Roger Federer races to Wimbledon milestone

His eighth Wimbledon win makes him the most decorated player in the open era

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has won eight Wimbledon titles
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has won eight Wimbledon titles
(Image credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty)

Injured Andy Murray bundled out of Wimbledon by Sam Querrey

12 July

Andy Murray's injury woes finally caught up with him as he folded against American Sam Querrey in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Defending champion Murray, who had been suffering from a hip problem before the start of the tournament, first looked to be in trouble in the third set, but won a tie break to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

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But after that the wheels fell off as Querrey won 12 of the following 14 games to win the fourth and fifth sets 6-1 6-1 in just 50 minutes.

Before Murray's injury flared up the contest had been an entertaining one, with Murray just about on top. He started brightly and won the first set with ease. He was pegged back in the second and then held on to win the third.

But although Murray's movement was seriously hampered in the final two sets of the match, his 29-year-old opponent, seeded 24 at this year's tournament, took full advantage to secure the biggest win of his career.

"The defending champion moved like Hercules (Harold Steptoe's horse, not the mythical strongman) in the two hours and 42 minutes it lasted. In the two short closing sets, he was powerless to change the direction or mood of the contest, so hobbled was he by his hip," says Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian.

"He was also bidding to retain his world number one ranking and to join Johanna Konta in the semi-finals, with their becoming the first pair of British players to go this deep here in the Open era in the men's and women's draws. Now the top spot is up for grabs, and Konta shoulders the nation's hopes alone."

Murray will lose his number one ranking to Novak Djokovic if the Serb goes on to win the tournament.

"Querrey is the lowest ranked player Andy Murray has ever lost to at Wimbledon," says JJ Bull of the Daily Telegraph. "But the thing is... he's injured."

He has also endured a torrid season. "The injuries he suffered, then getting shingles (which definitely didn't help) meant he was never really able to get a rhythm going with his training - or basic fitness - and he's not been able to prepare properly for this current season at all."

Johanna Konta keeps Wimbledon focus as she lines up Venus Williams

12 July

Johanna Konta is now just two matches away from becoming the first British woman to win Wimbledon since Virginia Wade lifted the Venus Rosewater dish in 1977.

As it is the 26-year-old Konta is her country's first female Wimbledon semi-finalist since Wade in 1978 after defeating Simona Halep of Romania in three thrilling sets, 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

"It's a little bit surreal," said Konta after her victory over the number two seed. "It's incredible how quickly things go in tennis. I'm still digesting things. I felt very clear on what I was trying to achieve out there, regardless of whether it was going my way or not. I knew she was really not going to give me much for free. I had to create my own chances, and I was fortunate to take a few of them."

With Wade looking on from the Royal Box, Konta lost the first set to Halep on a tie-break but she levelled when she won another tie-break to take the second. Despite making a surprising number of unforced errors - 36 to her opponent's nine - the Briton was more aggressive than Halep, hitting 48 winners to the Romanian's 26. That proved decisive in the third set as Konta held her nerve to win 6-4 in two hours and 38 minutes.

"I knew against Simona she wasn't going to give me much for free and I had to create my own chances and I took a few of them," said Konta, the number six seed at Wimbledon. "I felt consistent in my approach and in my general being out there. I continued to trust in myself."

Konta's reward for beating Halep is a semi-final encounter against 37-year-old Venus Williams, who made short work of Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 7-5 to become the oldest player to reach the Wimbledon last four since Martina Navratilova in 1994.

Ostapenko, the French Open champion wilted against Williams, who is coming to the boil nicely in the tournament having put her traumatic road traffic accident behind her.

Konta has won three of her five previous matches against Williams, but she dismissed suggestions that she should have an advantage over a woman who is 11 years her senior: "I definitely feel age isn't a factor with Venus," said Konta. "She's a tremendous champion and I feel humbled to share a court with her."

Asked to explain her impressive form at the championships, Konta replied: "I've always believed in my own ability and I've always dreamt big. But I'm much more process orientated, so I don't give myself too much time to dream. I'm more focused on the work."

