Federer, Murray, Williams sisters return to quarterfinals


By Stephen Wilson

AP Sports Writer

LONDON — Cruising into the quarterfinals without the loss of a set, Roger Federer is making it look easy as he chases a record eighth Wimbledon title. Serena Williams, meanwhile, is picking up momentum as she goes for a seventh championship at the All England Club.

Federer swept to a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 win over 29th-ranked American Steve Johnson on Centre Court on Monday, equaling Jimmy Connors’ Open-era record by reaching his 14th quarterfinal at the All England Club.

Looking fresh and sharp after two days off, Federer broke Johnson five times and was in control throughout a match that lasted just over 90 minutes — one of 16 men’s and women’s fourth-round matches on the schedule.

“I didn’t think it was as easy as it maybe looked,” the third-seeded Federer said.

Federer hadn’t played since Friday and was able to rest over the weekend while the tournament cleared up a backlog of matches caused by a rainy first week.

“I would have never thought that I was going to win the first four matches in straight sets, so I’m extremely pleased,” said Federer, who will next face Marin Cilic, the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Croat who beat him en route to the 2014 U.S. Open title.

“He brushed me off the court like I was nothing at the U.S. Open in the semis a few years back,” Federer said, “so I hope to get him back this time.”

If Federer gets to the final, he could face No. 2-seeded Andy Murray, who handily defeated No. 15 Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 in the last match on Centre Court to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the ninth successive year.

Murray, the 2013 champion, took command after Kyrgios was broken to lose the first set — missing a simple forehand volley on the third set point.

From then on, Kyrgios seemed to lose interest, mumbling to himself, hanging his head and giving an uneven effort. Murray played solidly, closing with an ace on his third match point, and setting up a quarterfinal matchup with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

For Williams, the match swung in her favor once the roof was shut over Centre Court, as she reeled off the last nine games to beat No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-0 and reach the quarterfinals for the 12th time.

The No. 1-seeded American slipped during a point while she was getting broken to fall behind 5-4 in the opening set. Both players complained that the grass was slippery, but play continued.

With Kuznetsova serving for the set, Williams broke back to make it 5-all. Play was then delayed for nearly 30 minutes while the retractable roof was closed.

After the match resumed, Kuznetsova did not take a game. Williams won 24 of 29 points in the second set, and finished with a 43-8 advantage in winners.

“It was really tricky out there,” Williams said. “Even though it wasn’t raining hard, it was dewy on the grass.”

Williams’ next opponent will be No. 21 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, who reached her first quarterfinal at Wimbledon by beating 27th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-3.

Serena’s sister, five-time champion Venus, moved into the quarterfinals here for the first time since 2010, beating No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (3), 6-4. Playing in her 19th Wimbledon and the oldest women’s player in the draw, the 34-year-old Venus last won the title in 2008. She’ll next face Yaroslava Shvedova.

Federer’s victory was his 306th match win in a Grand Slam and put him into his 48th quarterfinal at a major, three wins away from becoming the first man to win eight Wimbledon titles. He’s tied with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw with seven.

No. 9 Cilic advanced when No. 5 Kei Nishikori retired with a rib injury while trailing 6-1, 5-1.

Sam Querrey, who stopped No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round on Saturday, served 23 aces and beat Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

The 28th-seeded Querrey is the first American man to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals since Mary Fish in 2011 — and the first to make it that far at any Grand Slam since John Isner and Andy Roddick at the 2011 U.S. Open.

In other men’s play, No. 6 Milos Raonic came back from a two-set deficit to win for the first time in his career, beating No. 11 David Goffin of Belgium 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4; No. 12 Tsonga advanced when his French countryman, No. 7 Richard Gasquet, retired with an apparent back injury at 4-2 down in the first set; and No. 32 Lucas Pouille of France downed No. 19 Bernard Tomic 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.

In women’s play, No. 3-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was eliminated by No. 18 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-3, 5-7, 9-7 in a back-and-forth baseline battle that lasted three hours.

On her third match point, Cibolkova hit an inside-out forehand winner, then dropped face first onto the grass, her chest heaving.

“I was really crying,” said Cibolkova, who will next play Elena Vesnina and may need to postpone her scheduled wedding on Saturday. “It was so emotional.”

Australian Open champion and No. 4-seeded Angelique Kerber beat Misaki Doi 6-3, 6-1. She will next face No. 5 Simona Halep, who beat No. 9 Madison Keys 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3.

By Stephen Wilson

AP Sports Writer

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