Federer, Murray advance at Wimbledon despite dropping sets

Roger Federer dropped a set for the first time this fortnight but he still cruised into the Wimbledon fourth round by defeating Sam Groth 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 on Saturday afternoon. Federer fired 17 aces and did not face a single break point while advancing in two hours and 16 minutes.


One of the biggest servers on tour, Groth blasted one at 147 miles per hour, the second fastest recording serve in history at the All-England Club (trailing only retired American Taylor Dent).The unseeded Aussie played especially big in what was an entertaining third set, during which the two competitors combined for 39 winners and a mere seven unforced errors. A tiebreaker had to decide it, at which point a single mini-break was enough for Groth. It came courtesy of a Federer double-fault and Groth held his serve the whole way, converting set point at 6-5 when the 33-year-old Swiss sent a forehand pass wide.

But Federer restored order in the fourth set with two service breaks. The world No. 2 now awaits Roberto Bautista Agut when the second week begins on Monday with the entire fourth round.

“Very pleased with the first week,” Federer commented.

Andy Murray has to be pleased with his first three rounds, as well. The Scot also surrendered a set for the first time at this event but he rebounded to oust Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1. Seppi won five games in a row after taking a medical timeout at 2-1 in the third, then Murray took six games in succession following an injury timeout of his own at 0-1 in the fourth.


Among those being required to work much harder on Saturday were Vasek Pospisil and Ivo Karlovic. Both players survived tough matchups to punch tickets to the last 16. Pospisil silenced the British crowd with a 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 8-6 over wild card James Ward. Karlovic probably should have gone five sets, as well, but he downed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(3), 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(9). An apparent double-hit by the 6’11” Croat on Tsonga’s set point in the fourth went uncalled, and Karlovic eventually won the tiebreaker.


Pospisil is set to meet Viktor Troicki on Monday; Karlovic has a date with Murray.

* Berdych gets past Andujar, needs at least a semifinal to have a chance at top 5.
* Cilic finishes off Isner in five, must win two more matches to pass Raonic for No. 8.
* Troicki topples Brown, likely into top 20 and could reach 18th with quarterfinal.
* Karlovic too big for Tsonga, will have a shot at top 20 if he upsets Murray.
* Pospisil outlasts Ward, will make double-digit jump and can reach top 30 with one more win.

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