Roger Federer has become the oldest man to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since the dawn of the Open Era in 1968.
Federer, who will be 40 in just under five weeks’ time, eased past Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego 7-5 6-4 6-2 to make the last-eight at the All England Club for the 18th time.
Twenty years after he defeated Pete Sampras for his first Wimbledon title and after playing just 11 matches in the past 18 months while undergoing two knee surgeries, the fan favourite reached a record 58th grand slam quarterfinal.
It’s one area he still holds a substantial lead over Novak Djokovic – who reached his 50th quarterfinal by dismissing Christian Garin 6-2 6-4 6-2 – and Rafael Nadal, who has 44 but isn’t playing this event. Jimmy Connors (41) and Australia’s Roy Emerson (37) round out the men’s top five.
Federer also drew level with Roland Garros master Nadal for the most wins at a single grand slam (105) and stretched his lead over Connors (14) for most Wimbledon quarterfinal appearances.
Please, never stop playing. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
“I felt after the first set I was able to control things. I couldn’t be more excited to be in the quarters,” said Federer whose match took place on the final ‘Manic Monday’, so-called because all the last-16 ties in the men’s and women’s event are played.
From next year, play will be held on the middle Sunday, which has traditionally been the tournament rest day.
“I’m happy to have played in the era that there was a ‘Middle Sunday’ but it now means more people can come to the tournament,” Federer said. “It was very special and I really enjoyed it.”
The eight-time Wimbledon champion will face either second seed Daniil Medvedev or Hubert Hurkacz, the 14th seed, for a place in the semi-finals.
Medvedev was leading Hurkacz 6-2 6-7 (2/7) 6-3 3-4 when play was halted for the night due to rain.
“It is not fair for anyone. I have been in these situations before – but these guys are young and they can recover,” said Federer.
“Unfortunately they are very, very good too, so hopefully it rains again tomorrow … I’m kidding, I’m kidding!”
Three wins to go. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
World number one Djokovic, chasing a sixth Wimbledon and record-equalling 20th major, eased into the last-eight for the 12th time with a win over Chile’s Garin.
Djokovic will next face Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, one of a host of players booking last-eight spots at the tournament for the first time.
The list included women’s top seed Ashleigh Barty, second seed Aryna Sabalenka, Karolina Pliskova, Viktorija Golubic as well as Matteo Berrettini, Denis Shapovalov, Karen Khachanov and Felix Auger-Aliassime in the men’s draw.
Djokovic is halfway to a calendar Grand Slam.
Only two men have swept all four majors in the same year with Rod Laver the most recent back in 1969.
“Confidence levels are very high after winning the French Open,” said Djokovic. “It was one of my biggest wins in the circumstances — two five-setters, two four-setters in the second week.
“They took a lot out of me but they also gave me wings.”
– with AFP
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