No. 5 Robin Soderling def. Lleyton Hewitt 6-7(5), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4. No. 5 Robin Soderling outlasted one of the best fighters in the history of men's tennis in his second round Gentlemen's Singles match at Wimbledon 2011, defeating 2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt in five sets under the roof of Centre Court.
Even in the years past his prime, Hewitt has always been able to bring some pretty special tennis to Wimbledon. The sliding ball works extremely well with his flat, quick strokes, and he was able to jump out to a shocking two-set lead over the fifth-seeded Swede.
But Soderling, who can often seem mopey when losing on the court, refused to fold. Soderling broke late in the third set on his first break point opportunity of the match, and took the fourth as well to force a fifth and final set.
Momentum seemed to swing hugely in Hewitt's favor early in the fifth, as he was able to break Soderling's serve in the third game for only the second time in the match for a 2-1 lead. But Soderling struck back immediately, breaking right back in the fourth game to level the set at 2-2 and get back the momentum that he would not lose.
Serving to stay in the fifth set at 4-5, Hewitt saw two forehand winners from Soderling whip past him, then put two forehand errors of his own to be broken at love to end the match. Soderling fell to his knees in relief and celebration, and continued with several more fist pumps after the handshake.
Soderling has two extremely tough opponents thus far in Hewitt and Philipp Petzschner, but things should get easier in his next few rounds, until a likely match up with Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.
If this does turn out to be Hewitt's final match at Wimbledon, it's an effort of which he should be pretty proud. Sadly, he's more likely to be haunted by it forever.