Belfast Telegraph

Wimbledon: Lu dedicates incredible Roddick victory to memory of late father

Wimbledon uncovered a new star as chicken farmer's son Yen-Hsun Lu knocked out fifth seed Andy Roddick and dedicated the stunning victory to his late father.

The Taiwanese 26-year-old caused a stir two years ago when he beat Andy Murray at the Olympics, but victory on the Wimbledon grand slam stage against last year's runner-up makes his win a greater achievement.

The world number 82 held his nerve in a five-set thriller on Court Two to win 4-6 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/4) 6-7 (5/7) 9-7 in four hours and 36 minutes.

Roddick lost a classic final to Roger Federer last year but could not shake off Lu, who will face Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals tomorrow having never previously gone past the second round at Wimbledon.

Lu, blown away by his victory, revealed the debt he owed to his father, who died in 2000, at the outset of his tennis career.

“I'm really thankful to my family,” he said. “I'm really upset because my father has already passed away. I'm really proud of myself and I share this victory with him in the sky. I hope he saw this match.

“I did it for my father. I did it for myself also. I did it for all the people who support me.

“My father was not a real coach, but he spent a lot of time driving me to the tennis coach, to the school. He took care of everything.

“He was always planning which direction I should go, whether I should go to school or keep going professional. At that moment, he passed away.

“So I'm just upset that I did it, and he wasn't with me. That's why I'm just very sad about this. But now I think he's here and he's also very happy for me.”

Lu had the option to follow his father into the chicken business.

He said: “My father sold chickens. Not the meat, but the live chickens. So I can catch a chicken.

“I tried a few times but I didn't really like it because the smell was really bad.

“It is very tough work. They work from one in the morning to six in the morning. At that time the chicken cannot run away because they cannot see.”

Lu has never been higher than 55th in the world rankings, and the 26-year-old quietly reached the fourth round without having to knock out a seed.

His previous victims were Argentina's Horacio Zeballos, Poland's Michal Przysiezny and German Florian Mayer, and although Lu had not dropped a set Roddick was expected to sweep past him and into the last eight.

He had played Roddick three times before, losing all three including defeats in consecutive tournaments at Indian Wells and Memphis earlier this year.

Lu has played six previous Wimbledons but until this year he had recorded only two victories.

Last year he was the first of Federer's victims.

Fifth seed Roddick was clearly upset by the result, but gave his opponent credit.

“I thought he served better than he has against me before,” Roddick said. “But I had chances and I didn't take advantage of them.

“Through three sets I was playing horrendously. Really, really badly, to the point where I was thinking how to put balls on the court. But he deserved this, that’s for sure.”

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