Pouille Continues Dream Wimbledon Run Over Tomic
The Frenchman rallied for a five-set victory
Lucas Pouille had never won a match on grass prior to this fortnight, but the Frenchman has now won four in a row and is through to his first Grand Slam quarter-final. The No. 32 seed fought from 2-4 down in the deciding set on Monday at Wimbledon to defeat No. 19 seed Bernard Tomic, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.
“Before the tournament, [my goal] was to win one match on grass. I’m very happy and very emotional with the win today,” said Pouille. “I’ll try to recover as good as possible for Wednesday. I think it will be one of the most important matches of my career so far… But for the moment, I’m just trying to enjoy it.”
He will play the winner of the match between No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych and unseeded Jiri Vesely, who are deadlocked at two sets each after their all-Czech fourth-round match couldn’t be completed on Monday. Vesely saved five match points to level the match when play was suspended due to darkness 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(8), 7-6(9).
Pouille has never played Berdych, but Vesely leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 2-0.
Tomic and Pouille traded breaks to start the match, but the 22 year old broke Tomic once again at 5-4 to grab the opening set. The Australian landed 80 per cent of his first serves in the second set and gave Pouille no opportunities in his return games. A backhand winner gave Tomic the lone break of the set to lead 4-3 and he rode that advantage to level the match at one set each.
At 3-3 in the third set, a rash of errors from Pouille gave Tomic two breaks to grab the set and a commanding lead. Pouille bounced back in the fourth set with a trio of backhand winners to break Tomic for a 3-2 lead. He then fired an ace on his first set point to bring the match to a deciding fifth set.
Tomic earned a break of serve to lead 4-2 in the deciding set, but dropped it in the next game with a pair of forehand errors. Pouille served to stay in the match four consecutive times, then rifled a backhand passing shot to earn his first break of the set and lead 9-8. He closed out the match with a pair of aces and collapsed on his back in celebration.
Pouille had only recorded two Grand Slam main draw wins in his career prior to arriving in London. He has climbed from No. 90 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in January to his current place at No. 30 and will reach a career-high ranking when next week’s standings are released.