In a few weeks, Paul Goldstein will get the proper perspective on his performance at Wimbledon, and he'll be happy. But for today, all the 22-year-old Rockville native could think of was his missed opportunity and the five straight games he let Canadian Daniel Nestor win to close out their third-round match, 6-3, 6-7 (7-3), 6-0, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4.
Nestor will go on to play Pete Sampras in the tournament's second week. Goldstein will go on vacation to Maine with friends.
"It's just hard because right now I'm really disappointed," Goldstein said. "If I had played my best and he had just beaten me, that would be one thing, but I gave him the opportunity to make shots, and that's how he beat me, by making them."
Goldstein foiled himself several times throughout the match, losing the first set after going up a break and making his work much harder in the second set, faltering after taking a 5-3 lead. He was completely dominated in the third set, but he showed tremendous grit in the fourth, fending off two match points on his own serve. He won the fourth-set tiebreaker and started cruising through the fifth set, going up 4-1, but then he froze, letting Nestor win out to take the match.
"It's frustrating because I thought I learned this lesson before about finishing off a match," Goldstein said. "It's good to learn from your mistakes, but you don't want to have to be learning it too many times."
Goldstein's performance here matches his third-round showing at the Australian Open earlier this year. The No. 112-ranked player when the tournament started, Goldstein will break the top 100 with this result, guaranteeing him a berth in the U.S. Open later this year. He also has committed to play the Legg Mason Classic in Washington in August.
Courier vs. Henman -- Again
Jim Courier's draining five-set victory today put him into the fourth round against British favorite Tim Henman, who will be looking to avenge Courier's victories against England in the Davis Cup earlier this year. Courier led the U.S. team with victories over both Henman and Greg Rusedski, who are much higher-ranked players.
"It's perfect, the Brits are already sweating," John McEnroe said. "Obviously Henman is the favorite, he's got a better all-around grass court game. But Courier's got that, and he's never lost to Henman. There's a great opportunity for [Henman] to erase some demons, and get over that Davis Cup debacle where the Brits choked their fannies off." . . .
A spectator wandered onto Court Two today during Anna Kournikova's victory. The intrusion was an accident -- the outer courts here are directly beside pedestrian walkways -- but it brought up security questions. In 1993, Monica Seles was stabbed during a changeover when playing a match in Germany.
"It's a tough question, but I like when the courts are small and when the spectators are close to you," Kournikova said. "It feels cozy and warm."