Federer repels big server

Faced with a big-serving opponent, Roger Federer said he focused on his own serving game to get the win and a place in the fourth round.
Faced with a big-serving opponent, Roger Federer said he focused on his own serving game to get the win and a place in the fourth round.PHOTO: REUTERS

Swiss stands firm against powerful Groth; giant-killing Brown makes exit

LONDON • Roger Federer overcame the big-serving Sam Groth in four sets to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon yesterday.

The Swiss second seed, 33, lost his first set of the tournament but eventually beat the Australian 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7) 6-2.

Despite firing the second-fastest serve in Wimbledon history with a 236kmh effort, Groth, 27, was outclassed by the seven-time Wimbledon champion.

Federer will face Spanish 20th seed Roberto Bautista Agut, 27, in the last 16 tomorrow.

The Swiss tennis maestro said of Groth: "He's got a big serve and is a good mover coming forward, but I focused on my serving games and I dealt with that very well. I'm very happy with the way I played and I'm very pleased with the first week."

A single break in each of the first two sets put Federer in control, as Goth, the world No. 66, failed to exert pressure on last year's finalist.

Federer was untroubled on his serve until the 12th game of the third set when Groth took him to deuce. Although he held serve, the Swiss double-faulted at 3-3 in the resulting tie-break to hand Groth the mini-break and the Australian, who was looking increasingly comfortable at the net, took the set when Federer missed a forehand pass.

However, a forehand return allowed Federer to break early in the fourth set and he secured victory with another powerful return.

US Open champion Marin Cilic took just two games to see off John Isner yesterday, after returning to finish off their Wimbledon match poised at 10-10 in the final set.

The big-serving duo have been involved in the two longest matches ever played at Wimbledon, so it was no surprise that their third-round encounter rumbled on into a second day after being called off for bad light on Friday.

Croatian Cilic, the ninth seed, beat the American 17th seed 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 12-10 on Court 1 in a match that lasted 4hr 31min in total.

"Yesterday, I was playing really well and I was close to finishing it off and throughout all the match, I was the one who was putting more pressure on the returns," Cilic said.

"I was hoping today I was going to continue with that but you never know, it's a new day, new conditions and I'm lucky that I broke him the first game. At these situations you have to keep your calm and I was focused to hold my serve."

Cilic sent down 35 aces, while Isner hit 37. The Croat faces US wildcard Denis Kudla for a place in the quarter-finals.

Five years ago, Isner beat Frenchman Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in the longest match ever played. The contest took 11hr 5min of play over three days, with the American winning 70-68 in the final set.

In 2012, Cilic beat Sam Querrey in a match that took 5hr 31min, the Croat claiming the fifth set 17-15 in the second-longest match in Wimbledon history.

Dustin Brown's fairy-tale Wimbledon came crashing to a halt as the flamboyant conqueror of two-time champion Rafael Nadal slumped to a 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-3 defeat by Viktor Troicki in the third round.

In the women's singles, Caroline Wozniacki cruised past Italy's Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-2 to reach the fourth round. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 05, 2015, with the headline 'FEDERER REPELS BIG SERVER'. Print Edition | Subscribe