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Wimbledon: Jarkko Nieminen v Andy Murray as it happened

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By Tom Fordyce
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Miss the moment Murray and Nieminen bowed to the Queen and the Royal Box before the start of the match? Watch the dramatic scenes here.

1454: Murray rips off his wristband, is about to fling it into the crowd and then remembers to aim away from the Royal Box. There's another bow - not quite as low this time, but nothing to trouble the treasonistas - and the Queen continues to clap. Wave from Murray, wave from Nemo, and as the two players disappear behind the dark green screen, the Queen picks up her handbag, gets to her feet and says something in the ear of Tim Phillips, chairman of the All-England club. I'm no lip-reader, but on the basis of her next movement it was something along these lines: "One is orf."

Nieminen 3-6 4-6 2-6 Murray
Nemo, a broken man, backhands into the net. That return will fly long - match point - floating return, easy put-away, crashed away for the winner. The Queen is clapping! She's finally clapping!

* Nieminen 3-6 4-6 2-5 Murray
Every service game a toil for Jarkko. Murray is clambering into his listing serve, hitting blistering returns off everything. Superb touch on the half-volley, pirouetting as he hits it to sprint back into play, throwing up a tantalising lob - Nemo reaches it on the stretch, but it's nothing but a patsy - slapped back past him by the rampant Murray. Second break of the set, and Murray is on the brink.

* Nieminen 3-6 4-6 2-4 Murray
Delightful dropper from Murray, spotting Nemo way back beyond the baseline and leaving him sprinting into nothing but rarefied air. Gutsy riposte from Nemo, chasing down a second drop-shot, flicking a reply cross court, chasing back like an unleashed Labrador and crashing a forehand at Murray that the Scot can only fend into the net, but he can offer no more resistance.

Nieminen 3-6 4-6 2-3 Murray *
The bloke to my left has just referred to the Queen as being "a stone's throw away". I wouldn't test that one out, my friend - I'd be left sitting next to nothing but a smoking pair of shoes. Still not a single clap from Her Majestifantastic - maybe she doesn't want to sully those white gloves.

* Nieminen 3-6 4-6 1-3 Murray
Murray holds to love in the time it takes a large woman in a blue sun-top to select a plump strawberry from her lunch box, de-stalk, dip into cream and gobble.

Nieminen 3-6 4-6 1-2 Murray *
Sun slips away again, but the dark clouds over Nemo part for a moment. He holds at last, shoulders stooped, hair wedged up in thick clumps by perspiration.

* Nieminen 3-6 4-6 0-2 Murray
Murray cruising now, and the only thing that can derail him is a calamitous loss of concentration. The Queen still there, first row of her own Royal Box - she must wonder what all the fuss is about when she hears about the woeful state of British tennis. Last time she was here, Ginny W won the ladies title; now Murray's heading for a straight sets victory.

Nieminen 3-6 4-6 0-1 Murray *
Virginia Wade there in the Royal Box, glasses perched on the end of her nose. Nemo all over the place now, the serve awry, the footwork sloppy and the wrists limp - double-fault, forehand flailed wide, another break gone. He flings away a spare ball and trudges back to his chair to bury his reddening face in a soft bouncy towel.

SECOND SET

Nieminen 3-6 4-6 Murray
Trouble at 0-15 as Murray goes long with a forehand - 0-30. Ah, that's the way to wriggle free - crashing ace down the middle, and there's another. Big boomer, Nemo nowhere near it, and the second set is in the bag. Apologies for the pace of these updates - technical glitches again, and I'm as angry as you.

Nieminen 3-6 4-5 Murray *
Now that's a return from Murray - fast and flat serve from Nemo, right up in the 130mph mark, but it's bang into the sweet spot of Murray's racquet - drilled back down the line at 95mph. It seems to have done some damage to the strings, though - big ping-pong sound as another forehand flies way long, and I think he's blown a string. New racquet as prepares to serve for the set.

