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Lu v Federer as it happened

Wimbledon

Lu v Federer live video

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606: DEBATE

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By Tom Fordyce


Lu 5-7 3-6 2-6 Federer:
Easy as you like - straight sets, taken at a canter. Not much Rendy could do about that - when Federer finds the form he hit there, you might as well get out your camera and film it for the grandkids.

Lu 5-7 3-6 2-5* Federer:
Poor old Rendy - he's all ready to celebrate 40-15 when Roger somehow flicks a ball that's half past him back over the net at an unreturnable angle. Rendy tears into the net in Light Brigade fashion and is passed with ruthless grace. Another break, and the end is upon us.

Lu 5-7 3-6 *2-4 Federer:
Hint of a sniff of a glimmer for Rendy at deuce, snuffed out with elegant anger as the Fed forehand cuts deep.

Lu 5-7 3-6 2-3* Federer:
Wonderful rally which Roger seals with a drop-volley as delicate as a hummingbird's eyelash. Rendy stays alive with pluck and perspiration.

Lu 5-7 3-6 *1-3 Federer:
Gasps from the crowd as Fed slips while skating along the baseline and stains the seat of his ironed shorts. It's nothing more than a moment for the snappers though, as Fed stretches his service legs to open fresh daylight.

Lu 1-2* Federer:
Really rather gloomy out there now, but Rendy's decided to light the blue touchpaper - a splendid forehand volley taken off the turf at head height to a caterpillar, followed by two flashing forehands that sizzle across the tape. It all goes to waste, however, as the errors pile up. Break taken.

Lu *1-1 Federer:
Roger's rattling through his serves now, piling the pressure on Rendy's struggling shoulders. He glides cross-court to slap away a running volley with dismissive ease. Four years now since Rendy won a match at Wimbledon, and only a wild-eyed crazy man would lay lolly on it not being five.

Lu 1-0* Federer:
Huge grunt from Rendy as he winds up a big serve, but the unforced errors are creeping in. Roger goes long himself with a lofted forehand, and when a slicer dies short, Rendy has a heartening hold.

SECOND SET:

Lu 3-6 Federer:
Roger, unperturbed by the generations of British acting talent watching on, serves through like a runaway train to polish off the crumbs of the set. Spectators stand to stretch their legs as Roger purrs back to his chair and brushes a stray strand of hair back behind his creme bandanna.

Lu *3-5 Federer:
The stars just keep coming out - Jude Law and Jonny Lee Miller down there, lit by the orange glow from Sinden's jacket. Rendy goes for bust again and hangs on by his fingernails.

Lu *2-5 Federer:
Oh, super rally - Rendy looks like he's sniffing a shock break-back at deuce, and when an overhead backhand volley forces Fed out wide it looks like a certain ad - only for the Swiss superhero to sprint cross-court and slide a backhand round the net-post for the winner. Standing ovating from the delighted Centre Court patrons.

Lu 2-4* Federer:
Finally Rendy has a foothold in the set, even if it is a slippery one. That flailing forehand finds its mark, and a brace of tape-tippers end in his favour.

Lu *1-4 Federer:
It's a mark of Roger's mental strength that he puts Jacketgate behind him to hold with cold-eyed menace once again. What a running backhand that is - even Sinden is moved to above-head applause.

Lu 1-3* Federer:
Not sure this will lift Rendy's mood, but it's done the job for me - I've just spotted Donald Sinden in the VIP seats. It won't please Roger, but he's gone one-up in the racey jacket stakes too - a bright orange sports jacket that makes him look like a 1970s Dutch news anchor. Finally a Lu hold.

Lu *0-3 Federer:
Grey clouds overhead. Don't think we'll see rain, so let's use them as a metaphor for Rendy's mood as Fed canters through another service game. Sympathetic ooohs from all four corners.

Lu 0-2* Federer:
A heavy silence on Centre as the wheels fall off the Rendy bus. He's broken to love, his legs heavy and his body language as negative as a banker's bonus.

Lu *0-1 Federer:
Barely has Rendy got his head round that reverse then he's on the slap again. It's a death or glory approach - big haymakers aimed at every opportunity, and he's swinging and missing like a blindfolded boxer.

FIRST SET:

Lu 5-7 Federer:
Big pressure now on all things Rendy, and he collapses like a baby giraffe. Dear oh dear. Roger has his service for late lunch and his few returns as a light dessert. That's the set...

Lu *5-6 Federer:
Fed hasn't lost a point on his serve now for three ssuccessive games - and should Rendy hold on for the breaker now, that doesn't bode well for his chances. He stares meditatively into the middle distance on the changeover, seeking inspiration in the goggling faces looking back at him.

