Federer, Murray, Roddick reach Wimbledon quarters

Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) – Five-time champion Roger Federer, British hopeful Andy Murray and two-time runner-up Andy Roddick won their fourth-round matches Monday at The Championships, Wimbledon.

For the second time this month, the former world No. 1 Federer defeated free- swinging Swede Robin Soderling, this time in 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5) fashion at the storied All England Club. Federer also topped Soderling, seeded 13th here, in straight sets in the French Open final 22 days ago, as the super Swiss became the sixth man in history to corral a career Grand Slam and equal Pete Sampras with a record-tying 14th major singles title.

Federer won the first set against Soderling on Day 7 by breaking the Swede in the 10th game of the stanza. The two players then held serve throughout the second set, which the Swiss snuck out via tiebreak.

At 4-4 in the third set, Soderling got his first break-point chance of the match, but netted a backhand on a second serve, as Federer went on to hold for a 5-4 edge. The Swiss went on to claim another tiebreak and reach a seventh straight Wimbledon quarterfinal.

Federer swatted 23 aces and held his serve throughout against Soderling, who is now 0-11 lifetime against the sublime Swiss.

“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, waited for my chance.”

The reigning French Open and U.S. Open champion Federer, seeded second at this year’s fortnight, was last year’s Wimbledon runner-up to Rafael Nadal, as the Swiss lost a 40-match winning streak on these hallowed lawns.

The amazing Federer is 69-1 in his last 70 matches on grass overall and has reached at least the quarters in 21 straight Grand Slam events.

Federer’s quarterfinal opponent on Wednesday will be massive-serving 6-foot-10 Croat Ivo Karlovic.

The third-seeded Murray, last year’s U.S. Open runner-up to Federer, outlasted 19th-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in the latest- ever match played on Centre Court. Murray will now appear in his second straight Wimbledon quarterfinal.

The Murray-Wawrinka match became the first-ever official match to both start and end under the new retractable roof on Centre Court. The match ended, inside under the lights, at 10:39 pm local time. The previous latest-ever finish on Centre Court was 9:35 pm, without a roof, of course.

The first time the roof was used was actually in the match before Murray’s on Monday, as Dinara Safina and Amelie Mauresmo were doing battle in the second set when the roof was closed because of light rain, marking the first weather delay of this 2009 fortnight.

The translucent roof remained closed following the Safina-Mauresmo match, despite the fact that there were clear skies outside for the Murray-Wawrinka encounter.

After dropping the first set against Wawrinka, Murray got back into the match by breaking his Swiss counterpart for a 5-3 lead in the second and then held serve to level the bout.

The 22-year-old Murray appeared to be in control of the match after cruising in the third set, but Wawrinka made things interesting in the fourth by breaking the Scotsman for a 6-5 edge and then held his serve to send it into a fifth and deciding stanza.

Murray jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the fifth set, which included a service break in the second game, but Wawrinka wouldn’t go away, as the Swiss got the break back to pull within 2-3 and then held to make it 3-all in the high-quality affair.

But Murray would fire up the crowd again by breaking Wawrinka for a 5-3 lead and capped the day’s events by holding serve to advance. Murray converted on his first match point by striking a forehand winner into an open court after 3 hours, 57 minutes of electric tennis.

The game Wawrinka popped 17 aces, but Murray recorded five breaks, compared to four for the Swiss loser.

Murray’s quarterfinal opponent on Wednesday will be former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

The fiery Murray, the highest-seeded Brit here since Roger Taylor in 1973, is trying to become the first British male to capture Wimbledon in 73 years (Fred Perry 1936).

The sixth-seeded Roddick posted his first straight-set win of the fortnight by handling 20th-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-3. Roddick broke Berdych to claim the second set at 6-4 and would cruise after that.

Roddick committed a mere eight unforced errors, uncorked 24 aces among his 46 winners and did not face a break point on Day 7.

The former world No. 1 and former U.S. Open champion Roddick was the 2004 and 2005 Wimbledon runner-up to Federer. He reached the quarters here for the fifth time in nine years.

Roddick’s quarterfinal opponent will be gritty Aussie star Lleyton Hewitt, who is 6-5 lifetime against the big-serving American.

