Mixed fortunes at Wimbledon

2014-06-29 15:00

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Seven-time champion Roger Federer took just 81 minutes to breeze into the fourth round of Wimbledon with a 6-3 6-1 6-3 win over Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo yesterday.

The 32-year-old has yet to drop a set at this year’s championships and was again in impressive form despite some careless unforced errors.

In the fourth round, Federer faces either the big-serving Polish 15th seed Jerzy Janowicz, a semifinalist last year, or Tommy Robredo of Spain, seeded 23rd, for a place in the quarterfinals.

Earlier in the day, Rafael Nadal overcame an early blip to defeat ­Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin to reach the Wimbledon last 16, shining beneath the Centre Court roof yesterday as heavy rain swept away the action outside.

The 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion dropped the opening set for the third time in three matches before turning things around in a 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 victory.

Nadal had dropped the first set to Martin Klizan and Lukas Rosol in his first two rounds and Kukushkin, playing in his 21st tournament of the year, employed the same free-swinging tactics to bludgeon his way through the opener.

But in front of a Royal Box containing such sporting glitterati as retired Indian cricket master Sachin Tendulkar, ex-England football captain David Beckham and former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, Nadal regained his composure to race away with the win.

In the women’s section, world number one Serena Williams’ challenge for a sixth Wimbledon singles title fizzled out with a shock 1-6 6-3 6-4 defeat by France’s Alize Cornet.

It was her earliest defeat at the grass court Grand Slam since losing in the same round in 2005.

But a cheerful Maria Sharapova (27) hit top gear under a closed Centre Court roof, comfortably winning 11 games on the trot to keep her bid for a second title on track, 10 years after she won her first.

Sharapova remained on course for a rare French Open and Wimbledon double after moving into the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over American Alison Riske.

Sharapova is bidding to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2002 to follow victory at Roland Garros with Wimbledon glory just weeks later.

She was pushed harder than the scoreline suggested, but eventually overpowered world number 44 Riske in 69 minutes under the roof.

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