Walkover for Federer as Serena serves double bagel
Roger Federer progressed to the quarter-finals of the US Open without hitting a ball yesterday as Mardy Fish pulled out of their scheduled fourth-round match for health reasons.
The American needed minor surgery earlier this year to correct an irregular heartbeat and admitted after his five-set second-round win over Nikolay Davydenko that doubts over his health remained.
Fish then had another long match against Gilles Simon in the third round, after which he did not do a press conference because of medical reasons.
The 30-year-old did not practise yesterday and, although no further explanation has been given for his withdrawal, it is believed to be because of worries over his heart.
The walkover means Federer extended his record of consecutive grand slam quarter-finals to 34, and in the last eight on Wednesday he will play sixth seed Tomas Berdych.
The Czech has looked in fine form this tournament and reached his first quarter-final at Flushing Meadows with a dominant 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-1 victory over 11th seed Nicolas Almagro.
In the women’s singles, Serena Williams sent an ominous warning to her title rivals with a ‘double bagel’ victory over Andrea Hlavackova to reach the quarter-finals. In the first set Hlavackova was completely outplayed and won only 10 points but she never let her head drop and was close to winning a game on a number of occasions in the second set.
She even had her first break point when Williams served for victory but she could not take it and the 30-year-old wrapped up a 6-0, 6-0 win after 57 minutes. Williams hit 31 winners and made only seven unforced errors to set up a quarter-final clash against Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic, who she has beaten in their three previous meetings.
Ivanovic reached her first grand slam quarter-final since winning the French Open in 2008 with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.
Italy’s tenth seed Sara Errani continued her fantastic year by knocking out sixth seed and last year’s semi-finalist Angelique Kerber 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
Errani had never been beyond the third round at a grand slam before reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and she then embarked on a brilliant run through to the final at the French Open before losing to Maria Sharapova.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
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