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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wimbledon PHOTOS: Federer and Serena power into quarters, Nishikori retires with injury

Wimbledon PHOTOS: Federer and Serena power into quarters, Nishikori retires with injury

Last updated on: July 05, 2016 00:07 IST

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Roger Federer in action in his fourth round match against Steve Johnson. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Roger Federer felled high-flying Steve Johnson at Wimbledon on Monday, knocking the wind out of the powerhouse with a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 win in the fourth round.

Despite considerable pre-match hype about Johnson, fresh from victory at the Nottingham grasscourt event, there was to be no Independence Day party for the burly American, as Federer showed more than enough to suggest he remains on track for a record eighth Wimbledon men’s singles crown.

While Andy Murray-supporting Brits have been rubbing their hands with glee over Novak Djokovic’s shock third-round defeat, the biggest beneficiary of the Serb’s removal may yet prove to be third seed Federer, who on Monday drew level with Martina Navratilova on a record 306 Grand Slam singles match wins.

In the quarter-finals, Federer will play Croatian ninth seed Marin Cilic who advanced after his opponent, Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori, retired injured while trailing 6-1, 5-1.

Serena  overpowers Kuznetsova to enter quarters

Serena Williams returns to Svetlana Kuznetsova

IMAGE: USA's Serena Williams in action against Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

World number one Serena Williams kept her bid for a record-equalling 22nd grand slam title on track at Wimbledon, overpowering Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in a 7-5, 6-0 in the fourth-round on Monday.

Kuznetsova, a double grand slam winner and three-times Wimbledon quarter-finalist, beat Williams on a hardcourt at the Miami Open in March.

But on this occasion the six-times Wimbledon champion was too hot to handle, beginning the match as if late for an Independence Day appointment, serving a succession of aces and then hitting a brace of groundstroke winners, one off each wing, to break the Russian in the fourth game.

Kuznetsova battled her way back, varying her pace by mixing in slices and drop shots on a surface on which both players at times struggled to keep their footing.

Williams -- bidding to equal Steffi Graf's professional-era record of 22 grand slam singles titles -- eventually shaded a first set that featured five breaks of serve and a break for drizzle when the Centre Court roof was closed.

She ran though her opponent without losing another game after play resumed at 5-5 in the first set.

Murray downs mercurial Kyrgios to reach quarter-finals

Britain's Andy Murray in action against Australia's Nick Kyrgios

IMAGE: Great Britain's Andy Murray in action against Australia's Nick Kyrgios. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

World No 2 Andy Murray withstood the challenge of Nick Kyrgios on Monday, sweeping aside the mercurial Australian 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 on Centre Court to reach his ninth straight Wimbledon quarter-final.

For much of a pulsating first set 15th seed Kyrgios had the edge, however, thudding down serves at close to 140 mph that the second-seeded Scot struggled to reach let alone control.

Murray's serve, meanwhile, was misfiring and, under darkening skies and roared on by a partisan crowd, he had to dig deep to stay on terms with the Australian.

Australia's Nick Kyrgios in action against Great Britain's Andy Murray

IMAGE: Australia's Nick Kyrgios in action against Great Britain's Andy Murray. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

The set and the match turned in the 12th game, when a combination of Kyrgios errors and two inspired Murray backhands presented the Scot with three break points. Kyrgios saved the first two with booming serves but Murray converted the third when the Australian netted a forehand volley.

Thereafter Kyrgios's focus and intensity wavered, the Briton breaking him twice in a second set that flew by in 26 minutes. He broke once more in the third, closing out the contest with an ace on his third match point.

Murray will face swashbuckling Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 12th seed, in the quarter-finals.

Tsonga through to last eight after Gasquet retires hurt

France's Richard Gasquet talks with France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he retires from their match due to injury

IMAGE: France's Richard Gasquet talks with France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he retires from their match due to injury. Photograph: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his fourth-round match at Wimbledon on Monday when his fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet retired with a back injury with the score at 4-2 in the first set.

Tsonga, who won a marathon match at the weekend against John Isner 19-17 in the final set, was a break up against number seven seed Gasquet when the match was ended.

The 31-year-old, seeded number 12, will play either Andy Murray or Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals.

Raonic roars back to beat Goffin in five sets

Canada's Milos Raonic in action against Belgium's David Goffin

IMAGE: Canada's Milos Raonic in action against Belgium's David Goffin. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Canadian Milos Raonic overturned a two-set deficit for the first time in his career to keep his Wimbledon hopes alive on Monday, edging David Goffin 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the last eight.

With holder Novak Djokovic's shock exit opening up the top half of the draw, sixth seed Raonic appeared to be blowing his chance as Belgian Goffin outclassed him for two sets.

