Roger Federer pummelled Robin Soderling in a replay of the French Open final to move within three wins of an all-time record 15 Grand Slam singles title on Monday at Wimbledon, laying down 23 aces to top the Swede 6-4, 7-6(5), 7-6(5).
Federer improved to 11-0 against the dangerous Soderling who nonetheless has been his personal punching bag during his career.
“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.”
Former world No. 2 and Wimbledon No. 24 seed Tommy Haas also continued his run on Monday, straight-setting No. 29 seed Igor Andreev 7-6(8), 6-4, 6-4 to set up a meeting with Novak Djokovic, who eased past Dudi Sela in straight sets.
Andy Roddick advanced to an all-former-No. 1 meeting with former Wimbledon champ Lleyton Hewitt after defeating Czech Tomas Berdych 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-3. Difficult to beat when he’s serving 70 percent, the top American delivered 24 aces to arrange a meeting with the gutsy Hewitt, who came from two sets down to defeat Czech Radek Stepanek in five.
“It doesn’t get any easier from here,” Roddick said. “I have loads of respect for Lleyton, what he’s been able to accomplish. Everyone knows he’s certainly capable of playing very, very, very well on this surface.”
After dropping the first two sets Hewitt turned things up in the third, breaking Stepanek’s serve twice, then twice in the fourth set.
“I was able to start dictating play a little bit more and sort of put a bit more pressure on his forehand,” Hewitt said. “He was hitting his backhand extremely well. He was attacking both sides off it and returning well if I missed my first serve. My serve definitely picked up from then on in, though. I was struggling a little bit pushing off with my left leg on the serve. Got better as the match went on.”
Other players into the quarterfinals were (3) Andy Murray who survived a late-night closed-roof encounter against (19) Stan Wawrinka 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3; (22) Ivo Karlovic who set up a meeting with Federer by service-bludgeoning (7) Fernando Verdasco in four sets and three tiebreaks; and unseeded former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero who defeated (8) Gilles Simon in straights.
“It was pretty special, I thought Stan played a great match,” Murray told the audience on-court after the match. “The standard he set at the start was tough to keep up with. He was playing great and he came out with some big shots. In five-set matches there are these momentum shifts sometimes. It was great, always when you play indoors the atmosphere is great, but when you’ve got 15,000 supporters it makes it extra special, so thanks a lot.”
The men will resume play on Wednesday as the women take to the court Tuesday for their quarterfinals.
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