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Sports

Federer Sails into Wimbledon Quarterfinals for 14th Time

In women's play, No. 3-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was eliminated by No. 18 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia; also advancing Monday was No. 21 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia and No. 4-seeded Angelique Kerber

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns to Steve Johnson of the U.S during their men's singles match on day eight of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, July 4, 2016, photo: AP/Kirsty Wibblesworth
1 year ago

LONDON — Cruising into the quarterfinals without the loss of a set, Roger Federer is making it look easy as he chases a record eighth Wimbledon title.

Federer swept to a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 win over 29th-ranked American Steve Johnson on Centre Court on Monday, equaling Jimmy Connors’ Open-era record by reaching his 14th quarterfinal at the All England Club.

Looking fresh and sharp after two days off, Federer broke Johnson five times and was in control throughout a match that lasted just over 90 minutes — one of 16 men’s and women’s fourth-round matches on the schedule.

“I didn’t think it was as easy as it maybe looked,” the third-seeded Federer said.

Federer hadn’t played since Friday and was able to rest over the weekend while the tournament cleared up a backlog of matches caused by a rainy first week.

“I would have never thought that I was going to win the first four matches in straight sets, so I’m extremely pleased,” Federer said. “The matches might be tough, but then the rest in between [is] great.”

The victory gave Federer his 306th match win in a Grand Slam and put him into his 48th quarterfinal at a major, three wins away from becoming the first man to win eight Wimbledon titles. He’s tied with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw with seven.

“You can always, always lose the tournament in the first week, but never win it,” Federer said. “So I did a lot of things right the first week and from now, you really want to — or you have to — start playing your best tennis.”

Next up for Federer will be No. 9 Marin Cilic, who advanced when No. 5 Kei Nishikori retired with an injury while trailing 6-1, 5-1. The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Croat beat Federer in the semifinals of the 2009 U.S. Open, which he won for his only Grand Slam title.

“Cilic lies ahead,” Federer said. “He brushed me off the court like I was nothing at the U.S. Open in the semis a few years back, so I hope to get him back this time.”

Advancing to a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time was Sam Querrey, the man who stopped No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round on Saturday. The 28th-seeded American served 23 aces and beat Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia celebrates a point against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during their women's singles match on day eight of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia celebrates a point against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during their women’s singles match on day eight of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. Photo: AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Querrey is the first U.S. man to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals since Mary Fish in 2011 — and the first to make it that far at any Grand Slam since John Isner and Andy Roddick at the 2011 U.S. Open.

In women’s play, No. 3-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was eliminated by No. 18 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-3, 5-7, 9-7 in a back-and-forth baseline battle that lasted three hours.

Radwanska, a finalist in 2012, saved a match point at 6-5 in the second set, then squandered a match point of her own at 6-5 in the third.

Cibolkova finally served out the match on her third attempt, even though she was warned for time delay after catching one of her ball tosses. On her third match point, Cibolkova hit an inside-out forehand winner, then dropped face first onto the grass, her chest heaving in relief and exhaustion.

Cibulkova reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals once before, in 2011. Her best result at a Grand Slam tournament came in 2014 when she reached the Australian Open final, losing to Li Na.

Australian Open champion and No. 4-seeded Angelique Kerber beat Misaki Doi 6-3, 6-1. It was the first match between the two lefthanders since January’s Australian Open, where Kerber saved a match point before beating Doi in three sets in the first round.

Kerber, who reached the semifinals at the All England Club in 2012, will next play No. 5 Simona Halep, who came from behind to beat No. 9 Madison Keys 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3.

Also advancing in early play Monday was No. 21 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, who reached her first quarterfinal at Wimbledon by beating 27th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-3.

Seeking to reach her first major semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova will play either No. 1 Serena Williams or No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova next.

STEPHEN WILSON

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