The former Wimbledon champion Hewitt continued his surprising 2009 run here by coming from behind to oust 23rd-seeded Czech Radek Stepanek 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

The unseeded former world No. 1 Hewitt titled here in 2002 for the second of his two career major titles.

Fourth-seeded Serbian star Novak Djokovic booked his spot in the quarters with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 beating of Israeli Dudi Sela. The former Aussie Open champion Djokovic was a semifinalist here two years ago.

Djokovic’s quarterfinal opponent will be resurgent 24th-seeded German Tommy Haas, who got past 29th-seeded Russian Igor Andreev 7-6 (10-8), 6-4, 6-4. Haas will play in his first-ever Wimbledon quarterfinal this week, in this his 11th trip here.

The 31-year-old Haas is currently riding a nine-match winning streak, all on grass. He captured his first-ever grass-court title in his native Germany three weeks ago by upsetting Djokovic in the final in Halle.

The aforementioned towering Karlovic posted an upset by dousing seventh-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 7-6 (11-9). The 22nd- seeded Karlovic launched 35 aces and was not broken by the lefthanded Verdasco on Day 7. Karlovic managed only one break en route to victory.

Karlovic has piled up 137 aces through his first four matches here.

Another unseeded former No. 1, the aforementioned Ferrero, reached his second Wimbledon quarterfinal in three years by dismissing eighth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-2. The talented Ferrero is a former French Open champion and former U.S. Open runner-up.

The men will have the day off on Tuesday, with all four quarterfinals scheduled for Wednesday.

New By: OddsandNews.com

Serena, Dementieva reach fourth round at Wimbledon

Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) – Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva advanced into the fourth round at Wimbledon Friday, posting straight set victories at the All England Club.

Williams has now reached at least the fourth round in eight of her 10 appearances in the only grass Grand Slam of the year, needing 1 hour, 7 minutes to post a 6-3, 6-4 win over Italy’s Roberta Vinci. This was the first- ever meeting between the two players.

A 10-time major titlist and two-time Wimbledon champion, Williams had her serve broken twice but managed to record four breaks of serve, winning 65 of the 116 total points. She used her powerful ground game to push past Vinci, blasting 34 winners to her opponent’s 14.

The second-seeded Williams has set up a fourth round matchup with Daniela Hantuchova, whom she has beaten six out of seven times in her career. Hantuchova is in the fourth round of Wimbledon for the third time in four years after ousting Japan’s Ai Sugiyama 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour, 36 minutes.

Williams and Hantuchova have met twice at Wimbledon, in 2007 and 2002, with Williams taking both matches.

Dementieva, the fourth seed and reigning Olympic gold medalist, was an easy 6-1, 6-2 winner over fellow Russian compatriot Regina Kulikova. Like Williams and Vinci, it was the first time the two have played each other. Kulikova was playing in her first-ever Grand Slam tournament and upset 27th-seed Alisa Kleybanova in three sets in the second round.

The two-time major finalist Dementieva is still in search of her first major crown, having been a semifinalist in the previous three Grand Slam events. In only 59 minutes, Dementieva won 58-of-86 points, forcing her opponent into 21 unforced errors.

Next up for the Russian star is Elena Vesnina, whom Dementieva has beaten twice in as many tries. Vesnina went the distance with 14th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova but was able to pull off a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 victory in a grueling 3 hours, 3 minutes.

In other third round action, 26th-seeded Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano ensured her best-ever Wimbledon finish with a walkover victory over seventh-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva. Zvonareva was forced to withdraw due to an ankle injury — originally suffered in an April match against Razzano — that caused her to miss eight weeks earlier in the season.

Razzano will next play the winner of the match between Marion Bartoli and Francesca Schiavone.

Tenth-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia recovered after losing the first set to defeat unseeded Argentine Gisela Dulko 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Petrova used a solid ground game to come back for the victory, posting 33 winners to only 17 for Dulko.

Petrova will move on to face rising Belarussian star and eighth seed Victoria Azarenka, who posted a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 win over 28th-seeded Sorana Cirstea to move on to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time. Azarenka recently had her best Grand Slam finish, advancing to the quarterfinals at the French Open earlier this month. Azarenka has faced Petrova three times, with Petrova winning two, including a third round battle in last year’s Wimbledon.

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