But the 25-year-old finally began to do some damage with his first serve and slowly the match turned his way.

After breaking once in the third and fourth sets Raonic began to ooze confidence and pounced in the fifth game of the decider with a thunderous forehand to go 3-2 ahead.

There was no way he was going to let 11th seed Goffin back after that and he claimed victory with a forehand winner, saluting his players' box which included three-times winner John McEnroe.

Rather than his expected quarter-final foe Djokovic, American Sam Querrey blocks his path to a second Wimbledon semi-final, having reached the last four in 2014.

Ruthless Halep hits back to beat hobbling Keys

Romania's Simona Halep serves in her match against USA's Madison Keys 

IMAGE: Romania's Simona Halep serves in her match against USA's Madison Keys. Photograph: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

Romanian fifth seed Simona Halep recovered to beat an emotional and hobbling Madison Keys 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3 and reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second time in her career on Monday.

The 24-year-old was heading out when she fell a break behind in the second set, having squandered four set points to surrender the opener, but she battled back and then took ruthless advantage as Keys appeared to suffer a leg injury.

She will play Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the last eight.

The first eight games were full of high-quality clean hitting, before a strange sequence of games saw both players go off the boil in equal measure.

Halep broke when she lunged to reach a poor Keys volley and scooped the ball inadvertently over the 21-year-old American's head.

But she let her opponent off the hook, double-faulting on two of the four set points that came her way when she served at 5-4 in the opening set. Keys also saved one with a sizzling backhand return of serve.

Immediately Halep broke the powerful Keys serve to love, but once again faltered at 6-5 as the American flashed a forehand winner, one of 16 in the match, to take the opener into a tiebreak.

Ninth seed Keys, the youngest player to reach the fourth round this year, surged ahead in the breaker and claimed it 7-5 with another crunching forehand winner into an open court.

When Halep double-faulted and then sent a backhand long to drop serve at the start of the second set and Keys held with a huge ace to lead 2-0 the end looked nigh.

But Halep, whose semi-final appearance two years ago disguises an ordinary Wimbledon record, is made of sterner stuff and worked her way back, breaking back in the fourth game as the errors returned to the Keys game.

Keys netted a forehand to hand the second set to a resurgent Halep and the decider became an ordeal for the American as she looked in discomfort and close to tears with a leg injury.

Surprisingly Keys, playing some shots off one leg, did not call for the trainer and Halep calmly moved 5-3 ahead, sealing victory when Keys belted a forehand out.

Venus strides into quarter-finals despite early scare

USA's Venus Williams celebrates winning her match against Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro

IMAGE: USA's Venus Williams celebrates winning her match against Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro. Photograph: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

The grande dame of women's tennis, Venus Williams, strode to victory against a scampering Carla Suarez Navarro on Monday, beating the Spaniard 7-6(3) 6-4 to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Williams, with five Wimbledon crowns to her name, used her 20 years of experience on the tour to overcome early sluggishness, a rain break and a busy opponent.

Williams, the oldest woman in the draw at 36, looked out-of-of-sorts when she arrived on Court One and lost the first three games of the contest.

She pulled back to a tiebreak but had to run off court for half an hour because of a rain shower -- a feature of this year's tournament.

"I thought: Oh no not again," eighth seed Williams said.

"It was hard... I was dismayed.

"I just tried to stay focused and she gave me a few points and that saw me through."

Cibulkova inflicts another defeat on Radwanska

Dominika Cibulkova

 

Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova bundled third seed Agnieszka Radwanska out of the fourth round of Wimbledon, saving match point on the way, less than two weeks after beating her in the Eastbourne warm-up tournament.

In an energy-sapping contest between power and touch, Cibulkova used a thunderous serve and thumping forehand to wear down Radwanska 6-3, 5-7, 9-7.

Cibulkova broke the Pole, whose all-court game lacked energy and precision at the start, in the fourth game of a lacklustre first set and took the set with a big serve that Radwanska knocked tamely into the net.

The pair exchanged breaks throughout the second set and Radwanska saved a match point in the ninth game, finding some verve and precision to grab the set from the disappointed Slovak.

The two women ramped up the quality in the final set, hitting the lines, producing deft dropshots and fighting through exhausting groundstroke rallies to the delight of the gripped Court Three crowd.

It was the 13th contest between the pair, both 27, and by now they were shrieking with effort as they ran the lines.

Cibulkova, ranked 18 in the world, survived a monumental 11th game in the set, saving match point with a forehand winner.

It was another thumping forehand that brought her victory on the second match point of the final game for her sixth win against the Pole, a finalist here in 2012.

