Getty Images

Federer, Murray both play for spot in Wimbledon semifinals

Leave a comment

LONDON — Roger Federer and Andy Murray are closing in on another Wimbledon final.

Federer, a seven-time champion from Switzerland, is 34 and still looking to make history at the All England Club by winning a record eighth title.

The 29-year-old Murray already made his mark in 2013, becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.

The pair are on opposite sides of the draw, so if they win quarterfinals Wednesday, and then semifinals Friday, they would meet each other for the title Sunday.

“I hope I can win Wimbledon one more time,” said Federer, who beat Murray in the 2012 final. “That would be nice.”

That would also be an understatement.

Both Pete Sampras and 1880s player William Renshaw have won seven Wimbledon titles, but no one has eight. The only male player at any Grand Slam tournament with that many is Rafael Nadal, who has won the French Open nine times.

Federer will face ninth-seeded Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals, while Murray will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. If Federer advances, he will equal Jimmy Connors’ record of 11 Wimbledon semifinal appearances.

In the other men’s quarterfinal matches, sixth-seeded Milos Raonic will face 28th-seeded Sam Querrey, and 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych will play Lucas Pouille.

Querrey knocked defending champion Novak Djokovic out of the tournament in the third round.

Here’s a look at the four men’s quarterfinal matches:

FEDERER VS. CILIC: Federer is 5-1 against Cilic, but it’s the one loss that still hurts.

Cilic routed Federer in straight sets in the U.S. Open semifinals in 2014, the last time the two players met on court.

“These things happen. It’s OK to get blown off the court,” Federer said. “I never fully played freely in the match. But that was to his credit for just keeping cranking out serves and big returns.”

Cilic ended up winning his first major title at that tournament in New York. He’s hoping to reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time.

MURRAY VS. TSONGA: Tsonga has twice reached the Wimbledon semifinals, including beating Federer in the 2011 quarterfinals.

Murray, however, has beaten Tsonga in 11 of their last 12 matches, including four times on grass.

“I know Tsonga is one of the best grass court players in the world,” said Murray, who is 6-2 in Wimbledon quarterfinals. “If he plays well (and) I’m not on my game, I can lose that match for sure.”

RAONIC VS. QUERREY: Querrey is playing the tournament of his life, reaching the quarterfinals of a major for the first time while beating top-ranked Djokovic along the way.

“I think he (Querrey) must be doing great things,” said Raonic, who recovered from two sets down to reach the quarterfinals. “I’m sure he sent a message to other players, as well, that he’s ready to play.”

Querrey beat Raonic at Wimbledon in 2012, when the Canadian was just 21. In 2014, Raonic advanced to the semifinals, where he lost to Federer.

BERDYCH VS. POUILLE: Berdych is the only player left in the men’s draw that won’t have a rest day before the quarterfinals.

The 10th-seeded Czech was forced to finish his fourth-round match against Jiri Vesely on Tuesday because play was suspended by darkness the night before.

“With the recovery, I think it was actually a good day to play a set. It’s like a day of practice,” Berdych said. “I’m quite used to it actually. I’m doing it day by day, so that’s fine.”

Pouille, a 22-year-old Frenchman, is playing in the second week of a major tournament for the first time. He had been 0-4 on grass heading into Wimbledon, but he’s now 4-4.

“Before the tournament,” Pouille said, “(my goal) was to win one match on grass.”

Top-seeded John Isner wins 3rd Hall of Fame title

AP Photo
Leave a comment

NEWPORT, R.I. — Top-seeded John Isner beat Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Sunday for his third Hall of Fame Open title.

The hard-serving American also won the grass-court event in 2011 and 2012. He has 11th career titles, all at the ATP World Tour 250 level.

“It’s hard to win a tournament,” Isner said. “It’s no small feat to come out here and be the last man standing. I’m very happy about that. It’s been two years since I won a tournament, so I had that weighing on my mind.”

Isner became the second player to win an ATP title without facing a break point since records began in 1991. Tommy Haas also accomplished the feat in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2007.

“I’m very happy with how I played all week,” Isner said. “It was a perfect week and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Ebden was playing his first tour-level final.

“It’s a lot of reward for a lot of hard work, a lot of years of sacrifice,” Ebden said. “It’s disappointing, but at the same time I have to be happy with my week.”

Roddick, Clijsters among Tennis Hall of Fame inductees

AP Images
Leave a comment

NEWPORT, R.I. — Andy Roddick says jokingly he can now keep Roger Federer from a unanimous selection for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

As a new inductee, Roddick gets to vote on future candidates. He jested ahead of his enshrinement on Saturday that he’ll use it to get back at Federer, who stood in his way during at least four Grand Slam finals.

Roddick joins inductees Kim Clijsters, six-time Paralympic medalist Monique Kalkman and journalist and historian Steve Flink. Tennis instructor and innovator Vic Braden was to be inducted posthumously.

Roddick won one Grand Slam and lost to Federer in the finals four times. He says he doesn’t ask himself what would have happened if he hadn’t come along at the same time of perhaps the greatest player.

He says the first text he got when he woke up Saturday was from Federer. Says Roddick: “He makes it extremely hard not to like him as a person.”