Federer brushes aside Ancic in three sets
LONDON // Defending champion Roger Federer snuffed out the challenge of the last man to beat him on grass with a 6-1 7-5 6-4 victory over Mario Ancic in the Wimbledon quarter-finals. The Croat, then 18, upset Federer in the first round on his Wimbledon debut in 2002, since when the Swiss has won 64 consecutive matches on grass, 39 at the London Grand Slam where he has lifted the trophy five times in a row.
The match was delayed because of rain but world No1 Federer, in devastating form from the start allowed Ancic only one point in his first four service games as he ran away with the opening set. Ancic improved after a rain delay lasting more than two hours, playing a full part in some high quality rallies and the second set went with serve until the 11th game when the Croat netted a volley to give his opponent the break point.
Federer was in full flow in the third set and won the match in one hour and 40 minutes on his first match point. He will meet the volatile Russian Marat Safin after he reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time with a dogged 3-6 7-5 7-6 6-3 victory over Spain's Feliciano Lopez. Safin, 28, twice a Grand Slam winner but now ranked a lowly 75th in the world, managed to keep his fiery temperament in check and refused to be denied against the 31st seed. In a rain-interrupted first set, Lopez was quick to seize the initiative and, in his only outburst of the match, an exasperated Safin sent one ball hurtling over the roof and out of the court. But the lanky Russian, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in 2001, fought back with much of the power, flair and fluid ground strokes that made him world No 1 back in 2000. Safin, who had earlier knocked out third seed Novak Djokovic, took the next three sets with a fine attacking game to earn him a crack at five-times champion Federer in the semi-finals. * Reuters
Published: July 2, 2008 04:00 AM