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Page last updated at 22:13 GMT, Monday, 21 June 2010 23:13 UK

Wimbledon 2010: Novak Djokovic earns victory under roof

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
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Novak Djokovic

Djokovic seals vital break with monster point

By Ian Westbrook
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic earned a dramatic late night win over Olivier Rochus in the latest finish to a Wimbledon match after the Centre Court roof was closed.

With the light fading the roof was shut and the lights switched on at 2045 BST with Rochus leading by two sets to one.

There was a delay of 35 minutes but when play resumed it was the third seed who seemed to prefer the conditions.

In front of a decent-size crowd the Serb finally won 4-6 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-2 with the match ending at 2258 BST.

It was 20 minutes later than the finish to Andy Murray's epic victory over Stanislas Wawrinka last year and only two minutes before the players would have been taken off court because of a local area curfew.

606: DEBATE

Rochus had taken the first set with a single break in the seventh game but Djokovic hit back in the second - racing into a 5-0 lead before closing it out.

The Belgian shrugged off the loss of a set by breaking at the start of the third and stayed in control to regain the advantage.

The closing of the roof, for only the second time since it was installed for last year's Championships, caused a delay but Djokovic resumed in better form.

The third seed secured the 12th break of the match early in the fourth set and he missed chances to clinch the set on the Rochus serve before saving three break points and then levelling the match.

The fifth game of the final set proved decisive and Djokovic broke to go 3-2 ahead and finally clinched victory.

He admitted that the break to close the roof had worked to his advantage, saying: "I think it helped me a little bit because I didn't feel great on the court at that moment.

"To have a half-hour break and just relax and focus and reset my game and my mind was helpful.

Centre Court roof

Centre Court roof closes on opening day

"You don't get to see a lot of late-night matches in Wimbledon history. Now with having the roof and lights gives us the opportunity.

"I'm happy in a way that my name is in the history books from playing late at night and I'm happy just to get a win."

Rochus regretted failing to convert one of the five break points he earned in the eighth and 10th games of the fourth set.

"I was feeling really good, I was playing great," he said. "If I break him back, get to a tie-break, anything can happen. The match was so close."

However the match started to take its toll after the Belgian took a 2-0 lead in the decider and he added: "I think I started to feel a little pain everywhere. Novak was playing really good. He was returning great, especially on my second serve."



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