Federer crashes out of Wimbledon, opens draw for Djokovic, Nadal and Murray
Posted Wednesday June 30, 2010 – 9.30am
LONDON, June 30, 2010 (AFP) – Wimbledon legend Roger Federer crashed out of the tournament in a shock quarter-final defeat to Tomas Berdych on Wednesday, blowing open the draw for Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.
The Swiss defending champion, who had been gunning for a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon singles title, was beaten 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 by Czech 12th seed Berdych on Centre Court, where Federer has ruled the roost for the best part of a decade.
The top seed’s downfall means Djokovic — who booked his semi-final place by beating Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun — Nadal and Murray will all feel their chances of claiming the Wimbledon crown have been greatly improved.
The defeat will come as a devastating blow to Federer. It will be the first time since 2002 that he has not made the final at the All England Club.
Serbian third seed Djokovic, who has reached the semi-finals here just once before, beat Lu 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 on Court One to book his spot in the last four.
Djokovic faces Berdych in the semi-finals.
Spanish world number one Nadal, the 2008 winner who missed the chance to defend his title last year due to knee injuries which are still plaguing him, takes on Swedish sixth seed Robin Soderling, in a re-run of this year’s French Open final earlier this month.
British home favourite Murray faces French 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the other quarter-final.
Berdych, the first Czech man to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since Ivan Lendl in 1990, said he could hardly believe he had put out the world number two on his stomping ground.
“It’s amazing to play in this stadium, to play such a great player as Roger is and come here and be a winner, this is really amazing for me,” he said.
“If I go through my career, I think it was so far the toughest game to serve and close out the match.”
On Court One, Lu had put out three-times beaten finalist Andy Roddick to get through to the last eight — the best-ever Grand Slam performance by a Taiwanese player — but was no match for the in-form Djokovic.
“The way I have played I think I deserve to win. I was hitting all the shots and I was really playing very solid from all parts of the court so I’m very, very happy with the performance,” the Serb said.
“I sincerely hope to continue with this level of my game. The way I have been playing match after match is very encouraging.
“I’ve nothing really to lose in the semi-finals.”
Meanwhile Nadal will have to be at his best to beat Soderling, who reckons he has the measure of the Spaniard, having knocked him out of the French Open last year and downed him again in the World Tour Finals in December.
“It’s definitely easier to play him on any surface other than clay,” the Swede said.
The pair have never got along well after Soderling mimicked Nadal’s on-court habits, but the Spaniard got revenge at the French Open recently when he defeated the Swede in the final to claim his fifth Roland Garros crown.
“I had a little bit of a problem (with him) in a tournament a few year ago. After that I never had any problems with him,” Nadal said.
“He is probably one of the more difficult opponents that you can play on all surfaces, but especially here. He’s playing with big confidence and a big serve.”
Meanwhile, Tsonga, playing his first Wimbledon quarter-final, will have to subdue the Centre Court crowd as well as Murray when he takes on the British star.
Murray has yet to drop a set at The Championships but, although the odds are stacked against him, Tsonga said he was entering the contest in a positive mood.
“I know Andy likes grass. He plays well on this surface. He is at home. He will give everything,” he said.
“But I will be the outsider. Maybe the pressure will be on his shoulders because for me I have nothing to lose. I have everything to win in this match.”