Wimbledon 2017: Shock as Rafa Nadal loses five-set classic

11 July

Wimbledon witnessed its first classic encounter of 2017 as Gilles Muller of Luxembourg defeated Rafael Nadal in five sets and nearly five hours of extraordinary tennis.

The decisive final set lasted for two and a quarter hours - half an hour longer than Roger Federer required earlier in the day to defeat 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov over three sets - and it ended with Muller emerging triumphant 15-13.

"That was tough," said Muller of a match that eventually finished at 8.20pm "In my head I was thinking we have to finish this now or otherwise we’re going to come back tomorrow. I knew it was going to be maybe another ten, 15 minutes more, maximum. I just said to myself, 'give it a shot'."

The 34-year-old Muller has tasted victory over Nadal at Wimbledon before - way back in 2005 - but since then the world number 26 has never progressed beyond a quarter-final of a Grand Slam tournament.

In the same period Nadal has touched greatness on the tennis court, winning 15 Grand Slam titles, most recently the French Open last month. But the Spaniard's defeat to Muller continues his sorry run at Wimbledon where he has failed to get past the fourth round in the past six years.

"It's tough to analyse in a positive way right now," said the 31-year-old, who won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010. "That’s not the result I was expecting. It’s true that I played some good matches, but the same time is true that I didn’t want to lose that match."

Nadal got off to a shocking start, losing the opening two sets, but he clawed his back into the match by taking sets three and four. With the momentum generated by his comeback, Nadal was the favourite to take the fifth set but Muller never lost his self-belief despite squandering his advantage.

Dominant at the net, and secure at the baseline, the Luxembourger hit 30 aces and 95 winners as he gradually wore down his opponent in the final gruelling set.

"I didn't feel like I was playing bad in the third and fourth sets so told myself to keep it up and if it doesn't happen then he is just too good," said Muller, whose victory was watched by Prince Felix of Luxembourg. "I started serving better and in the end it was just a matter of a few points here and there."

Muller will play Croatia's seventh seed Marin Cilic in the last eight while Federer - who has yet to drop a set - will take on Canada's Milos Raonic. Andy Murray needed only three sets to defeat Benoît Paire on Centre Court and the world number one now faces American Sam Querrey in the quarter-final.

"It’s going to be tough," said Querrey, who last year dumped who dumped Novak Djokovic out of the tournament. "He’s playing at a high level. He’s defending champion, number one in the world, and he loves playing here. The crowd is going to be behind him."

Manic Monday at Wimbledon: Is the scheduling sexist?

10 July

The top four male seeds at Wimbledon - Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic - were all due to be in action on Manic Monday at the All England Club - but it is the scheduling of the women's matches that has grabbed the headlines.

"The Big Four have Big Foured their way on to Centre Court and Court One. There would have been Pimm’s-fuelled riots otherwise," says Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian.

However, that has left Angelique Kerber, the women's world number one and top seed, playing on Court Two for the second match running, even though she is facing Garbine Muguruza, a Wimbledon finalist and the 2015 French Open champion.

No male top seed has played outside Centre and Court One this century.

After that on Court Two, two time slam winner, Victoria Azarenka, faces second seed Simona Halep.

Elsewhere, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, yet to appear on one of the show courts, must play fourth seed Elina Svitolina on Court 12.

"Court scheduling is always a contentious issue, never more so than the second Monday of Wimbledon with so many big names in action," says Piers Newbury of BBC.

"The downside to 'Manic Monday' is the amount of great players and matches that can miss out on prime-time exposure and the biggest crowds."

It is an issue that has generated headlines overseas. The New York Times says Wimbledon "has come far in its attitude toward women but still needs to work on its scheduling".

"There is no good reason that the number one seed Angelique Kerber and number 14 Garbine Muguruza, both recent singles finalists at Wimbledon, should have their match on Monday relegated to Court Two, the third-most important show court here.

"One of the Big Four men should have had his match moved to a lesser court to make room — perhaps Rafael Nadal, who will face number 16 Gilles Muller; perhaps Novak Djokovic, who will meet the unseeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino."

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