Djokovic, Federer reach Wimbledon quarters
Novak Djokovic hits a return to Viktor Troicki during their men's singles match at Wimbledon in London, England, July 2, 2012. (SUZANNE PLUNKETT/Reuters)
Top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic and six-time winner Roger Federer secured berths in the quarterfinals at The Championships, Wimbledon.
Djokovic moved into a 13th straight Grand Slam quarterfinal by dismantling his Serbian Davis Cup teammate Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in a mere 90 minutes under the roof on Centre Court, as rain wreaked havoc on the men's fourth- round schedule Monday at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Djokovic broke his good friend six times and simply controlled the match from start to finish.
The 25-year-old Djokovic is now 31-1 over his last five majors and 43-2 over his last seven Grand Slams.
Djokovic reached his first-ever Wimbledon final and captured his first-ever title here with a victory over Rafael Nadal a year ago. He has won four of the last six major finals and was the French Open runner-up to Nadal last month.
The formidable Belgrade native will meet the Richard Gasquet-Florian Mayer winner on Wednesday.
Federer landed in a record 33rd straight Grand Slam quarterfinal with a less- than-routine four-set victory on Day 7.
The third-seeded former world No. 1 great held off capable Belgian grass- courter Xavier Malisse 7-6 (7-1), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 on the famed Centre Court. The victory also marked the 850th of Federer's remarkable career.
Federer and Malisse had to wait out a brief rain delay and the Swiss icon had to summon a trainer to treat a sore back while leading 4-3 in the opening set.
"I feel way better than a few hours ago," Federer said. "Honestly, I'm not too worried. I've had bad backs over the years. I just have to keep an eye on it now. I hope I'll be 100 percent on Wednesday."
The 30-year-old Federer ultimately prevailed in 2 hours, 11 minutes with the help of six breaks and nine aces. Malisse also recorded nine aces, but managed only half as many breaks as his Swiss counterpart on a dreary day.
Malisse beat Federer in their first ATP meeting in 1999, but the sublime Swiss has now won their last 10 matchups, including a pair of battles at Wimbledon.
The 31-year-old Malisse was a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2002.
In addition to his six titles, Federer was the 2008 Wimbledon runner-up to Rafael Nadal, as the two men played in an epic five-set final that is regarded by many as the greatest match in tennis history.
Federer, who reached seven straight Wimbledon finals from 2003-09, is still seeking his first Grand Slam title since the 2010 Australian Open.
The Swiss star will meet 26th-seeded Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny in the round of eight.
Youzhny had been 0-6 in his previous fourth-round matches at the AELTC, but the gritty Russian finally secured a berth in his first-ever Wimbledon quarterfinal by outlasting Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5.
The 30-year-old Youzhny has now reached at least the quarters at all four majors, including trips into a pair of U.S. Open semifinals.
Five other men's fourth-round matches were suspended or postponed because of rain. Fourth-seeded British hopeful Andy Murray was leading 16th-seeded Croat Marin Cilic 7-5, 3-1; 10th-seeded American Mardy Fish was ahead of fifth- seeded French slugger Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 1-1; and 31st-seeded German Florian Mayer was leading 18th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3, 2-1 when play was called for the day.
Matches between seventh-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer and ninth-seeded former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina and 27th-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber and American qualifier Brian Baker were washed out altogether on Day 7.