Federer Joins Champions Serena Williams, Nadal in Wimbledon Fourth Round
Second-seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia yesterday overcame Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to move to the second week at the All England Club in south London, as former champion Maria Sharapova and women’s top seed Caroline Wozniacki also won.
There are no matches scheduled today on what’s traditionally called the Middle Sunday. Play resumes tomorrow with both the men’s and women’s fourth rounds.
Federer beat Argentina’s David Nalbandian 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court. The Swiss, seeded third, is trying to equal William Renshaw and Pete Sampras’s record of seven Wimbledon titles. He plays Mikhail Youzhny, the 19th seed from Russia, next.
“I thought today was a particularly good performance by my side, on my serve again,” Federer, who produced 14 aces to Nalbandian’s five, said in a news conference.
Federer earlier this month lost the French Open final to Nadal. It was his first major final since his record-extending 16th Grand Slam singles title at the 2010 Australian Open.
Australian Open champion Djokovic was given a warning for smacking his racquet on the grass after losing a point in the second set against Baghdatis. The Serb, who’s only lost once this season, is seeking his first Wimbledon title.
“To pull a win out of this match is great, I have to be happy with the way I fought through,” Djokovic said in a televised interview after the 3-hour, 15-minute match. “He plays really well on the grass.”
Djokovic’s run of 41 consecutive wins to start the season was ended by Federer in the French Open semifinals. The Serb, who’ll take the No. 1 spot on the ATP World Tour from Nadal should he reach his first Wimbledon final, plays No. 19 Michael Llodra of France in the next round.
Top-seeded Nadal of Spain beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5), 6-0. He’ll next play former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina, who defeated France’s No. 15 seed Gilles Simon.
Serena Williams won in straight sets for the first time since returning from almost a year away with injury and illness, beating Maria Kirilenko of Russia, 6-3, 6-2.
The 13-time Grand Slam singles champion from the U.S. made her comeback at a tournament in Eastbourne, England, last week, where she lost to Vera Zvonareva.
Shortly after beating Zvonareva for her fourth Wimbledon title last year, Williams injured her foot by walking on glass and had treatment for blood clots in her lungs in February. She told reporters yesterday she also injured her shoulder and face after falling off her bicycle in Florida in October.
“Best I played since I came back,” Williams said. “I wasn’t as tight and nervous. I was able to relax a bit more.” She’ll play France’s Marion Bartoli, who beat Italian Flavia Pennetta in three sets, in the fourth round.
Nadal won a match suspended from the previous night by rain. The Spaniard said he still felt the effects of slipping on the grass before the stoppage.
“I felt the leg little bit more tired than usual,” he said in a press conference. “Today I am still feeling it a little bit. But this is not limiting my game. I can play without problems.”
The former top-ranked Sharapova defeated Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-3, while Denmark’s Wozniacki beat Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia, 6-3, 6-2.
Wozniacki, who is playing her third Grand Slam event as the world’s best female tennis player, has yet to win a major. Her best performance at Wimbledon was the fourth round in 2009 and 2010.
Three-time major winner Sharapova, who took the Wimbledon title aged 17 in 2004, will next play No. 20 Peng Shuai of China, who beat Hungary’s Melina Czink in straight sets.
Austria’s Tamira Paszek beat No. 6 Francesca Schiavone of Italy, the 2010 French Open winner, 6-3, 4-6, 11-9, while No. 5 Robin Soderling of Sweden became the highest-seeded man eliminated after losing to Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic 6- 1, 6-4, 7-5. Tomic, 18, next plays Xavier Malisse of Belgium, who knocked out No. 11 Jurgen Melzer of Austria.
Tomas Berdych, last year’s runner-up, beat Alex Bogomolov Jr. of the U.S., 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. He’ll next play Mardy Fish, the only American man left in the singles draw. Fish was leading 6- 3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 1-1 when Robin Haase of the Netherlands quit with an injury.
Other men’s winners yesterday were No. 7 David Ferrer of Spain, No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, and Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot, who upset No. 9 Gael Monfils of France.
Julia Goerges, the No. 16 seed from Germany, and former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia both lost in straight sets. Sabine Lisicki, who upset French Open champion Li Na in the previous round, beat Japan’s Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-2.
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