Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerRoger Federer (SUI) and Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)
Records fall... and fall
As if there wasn’t enough drama this week with Tsonga-Raonic and Melo-Soares v Berdych-Stepanek setting new Olympic Tennis Event records on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, now a new tennis record has been set!
Already a history maker in his own right, Roger Federer played the longest set of his life in his 4-6 7-6(5) 19-17 defeat of Juan Martin del Potro which at 4 hours 26 minutes became the longest ever men’s singles best-of-three-sets match in the Open Era.
The match time surpassed the 2009 Madrid semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic which lasted 4 hours 3 minutes.
One of Juan Martin del Potro’s thousands of fans inside Centre Court included American basketball player Kobe Bryant. The LA Lakers shooting guard, who was paying his first visit to The All England Club, was also in south-west London to cheer on his countrywoman Serena Williams.
Little did he think he would be waiting nearly four-and-a-half hours for the first match on Centre Court to finish, after Federer finally triumphed to book his place in his first gold medal match in men's singles.
"For me it was great to be a part of history and see that match," said Bryant, who explained that he never normally got the chance to visit Wimbledon as it always clashed with the NBA season in the USA.
He thought Serena had "an incredible chance" to win gold and when asked about his own Olympic experience he said: "We're winning so it's all good right now!”
Olympic legend, sprinter Frankie Fredericks, was also at Wimbledon on Friday, along with the Duchess of Gloucester who was being escorted by Tim Henman. Microsoft’s Bill Gates made a return to Wimbledon, while it was a first-time visit to the Olympic Tennis Event for MP Theresa May and House of Commons speaker John Bercow.