Wimbledon: Federer advances to quarterfinals
Published 12:00 am Monday, June 29, 2009
WIMBLEDON, England ó Centre Court fans applauded Roger Federer’s latest win at Wimbledon. And they really roared for the roof.
Five-time champion Federer advanced to the quarterfinals on a day Wimbledon went indoors. Some 90 minutes after Federer was done Monday, rain halted play with Amelie Mauresmo leading top-ranked Dinara Safina, 6-4, 1-4, and officials ordered the new retractable roof closed for the remainder of the match. Safina rallied to win, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Federer hit 23 aces, never lost serve and beat familiar foil Robin Soderling 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5). Federer improved to 11-0 against Soderling, including a victory in the French Open final three weeks ago to complete a career Grand Slam.
This time the No. 2-seeded Federer came through on a handful of key points. He earned the only service break of the match in the ninth game of the opening set, when Soderling committed five unforced errors to fall behind for good, 5-4.
Soderling led in the final tiebreaker but double-faulted on the next-to-last point, then hit an errant return.
“Today was hard to get through a really dangerous match,” Federer said. “Not many rallies, so maybe not as much fun for the people. But I stayed calm.”
With all 16 fourth-round matches scheduled, the Williams sisters remained on course to play an all-family final for the second year in a row.
Five-time champion Venus led 6-1, love-1 when Ana Ivanovic retired with a left thigh injury. Two-time champion Serena beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-1. Venus beat Serena in last year’s final.
American 17-year-old Melanie Oudin’s surprising run ended when she lost to No. 11-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-4, 7-5.
In men’s play, No. 6-seeded Andy Roddick hit 24 aces, never faced a break point and defeated No. 20 Tomas Berdych 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-3.
“I’m having so much fun,” said Roddick, a two-time runner-up to Federer. “I love playing here. It really is an honor, and that’s something that is never lost on me.”
Roddick’s opponent Wednesday will be 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt, who rallied from a two-set deficit for the sixth time in his career to beat No. 23 Radek Stepanek, 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
No. 22 Ivo Karlovic hit 35 aces and beat No. 7 Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (9). The 6-foot-10 Karlovic, who has yet to lose his serve in four matches, will face Federer on Wednesday.
No. 4 Novak Djokovic broke seven times and beat Dudi Sela 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.
On the hottest day of the tournament, the temperature reached 87 degrees on Centre Court before the rain arrived. The roof, built to ensure continuous play on the most famous court in tennis, wasn’t needed during the first week of the tournament.
When the roof closed, many spectators responded with a standing ovation.