Federer, Henin, Serena move to 4th round
Vail, CO Colorado
WIMBLEDON, England ” Justine Henin and Serena Williams moved closer to another Grand Slam quarterfinal, each easily advancing Friday to the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Martina Hingis enjoyed no such luck. The 1997 Wimbledon champion lost to Laura Granville of the United States 6-4, 6-2 on Court No. 2, the “Graveyard of Champions.”
It was also a rough day for No. 5 Fernando Gonzalez and No. 9 James Blake.
Gonzalez lost to Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 8-6, and Blake was beaten by former top-ranked player Juan Carlos Ferrero 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Four-time defending champion Roger Federer made it to the fourth round, beating Marat Safin 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (4) despite trailing by a break in the second set. No. 3 Andy Roddick advanced by defeating Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (2), winning his 17th straight tiebreaker.
Federer, who stretched his grass-court winning streak to 51, is trying to win a fifth consecutive Wimbledon title, something only Bjorn Borg has done in the past 100 years.
“I don’t know if I played phenomenal,” Federer said. “I just think I played the right way against Marat today.”
Henin, trying to complete a career Grand Slam with a title at the All England Club, beat Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-1, 6-3. Williams defeated Milagros Sequera of Venezuela 6-1, 6-0 in 43 minutes.
Henin beat Williams in the French Open quarterfinals, then went on to win her third straight title at Roland Garros. Williams, who had 27 winners and saved three break points Friday, won the Australian Open in January.
The eight-time Grand Slam champion said she was bothered by a tight hamstring in the first round, but not any more.
“My hamstring is a lot better,” Williams said. “It’s definitely a mental relief knowing I don’t have the pain I had before.”
The top-ranked Henin, who lost to Amelie Mauresmo in last year’s Wimbledon final, again played with a long strip of black tape running down the side of her right leg. She said she’s been bothered by tendinitis in her right foot.
“I could do very good things during my first three matches,” the Belgian said. “Especially today, I’m very happy the way I played, very aggressive, very consistent.”
The match was suspended for more than an hour because of rain with Henin leading 3-2 in the second set. When play resumed, Henin broke in the eighth game and then served out the match.
In three rounds so far at this year’s tournament, Henin has dropped only 11 games.
“It’s good I don’t spend a lot of time on the court because physically I really need to rest a little bit,” Henin said. “It’s going to be good for my next match, I hope.”
Hingis, a five-time Grand Slam champion, returned to professional tennis in January 2006 after a three-year retirement. She reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in January, and is ranked No. 11.
“I didn’t really have too many chances on her serves,” Hingis said. “She didn’t really miss much. She dictated well. My serve probably wasn’t the greatest, either. I wish I had done better.”
Granville is in the fourth round at Wimbledon for the second time. She also won three matches in her debut in 2002.
“I definitely don’t think she was 100 percent,” Granville said, referring to Hingis.
Security at Wimbledon increased Friday after British police thwarted an apparent car bomb attack in central London. Police discovered a parked car packed with gas containers, nails and a detonator.
“Everyone heard about that,” said Henin, adding she wasn’t nervous about playing.
No. 3 Jelena Jankovic, a French Open semifinalist, rallied to beat Lucie Safarova 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-2, and No. 31 Michaella Krajicek upset No. 8 Anna Chakvetadze 7-6 (8), 6-7 (5), 6-2.
Jankovic double-faulted to lose the first set, and then was broken in the final game of the second set to send it to a tiebreaker. In the third set, which started after a 30-minute rain delay, the Serb broke Safarova in the sixth and eighth games.
“At some point I was thinking, ‘My God, is there any way out?”‘ Jankovic said.
Krajicek, who had to wait through two rain delays to reach the fourth round, is the sister of 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek.
Also, No. 15 Patty Schnyder beat No. 24 Alona Bondarenko 6-4, 3-6, 8-6 and will next face Henin. No. 10 Daniela Hantuchova, Williams’ next opponent, defeated No. 19 Katarina Srebotnik 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, and No. 18 Marion Bartoli beat No. 16 Shahar Peer 6-3, 6-2.
Tipsarevic saved a match point before upsetting Gonzalez. The Australian Open runner-up sent a backhand into the net at 30-40 in the 12th game of the fifth set. He was two points from winning on six occasions.
No. 15 Ivan Ljubicic also lost, falling to Paul-Henri Mathieu 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3, while No. 13 Tommy Haas advanced by beating No. 21 Dmitry Tursunov 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-4 and No. 12 Richard Gasquet defeated Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3, winning three straight matches at the tour level for the first time.