4-4 Melzer
Three games on the bounce for the Austrian, and the wind is now gusting in his spinnaker. 10 minutes ago Bogs had two points for a 5-1 lead, but the momentum has suddenly slipped away.

BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon: "This crowd - about 9000 of them apparently - have been very quiet so far, but they've ramped up the noise now as Boggo struggles. I'm worried that might scare him even more."

Bogdanovic 4-3 Melzer
Melzer's body language is suddenly a whole lot chirpier, and he piles into the Boggo serve - coming into the net and dictating the points to work two break chances. He lets one go with an adrenaline forehand long but then keeps the ball in play and waits for the error from his grimacing opponent. That's the break back, and time for Bogs to stand firm.

Bogdanovic 4-2 Melzer
What a point from the blazing Bogdo - sending Melzer this way and that before popping a running forehand volley away to sit pretty at 15-40. Melzer takes a deep breath and suddenly finds something special to haul himself back to deuce, and the chance goes in a flash. Still a break up, but could that be a turning-point?

Bogdanovic 4-1 Melzer
Anything you can do, says The Bogmeister - a nerveless service hold to love extends his lead, with a delightful drop-shot the icing on the sticky bun. Bog marches to his chair and nails a full banana while Lloydy purrs into his ear.

Bogdanovic 3-1 Melzer
Finally, a moment's respite for the canting Austrian - a service game to love to get him on the board. He clenches a callused fist and stalks back to his mark.

From BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon: "Nearly an hour in and just heard the first 'come on Tim!'. Even watching Henman wasn't this excrutiating. Lloydy gives Boggo some words of advice - I think he needs a hug."

Bogdanovic 3-0 Melzer
A nervous ripple skims around the crowd as Melzer runs down a drop-shot to pass Boggo cross-court and move to 0-30. A battle of backhand slices follows in which Bogs just comes out on top, and a lucky mis-hit that lies down and dies brings up deuce. Melzer is fuming here - he dashes his errant racquet to the turf - and a sweet inside-out forehand drive brings up advantage for Boggo, which he eventually takes to roof-shaking roars from the partisan punters. A set and 3-0 up? Mouths are agape around the court.

"Does Jurgen Melzer always look this miserable? It looks like he's just chewed on a rather aggressive British wasp…" Scotch Egg on 606

Bogdanovic 2-0 Melzer
Melzer's still showing the knock-kneed nerves of a goat in the lion enclosure at London Zoo. A miserable patsy of a volley flops into the net to give Boggo three break points, and when the angry Austrian batters a forehand wide, Boggo has another break. I can't quite believe this. Am I dreaming? And if so, why am I dreaming about male tennis players?

Bogdanovic 1-0 Melzer
Melzer comes out of the traps with vengeance is his eyes. In a flash he has two break points, but a whippy Boggo backhand and thumping first serve drag him back to deuce. When a Melzer backhand goes long, the game is saved. On the front row, an aged gent in a Union flag cap wobbles his wrinkly jowls in excitement.

FIRST SET

Bogdanovic 6-3 Melzer
What has happened to Melzer? It's like he's doing a "Boggo at Wimbledon" impression - a woeful capitulation on his serve, including a forehand battered so long it wouldn't have landed on two courts, hands the set to the Brit on a shining silver salver. We have witnessed tennis history today - Bogdanovic's first ever set in a Cup match that's not a dead rubber. Anyone for a commemorative tattoo?

Brits Up

Bogdanovic 5-3 Melzer
Now then - this is interesting. Melzer, who gave it all that chat earlier this week about the pressure on Andy Murray's shoulders, is starting to crumble himself. Two unforced errors allow Boggo to rattle through his service game to love. The flaky Brit is now just four points from his first ever set in a live Davis Cup match.

Bogdanovic 4-3 Melzer
A jumbo jet rumbles overhead as Melzer lines up his man-sized serve. Boggo deals with it well, stretching to ping a forehand down the line to set up a break point and then ripping a backhand towards the corner that Melzer can only frame into the cloudless blue above. Bogdo has broken - repeat, Bogdo has broken...

Bogdanovic 3-3 Melzer
Melzer has a blast at a big backhand at 0-15 but crashes it into the net. A classy forehand pass from Boggo draws screams from a brace of over-excited ladies in the crowd and takes us to level pegs. Semi-encouraging signs for GB fans.

Bogdanovic 2-3 Melzer
Melzer's now turned his cap back-to-front in the preferred style of the Austrian/Germanic male, and his thrashing leftie serve is too strong for Bogdanovic. In the crowd, a man who looks remarkably like Padraig Harrington is doing the crossword in his morning paper.

Bogdanovic 2-2 Melzer
Whatever Skipper Lloydy said clearly did the business - Boggo holds to love with his best four points of the match. Warm autumn sunshine bathing Court No.1.

Bogdanovic 1-2 Melzer
What a shot from Mel - a forehand drop-volley that saw him stretched like Mike Teevee. Beefy first serving sees him home at a canter, and John Lloyd strolls over for a word as Boggo goes to his chair at the changeover.

Bogdanovic 1-1 Melzer
Uh-oh - Melzer creams a delicious forehand down the line off a whipping Boggo serve to set up two break points. Bog closes out the first with a crispy volley at the net, saves the second when Mel just misses with a bender down the line but then ships another with a woeful mis-hit volley at the net. A big serve and nice deep forehand take us back to deuce; a short second serve marmalised down the line opens up another break point. When Melzer sends a weak drop-shot into the net and over-reaches with a forehand as ambitious as Gordon Gekko, the game is saved. Roars from all corners.

Bogdanovic 0-1 Melzer
Interesting - Melzer looks nervier than Boggo out there, which is saying something. Two double-faults give the Brit a sniff at deuce before a wafting forehand goes long, and when Boggo can only block a slow return skywards, the Austrian has his proud nose in front. Muted reaction from the bellicose crowd.

1106 - from BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon: "They're shooting t-shirts into the crowd. This cannot be good for the hordes of middle-aged ladies sitting around Court One, one of which is my mum. Run for your life, Mum!"

1057: Anyone else fearful about what all this is doing for Boggo's nerves? In case you'd forgotten, his singles record at Wimbledon reads: played seven, lost seven. Hmmm.

1054: In one of the most surreal openings to a tennis match I've ever seen, an Italian opera singer strolling round the court starts warbling what sounds like an impression of a car alarm. Jurgen Melzer looks stunned. "HERE WE GO!" shouts the MC. "NATIONAL ANTHEMS! If you know the Austrian one, sing along!"

1050: Extraordinary scenes on Number One Court. As the GB and Austria teams stroll out for day one of this Davis Cup tie, vertical cannons launch orange flames into the sky. "ROSSS HUTCHINS!" screams the MC. "ALEX BOOGGGDANOVIC!"

1045: Tennis at Wimbledon in September? In bright sunshine? With Alex Bogdanovic up first? What a feast - what a feast...




see also
GB v Austria - order of play
19 Sep 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon weather
16 Sep 08 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
13 Sep 08 |  Tennis


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