Lu 5-5* Federer:
Rendy wipes his face and forearm on a Wimbledon 2009 branded towel, tosses it to a compliant ball-boy and serves with spice and slice to draw level once again.

Lu *4-5 Federer:
Crash, bang, wallop, thanks very much - Fed holds without dropping a point of bead or bead of sweat. In the crowd, a row of middle-aged ladies in strappy suntops squint at the screens on their digital cameras.

Lu 4-4* Federer:
Rendy bounces the ball three, four times, winds up and crashes a serve down to Roger's backhand side. Roger slices and topspins alternatively to crouch snarling at 30-30, nets to cede advantage and then forces the forehand error after a rapid-fire exchange of flashing forehands. Groans from the still-sleepy spectators as a Rendy backhand drifts into the divider, but there's contended clapping two points later as Rog clips tape and goes wide to ship the game.

Lu *3-4 Federer:
First Royal Box spots for you - Mark Cox, just behind 1996 champ Richard Krajicek. King Mark of Cox to get that ticket, clearly. Fed holds in the time it takes to type half this update.

Lu 3-3* Federer:
It's one thing to break Fed, quite another to hold when he's clambering all over you. Rendy looks comfy at 30-15 but then cants at 30-40 as a Fore fedhand - I'm sorry, a Fed forehand - slams into the tape and stumbles millimetres over. When a pressurised forehand dies short, Fed is back at level pegs.

Roger Federer
Lu *3-2 Federer:
What a Rendy return that is - a rapid backhand boomer that's past Rog before he's completed his follow-through. Another backhand bash sets up break point - Rog nets his first serve, and then - Lordy - duffs his forehand into the same place. Rendy has the break!

Lu 2-2* Federer:
Pressure now on the Rendy serve as Roger's range-finders start to land. Two forehand errors, both flopped into the net, give Fed his first break points of the championship but they both slip away as one mishit buries its nose in the net and the other spins long off the frame. Deuce. Rendy chances his arm with some old-skool serve-and-volley and is passed with casual brutality by Fed, and then hammers down a rapid first one to force a return error. Point of the match so far next as Rendy dinks in a dropper, Fed fetches and is left flat-footed by a forehand winner, and a simpler server deals the deal.

Lu *1-2 Federer:
Easy hold to love for Fed - big boomers on serve, driven forehands leaving Rendy flailing helplessly. To balance this up a little, a brief run-down of the Rendy look - baggy semi-boardshorts, traditional white polo and Roddick-style white cap pulled low over his eyes.

Lu 1-1* Federer:
Roars of surprised support for Rendy as he fights back from 0-30 to parity with some cunning backhand slicers to Fed's feet. He then pings several crisp forehands to Roger's backhand and gets on the board as the old champ's forehand bites net.

Lu *0-1 Federer:
Silky - Roger's first service game, that is, not his now-abandoned weskit and jacket. Lu (nicknamed Rendy, my research tells me) barely lays racquet-string on ball.
* denotes next server

1302: Now this we didn't expect - there's a waistcoat under the jacket! Now Rog looks like he's off to serve food at a 1940s Guardsmans' dinner.

1259: A polite buzz of anticipation fills the air - and here come the players! My giddy aunts - what a jacket that is. A round-neck, sub-Beatles '63 collar, military pockets on breast and shoulder and the usual gold 'RF' monogrammed across the breast. If Roger was to wear it on genuine military manoeuvres, he'd have to hope he'd be posted to the Arctic Circle or he'd stick out like a whitewashed thumb.

1257: Ballpersons join us on Centre. Punters are stumbling around the stands, searching for seats while clutching refrescos and the usual accoutrements of the British sporting viewer - suncream, woolly hat, sunglasses and heavy blanket.

1254: Ballpersons join us on Centre. Punters are stumbling around the stands, searching for seats while clutching refrescos and the usual accoutrements of the British sporting viewer - suncream, woolly hat, sunglasses and heavy blanket.

1250: I'll be honest - I've seen a sneak preview. Without spoiling things for you, knitwear is out, faux-military is in.

1248: As substitutes go, you'd settle for Roger Federer, no? Big question at this point is sartorial rather than sportorial: just what will this year's Fed Fashion be?

1246: Let's get the tears out of the way early on. Rafa's not here to take his rightful place in Centre Court's opener, and the world is a poorer place for it. But that's how it is - we'll just have to deal with it. Even you there, sobbing quietly into your PC's keyboard while your work colleagues look on uncomfortably.

1245: Oh happy days. It's back….



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