Thu, July 02, 2009
Sports > Tennis & Golf > Wimbledon 2009 tennis tournament

Majestic Federer storms past giant Karlovic

2009-07-02 03:34:15 GMT2009-07-02 11:34:15 (Beijing Time)

Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Ivo Karlovic of Croatia during their quarter-final match at the Wimbledon tennis championships, in London July 1, 2009.(Photo/AFP)

LONDON: Five-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer reached his 21st consecutive Grand Slam semifinal yesterday with a majestic 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) dismantling of giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic.

Federer, bidding for a sixth All England Club title and a record 15th major, will now tackle German veteran Tommy Haas for a place in Sunday's final.

Haas rolled back the years as the former world No 2 defeated fourth seed Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 6-3 to reach the semifinals.

Haas, the oldest man left in the draw at 31, pushed Federer to the brink of defeat at the French Open when he took a two-sets lead.

"It's difficult against Karlovic because there aren't many baseline rallies on his serve or mine," said Federer after his 1hr 42min win.

"It's tough mentally because it's hard to break him. So I was happy to break him and win the match.

"To be in my 21st consecutive major semifinal shows how consistent I have been and injury free. I'm playing well at the moment but there are some big matches to come."

Going into Wednesday's clash, Karlovic hadn't dropped serve in the tournament, he had won 79 service games in four rounds and faced just four break points.

But second seed Federer ended that streak in the fourth game when a sumptuous backhand return followed by a sublime forehand pass gave him the first break against the 6ft 10in (2.08m) Croatian to lead 3-1.

That quickly became 4-1 against a player he had already defeated eight times in nine matches.

Federer wrapped up the opener after 23 minutes having conceded just three points in four service games.

By comparison, 30-year-old Karlovic, the 22nd seed, suffered a dramatic powercut.

Having fired a huge 137 aces in four matches to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final, he managed just three in the first set.

Federer broke again to lead 6-5 in the second set courtesy of a stunning backhand return off a power-packed Karlovic first serve followed by a deft forehand which the Croatian could only push wide.

The Swiss, having conceded just four more points on his serve, took the set in the next game after only an hour on court when Karlovic went long with a return.

Service dominated the third set with Karlovic upping his ace count to 22 while Federer leaked just another four points off his own serve.

The world No 2 dominated the tie-break, stretching to a 5/2 lead before romping into a seventh successive Wimbledon semifinal with another sweeping forehand.

In the women's doubles, Venus and Serena Williams warmed up for the Wimbledon singles semifinals by reaching the last four.

The sisters underlined their dominance in the women's game with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld and America's Vania King.

The fourth-seeded title holders face top seeds Cara Black of Zimbabwe and America's Liezel Huber in Thursday's semifinals.


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