Matosevic falls in second round epic
UPDATE: Marinko Matosevic has fallen agonisingly short of reaching the third round at Wimbledon, losing to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in a five-set epic.
A heartbreaking five-set loss to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy at Wimbledon was hard enough for Marinko Matosevic to swallow.
But finding out his next opponent would have been unseeded Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky was almost too much to take for the Australian.
Matosevic struggled to speak and had to close his eyes several times to compose himself after being told by reporters Stakhovsky had upset 12th seed Ernests Gulbis on Wednesday.
Already feeling he’d squandered a handful of opportunities in a marathon 6-7(5) 7-6(7) 7-6(9) 4-6 7-5 second-round loss to Chardy, Matosevic could not help but wonder what might have been with his draw opening up.
After finally winning his first ever Grand Slam match at last month’s French Open, Matosevic missed a chance to reach the third round at a major for the first time, or, perhaps, go even further.
“It’s definitely a missed opportunity,” said Matosevic, who won his first Grand Slam match in 13 attempts at Roland Garros before beating 18th seed Fernando Verdasco in the first round at Wimbledon.
“If you would have told me before the French Open and Wimbledon that I’d get the gorilla off my back, I would have taken it.
“But right now with the circumstances, how I lost today and Stakhovsky now winning, it’s going to be even more tough to take.”
The colourful Matosevic rode a wave of emotions in a match lasting four hours and 15 minutes on Wednesday.
Again successfully employing an “old school” serve-and-volley style encouraged by his coach Mark Woodforde, he matched 42nd-ranked Chardy in all aspects in an incredibly close contest.
Both men showed great fight at times but Matosevic gave up a one-break lead in the final set.
“I should close that out really; I played a terrible game to get broken,” the 28-year-old said.
“I felt like I could have won the match in straight sets but then maybe he could have as well. It was a really bad day at the office. Nothing seemed to go right.”
Matosevic will take a short break before gearing up for the US hardcourt season, where he produced some encouraging results last year.