Federer glides on as Sharapova goes down fighting


LONDON: Roger Federer’s immaculate Wimbledon continued and Maria Sharapova’s ended prematurely but in different ways they both displayed what makes them great champions on Tuesday. Federer was imperious as he glided serenely into the quarterfinals for the 12th time in his career, outclassing Spain’s Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. The 32-year-old, yet to drop a set in four rounds, dazzled the crowd with his artistry, making the game look ludicrously easy against the 22nd best player in the world.
Women’s fifth seed Sharapova, on the other hand, did not play well by her own high standards and her hopes of celebrating the 10th anniversary of her sole Wimbledon title with another one, were wiped away in a 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4 fourth-round defeat by Germany’s Angelique Kerber. With her power game slightly off-key, French Open champion Sharapova trailed 5-2 in the decider but with her back to the wall she fought like a wounded tiger, saving six match points before finally succumbing. “You need to play really 100 percent and you need to be ready for every single point,” Kerber, a semifinalist in 2012, told reporters. “She plays until the last point. She is a great player that’s why she’s won so many grand slams.”
Sunshine ushered in day eight of the championships and, after falling behind because of rain, organisers sought to re-calibrate the men’s and women’s singles draws on a day usually reserved for the women’s last eight. Lucie Safarova led a Czech charge into the semifinals in the bottom half of the women’s draw, beating Russian 22nd seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-1. She will face a fellow Czech in the semis, either former champion Petra Kvitova or unseeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
A round back, last year’s runner-up Sabine Lisicki survived a shoulder injury scare to beat Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. The German 19th seed took a medical time-out in the middle of a game at 1-1 in the decider, having her shoulder massaged while lying on the turf, but recovered to reach the quarterfinal for the fifth time in five visits. She will play Romania’s ‘Miss Consistency’ Simona Halep after the third seed raced to a 6-3, 6-0 win over Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas. Halep reached the French Open final earlier this month and began the year with a quarterfinal run at the Australian Open.
Flowing game: All eyes have been on defending champion Andy Murray’s regal progress through the draw so far this year but Federer again issued a reminder that, when his game is flowing on a grass court there are few better sights in world sport. Eyeing a record eighth Wimbledon title, the maestro has yet to drop a set or a service game in his most impressive route to the quarterfinals since 2004. Robredo never stood a chance as Federer avenged a humiliating US Open defeat against the Spaniard last year. 
With a Wimbledon quarterfinal and Switzerland in a World Cup last-16 clash with Argentina on Tuesday, Federer said it was a good time to be Swiss. While Federer is facing an unusually busy schedule at Wimbledon because of weather interruptions, Wawrinka will be playing a third match in three days on Wednesday.
The fifth seed beat Feliciano Lopez 7-6(5), 7-6(7), 6-3 without any major alarms although the match ended with the players in a heated debate at the net. Big-serving Milos Raonic celebrated Canada Day by becoming the first man from his country to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in the professional era, beating Japan’s 10th seed Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3. Raonic, who followed the example of compatriot Eugenie Bouchard, will face either world No.1 Rafael Nadal or Nick Kyrgios for a place in the semifinals. 

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