The Championships, Wimbledon
Moodie-Norman Spoil Knowles' 1000th Match
by ATP Staff|
Mark Knowles reached a milestone in his quarter-final appearance Wednesday at Wimbledon – playing in his 1000th career doubles match – but Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman celebrated the victory at day’s end, teaming up for a 7-6(9), 5-7, 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-4 win over fourth-seeded Knowles and partner Mahesh Bhupathi.
Knowles and Bhupathi did not drop serve until the fifth set, but it proved to be the decisive factor as Moodie and Norman served out the win in three hours and seven minutes. Moodie and Norman, seeded ninth at The Championships, finished the match with 23 aces and 98 winners.
Moodie and Norman will next face a semi-final rematch with top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, whom they upset in three sets at Roland Garros last month to reach the final on their team’s Grand Slam debut (l. to Dlouhy-Paes). Since combining forces earlier this season at Marseille, the South African-Belgian duo has compiled an impressive 15-3 mark – winning their past eight matches.
Moodie, the 2005 Wimbledon doubles champion (w/Huss), and Norman have proven invincible on grass this season. They claimed their team’s first title at ‘s-Hertogenbosch on the eve of The Championships, and Moodie teamed up with Russian Mikhail Youzhny to clinch The Queen’s Club title the week prior.
The 37-year-old Knowles, who was attempting to complete the career Grand Slam this week, has played in the most doubles matches of active players on the ATP World Tour. He is the sixth player to reach the 1000-match plateau, joining Cyril Suk (1147), Sherwood Stewart (1080), Todd Woodbridge (1042), Rick Leach (1038) and Jonas Bjorkman (1015).
In the other doubles quarter-final Wednesday, Americans James Blake and Mardy Fish defeated Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley 7-6(5), 6-4, 7-6(5) to set up a meeting with No. 2 seeds and defending champions Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic.
Blake and Fish are teaming together for the second time in Grand Slam action, and were quarter-finalists in their one previous appearance four years ago at the Australian Open (l. to Bryan-Bryan). They have played in three tour-level finals, all on U.S. soil, winning two titles in 2004 at San Jose and Houston and finishing runners-up in 2006 at Memphis.