Hewitt Can’t Cross Finish, Federer is Federer Day 4 at Wimbledon
by Staff | June 23rd, 2011, 5:47 pm

Unseeded former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt, who nine weeks ago was in an ankle cast, provided the biggest near-upset on Day 4 at the All England Club, winning the first two sets off No. 5 seed Robin Soderling before the Swede staged a comeback for a 6-7(5), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 win.

“I love competing,” said the 30-year-old oft-injured Hewitt, shrugging off questions about retirement. “You know, you’re retired for a long time once you’re retired. I hear that from a lot of great athletes. For me, as long as my body’s close to 100 percent, I want to go out there and compete. I still feel like I can obviously give these top guys as much trouble as anyone out there.”

A number of players gave the top seeds trouble on Thursday. Yen-Hsun Lu, who defeated Andy Roddick last year, on Thursday ousted No. 13 Viktor Troicki in straight sets. Former Wimbledon semifinalist Xavier “X-Man” Malisse dismissed No. 20 Florian Mayer in four, and Karol Beck beat No. 26 Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez in four.

No. 7 seed David Ferrer was in trouble when his match was postponed, trailing unseeded American Ryan Harrison two sets to one.

Tournament favorites No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Roger Federer both advanced easily as the Serb topped big-serving South African Kevin Anderson and the Swiss defeated Adrian Mannarino, both in straight sets.

Federer, as he does so well, gave a backhanded compliment to the one-loss Serb in summing up the Big 4 at Wimbledon this year.

“I think all four guys at the top right now feel very comfortable on grass,” Federer said. “That’s maybe something that’s a bit different than maybe in the past, where maybe one of the top four guys wouldn’t feel so comfortable on grass. But this year it seems like all of us are, which is a good thing. [Andy] Murray’s game is very natural for this surface. I think Djokovic has always been great, but nothing extraordinary yet. But with the run he’s on, obviously there’s a lot of possibilities for him as well here.”

Both Murray and Djokovic have reached multiple semifinals at Wimbledon.

Other notable wins were No. 16 Nicolas Almagro ending John Isner’s event in four sets and three tiebreaks, and No. 28 David Nalbandian beating Andreas “Don’t Be a” Haider-Maurer to set up a meeting against Federer.

A blockbuster day on tap for Friday at Wimbledon includes (8) Andy Roddick vs. Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, (4) Andy Murray vs. Ivan Ljubicic, (1) Rafael Nadal vs. Gilles Muller, (7) David Ferrer vs. Ryan Harrison (to finish), (24) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. (15) Gilles Simon, and (6) Tomas Berdych vs. Alex Bogomolov Jr.

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13 Comments for Hewitt Can’t Cross Finish, Federer is Federer Day 4 at Wimbledon

funches Says:

Hewitt blew an opportunity to get to the quarters. No one would have beaten him in the next two rounds if he had won today.

Nina Says:

Dimitrov and Harrison = champions of the future.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Well Fed i have to disagree Nole has been extraordinary!! Maybe you mean on grass i will now have to read the whole context.

Kimmi Says:

on grass..fed is right. nole has not won a single title on grass yet

jane Says:

Nole won one title on grass, actually: he won in doubles at Queens last year. That must count for something. Also he has reached the finals at both Halle and Queens, and two semis at Wimbledon. Not extraordinary, but very good nonetheless.

Kimmi Says:

jane I meant “singles” title yet. and i was also agreeing with fed that nole has been good but not extraordinary.

Kimmi Says:

what djoko has done on other surfaces is extraordinary if compared with grass. maybe this year will be his year to do extraordinary things on grass.

jane Says:

Lol, Kimmi, sorry I was just being a pest. Was happy to see Nole get that doubles at Queens last year is all. But I agree with Fed and you too. Nole has been very good on grass, but he needs a *singles title* to move beyond that.

Kimmi Says:

oh better “wimbledon” title

too many people to cheer. For me anyone but not rafa this year please. sorry rafa fans. but i am sure your guy will win it too.

Eric Says:

jane… no one cares about doubles titles. :) What Federer meant was that Djokovic has obviously done pretty at Wimbledon, but certainly hasn’t achieved anything “extraordinary” considering his ranking or his achievements at the AO or USO. And I think he’s spot on, even if he could have found a less insulting way to phrase it.

jane Says:

Eric, careful: you don’t want to devalue Fed’s doubles medal do you? ;)

Michael Says:

It is Fantastic Four at Wimbledon and the Men’s Tennis never was as interesting as it now is. All the Four have chances to lift the Trophy next Sunday. But I tip Federer to lift the crown and hold it afloat for his record equalling Seventh Wimbledon Title. He owes it to his Fans and well wishers. The only threat to him as far as I can see is Djokovic and Nadal & may be Murray. But I do not think Federer will have much of a problem with Djokovic in the Semi finals. He is a class apart in Grass Courts against the likes of Djokovic. May be if it was Hard Court or Clay, Djokovic holds the edge, but not on Grass. But in the finals, if it is Nadal, it will be one helluva of a match and Federer will win if he displays the form he is showing us now no matter how well Nadal plays. If not Federer, I will like to see Djokovic or Murray or Roddick or even Soderling lifting the coveted Trophy. As regards Nadal, I have nothing against him. But having won already four grand slams round the year, he can definitely wait.

Hypnos Says:

Hewitt is a pleasure to watch in person — no pro’s game translates so well to us weekend duffers: biting defensive shots, effortless movement in all directions, playing within himself, and as noted competing like a mad dog.

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