Andre Sa Remembers Playing On A Packed Centre Court At Wimbledon

Wimbledon Centre Court (photo: Florian Goosmann)

STARNBERG, July 6, 2022

Andre Sa was one of the best South American doubles player on the ATP Tour. The 45-year-old Brazilian captured 11 tour-level titles and reached at least the third round at all four Grand-Slam tournaments. Yet, Sa also advanced to quarterfinals at Wimbledon in singles. Twenty years ago, the Blumenau native faced Briton Tim Henman on Centre Court at SW19.

“He was the crowd favourite and that made it really, really tough,” Sa explained in an interview with BETWAY INSIDER. “2022 was also the year of the World Cup. Brazil played England in the quarterfinals and then the crowd was going crazy. I had the full Center Court with 15,000 people cheering against me.”

En route to the stage of the last eight, Sa beat Frenchman Antony Dupuis, Stefan Koubek of Austria, his compatriot Flavio Saretta and Spain’s Feliciano López. He lost in four sets in a three-hour and ten-minute match to Henman 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

“I think when I won the second set that was when things got tricky. I think they started worrying a little bit. In the third set, I started off with the early break and the crowd was really getting nervous because it had been a long time since a British player won Wimbledon. 

“The way he played like serving and volleying all the time, playing really aggressive. He didn’t give you much time. At the end of the day I think he played better than me.”

Henmann was trying to become the first Briton to lift the trophy at The Championships since Virgina Wade in 1977. The Oxford native fell in the semis to Lleyton Hewitt of Australia.

Sa, who reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 55 the same year, retired from professional tennis in 2018. He played his last doubles match alongside fellow Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci on home soil in Sao Paulo 2018.