LONDON • Tomas Berdych battled the elements and a gritty display by his unseeded Croatian opponent Ivan Dodig yesterday before sealing a 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) win.
With the rain cutting a swathe through the programme for the second day running, the 10th-seeded Czech served for the match when play resumed after it was called off with him leading 4-1 in the fourth set the previous day.
But in damp, windy conditions that gradually turned to steady drizzle and led to play being called off on all but one of Wimbledon's other outside courts, Dodig broke serve and saved two match points before taking the match to a tie-break.
But Berdych, runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the All England Club in 2010 and contesting his 52nd consecutive Grand Slam, steadied his nerves to take the tie-break 7-2 when he forced a backhand error from Dodig.
"It was really an up-and-down match. It should have been done yesterday. But it's good to finish now since my opponents already finished (their first-round matches) yesterday," Berdych said.
"Now let's wait and see what's going to happen in the upcoming days. You just have to keep your focus and be ready for the next match."
The Czech, vocal in his criticism of how French Open officials managed rain interruptions at Roland Garros this month, next plays unseeded German Benjamin Becker.
Play on all outside courts was suspended until 1.30 GMT (8.30pm Singapore time) yesterday, with further rain delays forecast into the evening.
Centre Court action began on time with the roof closed.
Women's No. 3 seed Agnieska Radwanska eased through a similar rain-delayed first-round match, beating Ukraine's Kateryna Kozlova 6-2, 6-1 in just an hour.
The Pole raced into an early lead, breaking twice in the four first games before being pegged back by Kozlova, who did not seem in the least bit overawed despite making her debut at Wimbledon under the roof on Centre Court.
Radwanska, who reached the final in 2012, has never lost a first-round Wimbledon match and she kept up that record, sealing victory on her third match point.
"Yes of course, a one-hour match is always good especially with that weather so I am very happy with that win and ready for the next one," the Pole said.
"It's like an indoor tournament (when it rains) so we have to get used to that, of course it's different without the sun and wind but it's good we could play today.
"Now I can go home and watch Wimbledon!" she quipped.
Radwanska added: "I am trying every year to do better and better, I was close (to winning the title) a couple of times, it's another year to try and hopefully I can go one step further this year."
REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN
WIMBLEDON DAY 4
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