82nd-ranked Lu crashes Wimbledon quarterfinals
|Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun waves to the crowd as he celebrates his win over Andy Roddick of the U.S. at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, Monday, June 28, 2010.|
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are there. So are Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Robin Soderling.
But there's one name among the list of Wimbledon quarterfinals that may not be quite so familiar - Yen-hsun Lu.
He's the 82nd-ranked player from Taiwan who shocked three-time runner-up Andy Roddick to become the first Asian player to reach the men's quarters of a Grand Slam tournament in 15 years.
The 26-year-old from Taipei pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament so far Monday when he outlasted fifth-seeded Roddick 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 9-7 in a match that stretched over 4 1/2 hours.
After Lu ripped a running forehand passing shot on match point to break Roddick for the first time, he looked and pointed to the sky. He said he had bittersweet feelings in memory of his father, a chicken farmer who passed away in 2000.
"I'm really proud to share this victory with him in the sky," Lu said. "In that moment, I just told myself, I've done it. I've done it for my father. I've done it for myself also. I've done it for all the people who supported me."
It was a stunning turnaround for Lu, who had lost in the first round at Wimbledon the past four years and failed to win a match at the last five Grand Slams.
Lu said he didn't believe he could win during Monday's match but told himself to keep fighting and keep holding serve.
"I just tried to stay with him, try to find a chance to win the set, set by set, until at the end, I was shaking his hand and I won," he said.
Before Monday, Lu was 9-18 in Grand Slam matches, 11-17 on grass and 2-10 overall against top-10 ranked players. It was his first win over a top-10 player since he beat Murray in the first round of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
It was a crushing defeat for Roddick, who was hoping to finally win his first Wimbledon title after losing three times to Federer in the finals, including last year's epic match that went to 16-14 in the fifth set. He had beaten Lu in straight sets in three previous meetings.
Roddick served 38 aces but converted only one of eight breakpoint chances. Lu had 22 aces.
Roddick said he played "horrendously" the first three sets, got better after that but Lu served better than ever before.
"When you dig yourself a hole, it's tough to get out," he said. "He played high risk, but he executed very well. He had a game plan, he stuck to it, and he deserved to win more than I did, that's for sure."
Lu had become the first man from Taiwan to reach the third round at a Slam when he did at the 2009 Australian Open. The last Asian man to reach the quarterfinals at a Slam was Japan's Shuzo Matsuoka, who got to the final eight at Wimbledon in 1995. Thailand's Paradorn Srichapan reached the round of 16 here in 2003.
Lu earned a quarterfinal meeting with third-seeded Djokovic, who beat 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to reach the last eight for the second year in a row.
Federer, chasing a record-tying seventh Wimbledon title, swept past 16th-seeded Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 and will meet Tomas Berdych.
Nadal, forced into five sets the previous two rounds, needed only three Monday to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, and showed no sign of the right knee trouble which bothered him. The Spaniard now faces sixth-seeded Robin Soderling, the Swede who beat him in the fourth round at the French Open last year and lost to him in last month's final in Paris.
"I think the match is completely different," Nadal said. "Nothing similar to playing on grass than on clay."
Murray beat American Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final eight for the third consecutive year and is the only player in the men's draw who hasn't lost a set.
Murray, seeking to become the first British player to win the men's singles title since Fred Perry in 1936, will next meet 10th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The men have the day off Tuesday, which is set aside for the women's quarterfinals.
Kim Clijsters will face Vera Zvonareva on Centre Court, followed by defending champion and top-seeded Serena Williams against China's Li Na. Venus Williams, the No. 2-seeded player and five-time champion, will be up against Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova on Court 1, followed by Petra Kvitova vs. qualifier Kaia Kanepi.