Tuesday 21 November 2017

Sharapova firmly fixed on final path

"I don't really care what people think or say," Caroline Wozniacki shrugged here after her Wimbledon exit had again left everyone questioning the validity of her world No 1 ranking, WRITES Ian Chadband.

Naturally, her young face told a very different story. Of course, she cares that she still has to wait to be seen as a great Dane. In stark contrast, though, Maria Sharapova was all smiles and that was even before she learned of Wozniacki's defeat by Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova. Russia's 2004 champion now spies a favourable route to another final. Sharapova thought she would be playing Wozniacki in today's quarter-finals but the draw has opened up.

Indeed, it could be Sharapova's tournament to lose following her 6-4 6-2 win over China's Shuai Peng, as she is the only Grand Slam winner left in the tournament. She said recently that, after all her injury woes, returning to the winner's enclosure here would rank as the greatest achievement of her career. It looks a decent bet now.

Federer overcomes slow start to advance

Roger Federer marched into his 29th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final with a four-set victory over Russian 18th seed Mikhail Youzhny.

Federer dropped the opening set -- his first of the tournament -- on a tie-break but hit back to complete a 6-7 (7/5) 6-3 6-3 6-3 win in just over three hours.

The 29-year-old is chasing a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title and will play 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals.

Federer had progressed serenely through to the last 16, barely dropping a point on his own serve. At times last night he was at his imperious best, mixing backhand passes with inside-out forehand winners, deft volleys and even a through-the-legs shot from the baseline.

Youzhny had lost all his previous 10 meetings with Federer but refused to go down quietly and he made the Swiss third seed work for his victory, right from the outset.

Irish Independent

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