* Nieminen 3-6 3-5 Murray
"New balls," intones the umpire sternly, and that's not good news for Nemo as he tries to snatch the break back. Not a sniff for the stiff-haired Finn, and limited sympathy from the partisan punters.

Nieminen 3-6 3-4 Murray *
Splendid point from Murray, a perfect example of the way he likes to play - exchange of slivers, a switch of pace with the topspin forehands, forcing Nemo wider and wider and increasingly uncomfortable until the forehand coup-de-grace is delivered with wristy relish. Now he'll step in early for the double-handed backhand from out wide - clean winner, and that's possibly the best shot in his packed armoury. Break points piling up - long, patient exchange, Nemo tipping in a sweet drop-shot but Murray is there in a flash to flick deep into the corner - can Nemo get there? Yup, but late and low - desperate lunging forehand into the net. Murray has the break!

John McEnroe
John McEnroe on BBC TV: "If Nieminen is not able to keep up his quality of play this could be over in straight sets. He is breathing pretty heavy right now."

* Nieminen 3-6 3-3 Murray
Seb Coe there in the Royal Box, or the Rt Hon the Lord Coe as he's referred to in the programme. Hold to love, and the Murray first serve is at 75% today. Smile up in the VIP seats from Matt Little, Murray's fitness trainer, known in Camp Murray as 'Treacle' for his gingerish resemblance to the character from The Incredibles.

Nieminen 3-6 3-2 Murray *
Chance for Murray at 0-30, but two loose forehands toss the glimmer away. Murray raises his racquet as if to smash it into the turf, and then remembers who's watching. No sign of the Queen moving yet. Wonder if she's got any mints in that handbag to pass round.

* Nieminen 3-6 2 -2 Murray
The shadows of two pigeons flicker across the court as Murray stares across the net, clutches a ball to the frame, leans back slowly and unleashes the serve - crackeroo, and Nemo hasn't figured out any answers to these testers yet. Murray fakes a whippy top-spin forehand but it's all a ruse - dinky dropper, and Nemo is stranded way out back.

Nieminen 3-6 2-1 Murray *
Wallop - a third blink-and-miss-it hold on the bounce. Both fighters happy to stay behind the jab. Nemo's elder Anna-Riikka, he types to the sound of a barrel being scraped, is an editor at a publishing company.

* Nieminen 3-6 1-1 Murray
You want to know a little more about Nemo? His father, Kauko, and mother, Leena, are retired chemists. More in a moment. Murray's turn to hold in a flash, and there's barely a spare seat in the house. Hats aplenty, Pimm's being sucked quietly through stripey straws.


Nieminen 3-6 1-0 Murray *
The sun inches behind a fat fluffer of a cloud, and Nemo wipes his sweaty fringe back off his face. That's more like it, a rapid-fire hold to love to get his nose in front.

FIRST SET

Nieminen 3-6 Murray
Now then. Any nerves? Not any more - barrelling serves, crunching groundstrokes, the set in the bag in 35 minutes. Murray goes to his chair with a restrained nod, takes a seat under a parasol and glugs down a cloudy lemon-coloured beverage.

Nieminen 3-5 Murray *
Strange shot from Murray, dashing in for a straightforward backhand volley but duffing the ball to the turf at his feet. Gasps of consternation from the packed grandstands, and Nemo keeps his head above water.

* Nieminen 2-5 Murray
In case you weren't lunching with the Queen today, here's the menu she was offered. Amusé: Salmon Millefeuille with Wye Valley Asparagus. Main course (served chilled): Orange and Honey Marinated Chicken on Fruity Couscous with Roasted Vegetables. Kentish Strawberries and Blackberries with Cornish Clotted Cream and Mint Syrup. English Cheese Plate & Orange Chutney; Coffee and Chocolates. Apologies for the capital letters - copy and pasting job. Cantering hold from Murray, and Nemo must hold serve to stay in the set. As Nicolas Mahut did more than 50 times in the final set on Wednesday.