The Slovak will meet either Ekaterina Makarova or Elena Vesnina, both of Russia, in Tuesday's quarter-finals.

Shvedova pummels Safarova to reach quarter-finals

Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazahkstan swept past Lucie Safarova and into her first Wimbledon quarter-final, beating the Russian 28th seed 6-2, 6-4 on Monday.

Ranked 96th but holding a 3-0 head-to-head record against her higher-ranked opponent, the big-serving Shvedova -- making her 10th appearance at Wimbledon -- powered down seven aces and hit the mark with three quarters of her first serves.

Another serve proved decisive on the final point when Safarova hit her return long.

Shvedova faces the winner of the match between American veteran Venus Williams and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

Giant-killer Querrey keeps momentum to overpower Mahut

Sam Querrey

IMAGE: Sam Querrey in action. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Sam Querrey suffered no hangover from his famous victory over top seed Novak Djokovic as he beat Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-4 at Wimbledon to become the first American man to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final for five years.

Querrey, 28, reproduced the quality of tennis that dispatched world number one Djokovic at the weekend in one of the biggest-ever shocks at the All England Club.

The 28th seed was rarely troubled as he simply overpowered Frenchman Mahut with his huge serve, backed up by booming groundstrokes.

The fourth-round victory over the world number 51 propelled Querrey to his first Grand Slam quarter-final. On US.Independence Day, he also became the first American man to reach the quarter-final at Wimbledon - or any other slam - since 2011.

Cilic through to quarter-finals after Nishikori quits

IMAGE: Kei Nishikori, right, speaks to Marin Cilic. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Croatian ninth seed Marin Cilic reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the third year running after Kei Nishikori quit with a rib injury midway through their fourth round match on Monday.

Nishikori was trailing 6-1, 5-1 when he decided to follow the advice of his coach Michael Chang, who could be heard saying "Don't push it, it's not worth it."

The Japanese fifth seed, who swallowed a pill given by the trainer at the previous change of ends, shook his head at the umpire to indicate he could not longer continue before going up to Cilic to shake hands.

"It was too much pain I could not really compete today. Every point I played it got worse. I did not want to but I had to retire," Nishikori told a news conference.

Cilic's serving was on fire during the first set as he blasted down 12 aces, including four in the first game, and dropped only two points on serve.

He won 26 out of 33 points contested as Nishikori surrendered the set in only 16 minutes.

The 2014 US Open champion, who beat his Japanese rival in Flushing Meadows to win his only Grand Slam title, could not keep up the same intensity in the second set as Nishikori broke back to level at 1-1.

But from then on Nishikori failed to win a game and, after dropping serve for the third time in the set, with a double fault, he could not hide his despair.

While Chang, the 1989 French Open champion, indicated with his hands to 'cut it', Nishikori covered his eyes before burying his head under a towel as he slumped into his chair.

When the trainer came on court and handed a pill to Nishikori, it was clear that Asia's number one player was injured and one game later it was all over as muted applause greeted Cilic's passage into the last eight.

Pavlyuchenkova punishes Vandeweghe

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

IMAGE: Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova celebrates winning the first set. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time in her career after producing an awesome display of power tennis to defeat a misfiring Coco Vandeweghe 6-3 6-3 on Monday.

In a match in which both players smashed the ball across the net for a succession of blistering winners, the Russian 21st seed played with far greater control on the big points and made fewer mistakes than her American opponent.

The key match statistic was that Pavlyuchenkova made just seven unforced errors, compared with 27th seed Vandeweghe's 22.

So great was the American's frustration at her erratic play that, after she was broken for the second time in the second set, she gave her racket away to a delighted child in the crowd.

Pavlyuchenkova, who turned 25 on Sunday, was one of four Russians to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon - the most since 2009.

Kerber downs pocket rocket Doi to reach quarters

Angelique Kerber

IMAGE: Angelique Kerber nearly runs into the net during her match against Japan's Misaki Doi. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Superior court craft proved decisive for Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber on Monday as she motored past Japanese pocket rocket Misaki Doi 6-3 6-1 in a full-blooded fourth-round match on Wimbledon's Court Two.

German fourth seed Kerber, who reached the semi-finals at the All England Club in 2012, risked being overpowered early in the first set as her 5-foot-3 (1.59 metre) opponent bludgeoned forehand winners to both sides of the court.

But Kerber, who shocked world number one Serena Williams to win her maiden grand slam title in Melbourne in January, gradually found her range on her groundstrokes while 49th-ranked Doi's radar began to slip.

In a match full of mesmerising rallies, Kerber broke twice in the first set, winning it on her third set point, before cruising through the second as Doi's challenge fizzled out.

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