Calleri Outlasts Srichaphan
Written by Sally Easton
Tuesday, 27 June, 2006
In a muscular, marathon match lasting more than three hours, Argentine Agustin Calleri pushed aside 29th seed Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
The 29-year-old Calleri is back at Wimbledon after a two year absence, and, until today, he lacked current experience on grass, having played just one match on the surface in three years. But in a gutsy tie, this was no deterrent against Asia’s top tennis player.
The match was delicately poised at 5-4, 0-15 after yesterday’s rain-affected play, but Calleri promptly finished his service game to square the match at 5-5. A tiebreak ensued, which 27-year-old Srichaphan dominated, gaining three set points with a driving forehand that drew tramline chalk. He needed just one of them.
After an evenly-fought, 42-minute, second set, it was the third set that was the turning point for Calleri. Mid-way through the set his desperation to break through Srichaphan’s defences showed, but his grit didn’t waver.
At 4-3 up, Calleri’s cross-court drive service return forced an error from Srichaphan for break point. A fierce exchange forced Srichaphan wide to the forehand court. Calleri didn’t waste the single break opportunity he had created for 5-3. After a nervous start to 0-30, he served out the set with four straight points, finishing it off neatly with a delicious ace.
After the ebb and flow of the fourth set, which Srichaphan won with the help of a favourable net cord ball that broke the Calleri serve, an epic fifth set was unfurled. Calleri finally broke serve in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead. Now on the ascendant, not even winding himself diving for a volley could stop his march.