Nieminen 2-4 Murray *
A few years back, Nemo took a little time off pro tennis to do his national service in the Finnish army. What's that - you'd like Alex Bogdanovic to do the same? Mean. Bright sunshine over Centre, but storm clouds hang over our Finnish friend. He hangs on for the hold, but he hasn't got close to Murray's serve since those opening collywobbles.

* Nieminen 1-4 Murray
A correction - when I referred to the Queen wearing power blue, I of course meant powder blue. She's not Joan Collins playing Alexis Colby. Hawk-Eye appeal from Murray, and Her Maj likes that - staring up at the giant replay screens, raising one powdered eyebrow a fraction as the verdict comes in. Murray forced out wide onto the forehand side, leaving a generous gap for Nemo to slot his own leftie forehand, but it's merely a tremor - big serve out wide, break maintained.

Nieminen 1-3 Murray *
Nemo a little nervous out there. He double-faults to proffer another breaker, misses the first serve and then tosses down a lame second at no more than 95 mph - slapped into the tape by Murray with lazy footwork. That's more like it - a brace of backhands, one a delightful angler across the court and another all pace and spit. Another break point - second serve - no, top-edged high into the crowd, and the Queen flings away her hat before going full length to take a sensational one-handed catch. I'm joking - she sits motionless as a humble subject muffs the skier. Forehand into the net from Murray, and Nemo is on the board.

* Nieminen 0-3 Murray
The Murray serve starting to click now, and the early nerves seem to have gone. A restrained fist-pump as a big one out to Nemo's forehand seals the game, and an enthusiastic fan down there by the scoreboard waves the Royal Standard of Scotland - the horizontal yellow flag with the raging red lion on it. You know the one.

Nieminen 0-2 Murray *
Splendid backhand punching from Murray, watched on by Mama Judy and Ladyfriend Kim. He pins Nemo back before popping away a mid-court forehand winner, and then slices slices slices - the tourniquet tightens, and the strangled Nemo can only frame into the net. Break gone, and Murray's coach Miles Maclagan beams under a bright blue sun-hat.

* Nieminen 0-1 Murray
Big hitting from the Finnish leftie, crunching a double-handed backhand cross-court for a splendid winner. Murray then clouts a lame forehand into the net, and he's offered up two break points here - Nemo dashes onto a forehand and lifts one down the line with fizzing spin - oh, called out, but that looked marginal. Nemo challenges... and Hawk-Eye rebuffs him by the width of a racquet string. Exchange of points - trouble again for Murray, break point down, way beyond the baseline, Nemo at the net... ooof, shocker of a volley into the net, and Murray escapes. Motionless from the Queen. She's bang into this. In her own way.

* denotes next server

1305: Amusingly, Tim Henman - seated one row back from Her Majesticity - subconsciously bows his head back to Murray as the current British no.1 performs his bow.

1303: Yup - here come Murray and Nieminen - what are they going to do? One pace onto court, two, three, still no turn... four, five... and there's the turn back to the Royal Box, the bag laid down on the turf, and a full bow from the waist. Howls of joy around Centre.

1302: Happy roars of support around Centre, although that's not the biggest surprise. I think the door to the players' locker-room is opening...

1301: What's that? The woman in powder blue? It's the Queen!

1258: Hubbub around Centre - it's Tim Henman and Virginia Wade in the Royal Box!

1252: Let's concentrate on the tennis for a moment. Andy Murray vs Jarkko Nieminen - tough match. They've met twice before, and Murray won them both, but expect a decent ding-dong.

1250: Disaster - I've forgotten my shoes. Not sure about these flip-flops with the smart trousers. To wear the socks or not? This is a shambles.


1247: Excuse me one second while I loosen my cravat a fraction. Not easy typing in an enclosed space while wearing a top-hat, but you never know when the Queen might glance over. At least the tails didn't get caught in my bike chain on the cycle in this morning.



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