Wimbledon: Federer, Roddick in semifinals
Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 2, 2009
WIMBLEDON, England ó Roger Federer neutralized Ivo Karlovic’s huge serves Wednesday to reach the Wimbledon semifinals and move a step closer to a record 15th Grand Slam championship. Two-time finalist Andy Roddick, Andy Murray and Tommy Haas completed the final four.
In a match featuring short points and few rallies, Federer conjured up a few great returns to break the 6-foot-10 Croatian twice and secure a 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (3) victory on another sunbaked day at the All England Club.
Federer, closing in on his sixth Wimbledon title, reached his 21st consecutive semifinal at a Grand Slam tournament and extended his winning streak to 17 matches with another vintage performance on his favorite Centre Court.
“I love the record I have of reaching so many semifinals in Grand Slams in a row ó 21 is quite a number,” Federer said. “It shows how consistent I’ve been.”
It was Federer’s ninth win in 10 matches against Karlovic, who was playing in his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Federer’s next opponent will be Germany’s Haas, who upset fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3 to advance to his first Wimbledon semifinal. The 31-year-old Haas was the oldest player in the quarters, while the 22-year-old Djokovic was the youngest.
The third-seeded Murray swept Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 to reach his first Wimbledon semifinal and keep up his bid to become the first British player to win the men’s title since Fred Perry in 1936.
Murray will face the sixth-seeded Roddick, who served 43 aces and outlasted 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4 in the day’s most competitive match. Hewitt battled back from two sets to one down, before Roddick broke for 5-4 in the fifth and then served out the match ó which ended after 3 hours, 50 minutes when the Australian popped up a forehand half-volley past the baseline.
“It’s a testament to the type of player he is that he kept going and made it such a fight,” said the 26-year-old Roddick, who lost to Federer in the 2004 and ’05 Wimbledon finals. “I think there’s a lot of respect there. We used to get into it a little bit when we were younger, but I think we definitely earned each other’s respect. Now we’re just a couple of old married dudes, so maybe we’ve grown up a little bit.”
Hewitt, who had 21 aces himself, said he did all that he could to deal with Roddick’s rocket serves.
“You know you’re going to get aced a lot,” he said. “I knew that going into the match. You’re going to get some break points and you’re going to see them go pretty quickly as well. It was a matter of trying to hang in there as much as possible and make him play that extra shot. I was nearly able to do it.”