Federer, Nadal reign at Wimbledon with runaway quarter-final wins

July 3rd, 2008 - 4:06 am ICT by IANS  

London, July 3 (DPA) Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal comfortably mowed down quarter-final opposition in dominating style Wednesday as the pair of powerhouse players edged closer to their third potential final at the Wimbledon Championships. Federer, aiming for a sixth straight title at the All England Club after holding off Nadal for the last two years, scythed through the last man to beat him on grass six years ago with a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 defeat of Mario Ancic.

The drubbing put the top seed into his 17th straight Grand Slam semi-final.

Nadal was merciless with home hope Andy Murray, crushing the Scot 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

“I thought I played very well,” said Nadal after posting his 54th win of the season. “It was probably my best match here, especially against a difficult opponent like Andy.

“A win like this always surprises me, Andy was coming in with confidence after his unbelievable comeback.”

Murray, seeded 12th was likely feeling the pain from an heroic rally 48 hours earlier from two sets to love down 48 hours against Richard Gasquet.

Nadal still does not know his opponent, as German Rainer Schuettler and Frenchman Arnaud Clement finbished for the day square at 6-3, 5-7 due to darkness with their match to be concluded on Thursday.

Federer stands 9-2 over semi-final opponent Safin, but lost to the Russian three years ago in an Australian Open final where Safin lifted his second title at a major after the 2000 US Open.

“I really feel like I’m playing as good as the last few years,” said Federer after winning his 39th straight at the event where he has claimed the last five titles to stand 43-4.

“I’ve had some tougher draws over the years here at Wimbledon. I was able to come through all of them the last five years, so I’m happy that this time it’s worked out again as good.”

The world number one, on track for a 13th Grand Slam title, rocketed over three aces in the final game as he served out his success in on hour, 41 minutes, clocking 15 aces and a mere six unforced errors.

“I feel so comfortable on this Centre Court that my confidence level is obviously very high.”

Ancic admitted he was well and truly beaten in a match with a 20-minute first set followed by a two-hour rain pause.

“He makes you play the hardest as you can, and on the other hand you can’t give him anything. There’s not one point you get for free.

“That is the toughest to balance. You have to play hard, you have to go for your shots. You have to play difficult.

“And, on the other hand, you’re not allowed to miss if you want to win.”

Safin, who has never been this far at Wimbledon and has often voiced a distaste for grass, has ridden an injury and motivational rollercoaster during his career.

“I’m surprised that I’m still here, I’m surprised that I won two Grand Slams. But I have to deal with the things that I have in my life: a lot of injuries left and right.

“I’m tired of making comebacks every year. It’s annoying, but that’s my career. That’s my life for the good and for the bad. But I’m managing to enjoy it.”

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