Melzer freezes out Djokovic

Third seed blows two-set lead in quarter-final

Last updated: 2nd June 2010  

Melzer freezes out Djokovic

Back from the brink: Melzer

For somebody who is a chair umpire of so many years and years experience to make such a mistake at that point is unbelievable.

Novak Djokovic
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Jurgen Melzer came from two sets down to send third seed Novak Djokovic crashing out of the French Open at the quarter-final stage.

Melzer, the 22nd seed from Austria, came through 3-6 2-6 6-2 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 in a match lasting four hours and 15 minutes on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

There was little suggestion of the drama to come when Djokovic eased his way through the opening two sets in just over an hour.

But Melzer came to life in the third set, dominating it for the loss of just two games, and then levelled by snatching a tight fourth set in a tie-break.

He then broke in game nine of the decider and served out to complete a stunning turnaround.

Melzer's reward is a last-four meeting with second seed Rafael Nadal, who saw off his fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in straight sets.

Disputed call

Djokovic, however, criticised chair umpire Carlos Bernardes for refusing to over-rule a line call that went against him while Melzer was serving for the match at 5-4 0-15 in the deciding set.

The Serbian was adamant his shot had clipped the line, and although Bernardes came down to check the mark on the clay, the umpire was equally convinced the ball was out.

"For somebody who is a chair umpire of so many years and years experience to make such a mistake at that point is unbelievable," he said.

"I don't know what was going on with him, but the ball looked good from everywhere. Even on the TV, you could see it was good.

"I can't blame him for losing this match, of course. That's one call.

"If that call went in my favour, maybe I would break him.

"That game would be 0-30 and he would feel a little pressure.

"But I should have done my job earlier. That's definitely my fault, and I paid the consequences."

Determined

Melzer revealed he was determined to make a fight of his first grand slam quarter-final after Djokovic won the first two sets with relative ease.

The 29-year-old, who is playing his 32nd major, said: "The only thing I told myself was, 'It's my first quarter-finals in my life in a grand slam. Just don't go away. Just don't make it easy for him. Fight as much as you can'.

"I wasn't playing so bad. I just missed a lot of easy shots when I had the chance and the opportunity to finish the point.

"After that, I got back in, and at 2-2 in the third it was an open match. I think I got a little under his skin after the third set."

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