Federer and Nadal on track for final clash

ROGER FEDERER and Rafael Nadal are on course to meet in the Wimbledon final for the third year in a row after both enjoyed straight-sets victories in the quarter-finals today.

Federer, seeking a record sixth straight title at the All England Club, brushed aside the challenge of Mario Ancic — the last man to beat him on grass an incredible 64 matches ago — winning 6-1 7-5 6-4 in just one hour and 41 minutes on Centre Court.

Meanwhile, second seed Nadal, the four-time French Open champion, remains on course for a first Wimbledon crown after overpowering home favourite Andy Murray 6-3 6-2 6-4.

The first set demolition in particular was breathtaking to watch as Federer dropped just one point on serve, and the Swiss star admitted it was comparable to his famous victory over Lleyton Hewitt in the US Open final of 2004 when he won 6-0 7-6 6-0.

Federer said after his victory: “I’ll have a chance to win this tournament for the next five or 10 years.

“I think my game’s made for grass. There will always be tough opponents, dangerous opponents. That has been the case for the last years, as well.

“But I found a way to win always. Of course my dream is to not only win this year, but many more years to come.

“If it doesn’t happen, I’ll try to win the next one again. This is what it’s all about for me at this stage.”

Safin, the former world number one and two-time Grand Slam champion who has slumped to 75th in the rankings, battled past Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7/1) 6-3.

The Russian, who won the US Open in 2000 and the Australian Open in 2005, produced glimpses of the skills which helped him to those titles as he battled past the serve-and-volley Spaniard to claim a 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7/1) 6-3 victory.

Safin said: “I’m back in the top 50 now which is great and no matter what I do against Roger (Federer) I think it was a great two weeks. I’m really pleased with the way I’m playing and I hope to continue this way.”

Nadal was far too good for Murray, who failed to rouse himself after his five-set victory over Richard Gasquet in the fourth round.

Playing his first grand slam quarter-final, the Scot failed to get to grips with the Nadal serve or forehand, never once looking like creating a break point, while the Spaniard lapped up another inconsistent Murray service display.

Nadal admitted he was surprised to win in straight sets: “I played probably my best match here. Against a difficult opponent like Andy I tried to play very aggressively all the time, tried to hit with big power and attack his second serve.

“A win like this is always surprising against a player like Andy because he was coming in with confidence after an unbelievable comeback against Gasquet.

“I’m very happy to be in the semi-finals, especially after beating one tough player like today.”

Murray added: “He played so much better than me. I didn’t feel like I played my best. Regardless, he was playing too well for me.

“It’s amazing how fast he hits the ball and moves his arm.

“You’ve just got to try to hang in there. I had a slight chance at 3-2 in the third at 15-30. You just have to keep fighting and hope his level goes down a bit but I had no chances on his serve at all.”

Murray also insisted his punishing fourth-round five-setter on Monday was not responsible for the no-contest of a quarter-final.

He said: “I felt like I’d recovered well. I didn’t feel the legs were all that heavy.

“The Gasquet match had no bearing on the match whatsoever,” he added.

Nadal will have to wait until today to discover his semi-final opponent after veterans Arnaud Clement and Rainer Schuettler had to end their match at 6-3 5-7 as the light faded.

More in this section

Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up
ieStyle Live 2021 Logo
ieStyle Live 2021 Logo

IE Logo
Outdoor Trails

Discover the great outdoors on Ireland's best walking trails

IE Logo
Outdoor Trails

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd