Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain, number 36 in the world, played his second round match of the 2016 Wimbledon Championship on Court 17 on Thursday afternoon. His opponent was the 25th seed from Serbia, Viktor Troicki. The match was very close and after splitting the first four between them, the two players were headed for a fifth and final set. In the fifth set, the Spaniard broke first and that was enough for him to seal the win 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in two hours and 57 minutes. Ramos-Vinolas will next face Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
Troicki Wins a Tight First Set
Troicki held his first service game with no huge problems, whilst Ramos-Vinolas struggled in his first service game but finished the game with two back to back aces to level the set to 1-1. In the third game, it was the Serb's turn to struggle on serve and he gifted the Spaniard the first break point of the match; Ramos-Vinolas missed his chance and Troicki went 2-1 up. Another tight game followed but Ramos-Vinolas held again.
In the fifth game, after three tight games, we finally saw an easy hold for Troicki. In the sixth game, Troicki finally got his first break point but Ramos-Vinolas saved it. Luckily for the Serb, he got another chance and this time he didn't miss and after a long rally, he finally got the coveted first break of the match. After 28 minutes, the 25th seed was 4-2 up in the first set.
The number 36 had a chance to break right back but he failed to convert the break point and found himself serving to stay in the set in the following game. The Spaniard managed to hold and forced the Serb to serve for the set, which he did with ease. 6-3 Troicki took the first set in 39 minutes.
One Break Enough for Ramos-Vinolas to Take the Second Set
The first three games were all won comfortably by the server. In the fourth game, Ramos-Vinolas finally got another break-point opportunity, his second in the match and the first since the third game of the first set, and he didn't fail to capitalize this time. The Spaniard then consolidated the break by holding his next service game and he found himself leading 4-1 in the second set.
After two holds, the Serb was serving to stay in the match and he held and asked the number 36 the 'serve it out' question; Ramos had no troubles whatsoever and after only 31 minutes, the second set was his, 6-3.
The Third Set Goes the Spaniard's Way as well
Ramos rode the waves of momentum, broke to start the third set and was finally ahead for the first time in the match. He struggled to consolidate and had to save two break points in a very long game but he finally managed it and went 2-0 up. The next three games were routine holds and the Spaniard was leading 3-2.
In the sixth game, the Serb went 30-0 up on the Spaniard's serve but Ramos-Vinolas quickly leveled to 30-30, leaving the Serb lying on the grass after rolling over in an attempt to get to the ball. The number 36 won the next two points as well and found himself two games away from a two sets to one lead.
A few minutes later, the 25th seed served to stay in the third set at 5-3; he got very upset when at 30-30, the empire called the Spaniard's ball in and thus gave Ramos-Vinolas a set point, and showed the umpire the ball, yelling there is no chalk on it. The number 36 wasn't fazed by the drama and took the point and the set with a great forehand winner at the end of a long rally. This set ended 6-3 as well, but this time around it took Ramos-Vinolas 40 minutes.
Troicki Forces a Fifth Set
The Serb was still fuming at the start of the fourth game about the call in the end of the third set that he felt was wrong and unfair to him and he channeled his anger to break the Spaniard to 15 in the first game. Ramos-Vinolas had a chance to break back when he went 40-30 in Troicki's service game but he failed to grab it and the 25th seed increased his lead to 2-0.
Seeing how one break was enough in each set for the player who won it, a fifth set was looking highly possible at that point. The Spaniard fought to get back in the set and held to reduce it to 2-1 but a hold to love gave Troicki the lead again.
The number 36, who hadn't given up on winning the set and wanted to avoid a fifth set, managed to win his next service game as well. The Serb, in return, stepped up his game and won the next three games to claim the set 6-2 in only 32 minutes and we were heading for a fifth set.
Ramos-Vinolas Wins in Five Sets; Troicki Has a Meltdown
Ramos-Vinolas held to 30 to start his campaign in the fifth set and Troicki's answer was holding to 15. Both players were giving all they had in their service games, knowing very well that one break would probably be the end of their Wimbledon journey.
The trend of holding easily continued and after a few minutes it was 3-2 in the Spaniard's favor, on serve. The number 36 could sniff a break point opportunity in the sixth game when he went 30-15 up on the 25th seed serve but Troicki quickly won the next three points with some fine serving and leveled the set to 3-3.
Ramos-Vinolas won his next service game as well and in the eighth game, he finally got two break points in a row, and he converted the second. The Spaniard was serving for the match at 5-3 but it wasn't easy and the Serb gave him a fight. At 30-30, the empire called the Spaniard's serve that seemed long 'in' and Troicki who didn't even move towards the ball, lost his composure again and yelled at the chair umpire again, showing him the ball and demanding him to look at it just once.
Troicki didn't get his way and even got a code violation and a backhanded unforced from him in the next point handed the number 36 the 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win in two hours and 57 minutes.
The Serb was furious at the chair umpire and kept yelling at him for several minutes, accusing him of making 30 mistakes for both sides and calling him "horrible" and "the worst umpire ever in the world".
A Look at the Final Match Statistics
The statistics show how close the match really was. Ramos-Vinolas and Troicki won the same percent of points on serve (65) and their percent of receiving points won was also identical (35). Both players also won the same number of points overall in the match (138). The crucial difference was the number of break points won; The Spaniard won four of nine and the Serb only three of 10. That one extra break of serve, at the perfect timing (the fifth set), is what won the match for the number 36.