Federer, Murray, Roddick reach Wimbledon semis

By The Sports Network

Federer, Murray, Roddick reach Wimbledon semis

January 20, 2011

Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Five-time champion Roger Federer, British hopeful Andy Murray and two-time runner-up Andy Roddick highlighted Wednesday's quarterfinal winners at Wimbledon. The amazing Federer landed in his 21st straight Grand Slam semifinal.

"I love the record I have of reaching so many semifinals in Grand Slams in a row, 21 is quite a number," Federer said. "It shows how consistent I've been."

The second-seeded Federer got past 22nd-seeded 6-foot-10 Croat Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), while a third-seeded Murray mauled unseeded former world No. 1 Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 and a sixth-seeded Roddick outlasted fellow former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-7 (10-12), 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-4 on another hot, sunny day at the All England Club.

Friday's semifinals will pit Federer against 24th-seeded German Tommy Haas and Murray versus Roddick.

In the marquee match on Wednesday, Roddick edged out the unseeded Hewitt in 3 hours, 50 minutes on Court 1.

After Roddick cruised in the first set, the next four sets were air-tight. Hewitt snuck out the second set by winning a 22-point tiebreak and forced a fifth and deciding set by breaking Roddick's mighty serve in the 10th game of fourth stanza.

It became obvious that the fifth set would be a war of attrition, as Hewitt needed 19 points to claim the first game alone via hold.

The two stars stayed on serve over the next several games before Roddick got the key break of the match to grab a 5-4 lead in the fifth, which he did with a forehand winner.

The 26-year-old Roddick then served out the match in the next game, as a gimpy Hewitt misfired long on one final forehand. Hewitt appeared to be battling a sore groin in the latter stages of the great ace-filled battle. Roddick swatted 43 aces on Day 9, while Hewitt settled for 21 in a losing effort.

"It certainly wasn't short on drama," Roddick said after escaping his matchup with Hewitt.

Roddick recorded one more break than Hewitt (4-3) and the Aussie hurt himself with nine double faults.

The former U.S. Open titlist Roddick improved to 11-12 in his career five-set matches, while the 28-year-old Hewitt dropped to a solid 29-14.

Hewitt captured the second of his two major titles here at Wimbledon in 2002.

Roddick, who lost to Federer in back-to-back Wimbledon finals in 2004 and 2005, will now appear in his fourth Wimbledon semi.

In the Federer-Karlovic affair, this Swiss broke the massive-serving Croat in each of the first two sets and cruised in the third-set tiebreak. The Swiss set himself up with four match points with a backhand passing shot and converted on his second match point with a forehand winner on Centre Court.

The 27-year-old Federer never faced a break point against Karlovic, who had not lost his serve in his first four matches at this year's fortnight.

Federer moved on in 1 hour, 43 minutes, as he held his serve throughout the match and committed a mere seven unforced errors. Karlovic fired 23 aces, bringing his tournament-leading total to 160, en route to his ninth defeat in 10 tries against Federer.

The iconic Federer will perform in a seventh straight Wimbledon semifinal (6-0) and try to reach a seventh consecutive championship match at the lone grass-court major. He lost to Rafael Nadal in last year's incredible final here after beating Nadal in the previous two Wimbledon title tilts.

Federer, who would regain the No. 1 ranking with a title this week, is 45-1 in his last 46 matches at Wimbledon and 70-1 in his last 71 matches on grass overall.

The former No. 1 Federer is trying to become the men's all-time leader in Grand Slam singles titles, as he's currently tied with American great Pete Sampras at 14. The super Swiss equaled Sampras and became the sixth man in history to complete a career Grand Slam when he titled at the French Open last month.

Murray, who lost to Federer in last year's U.S. Open finale, blew past the former French Open champion Ferrero in 1 hour, 41 minutes by firing 18 aces among a whopping 49 winners and breaking Ferrero's serve five times. Ferrero struck 29 fewer winners than Murray and could manage only one break of serve en route to defeat on Centre Court.

The ever-improving Murray, who hails from Dunblane, Scotland, will now appear in his first-ever Wimbledon semifinal.

"I understand I can lose the next match if I don't play my best," Murray said. "I feel confident, but every day I know I'm going to have to perform well."

The 22-year-old Murray is trying to become the first Brit to title here since Fred Perry in 1936. He's the highest-seeded Brit here since Roger Taylor back in 1973 and the first Brit to reach the Wimbledon semis since Tim Henman seven years ago.

The resurgent Haas ousted fourth-seeded Serb Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3 on Wednesday.

"I have been consistent with my results this year, except in the Grand Slams, but I am still the way I am," a disappointed Djokovic said. "I think the difference is a little impatience in the important moments. I get nervous a little bit more than I used to. And I guess that's probably the pressure I'm feeling. But I shouldn't."

Haas dismissed the former Aussie Open champion and former U.S. Open runner-up Djokovic in 2 hours, 45 minutes with the help of 18 aces. The German also broke Djokovic's serve three times, compared to two breaks for the Serbian star on Court 1.

The former world No. 2 Haas will play in his first-ever Wimbledon semifinal in 11 trips here. The 31-year-old is trying to become the first thirty-something winner here since Arthur Ashe captured Wimbledon as a 31-year-old back in 1975.

Haas lost to Federer in the fourth round at the French Open last month and captured his first-ever grass-court title in Halle in his native Germany just three weeks ago.

"I'll give it my best shot," Haas said of his date with Federer on Friday. "There's not much he (Federer) can't do. He's obviously the favorite to win the title. I'm going to go out there and try to annoy him a little bit and see what happens."

Haas is a perfect 10-0 on grass this year, including a victory over Djokovic in the Halle final.

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