Roger Federer reaches Wimbledon quarter-finals in tough conditions

 

Roger Federer reached his 33rd consecutive grand slam quarter-final despite suffering an injury scare on his way to a tough win over Xavier Malisse at Wimbledon.

Federer looked far from his best amid cold and blustery conditions on Centre Court, but he still managed to record a 7-6 (7/1) 6-1 4-6 6-3 success against the world number 75 that sets him up for a last-eight clash against Mikhail Youzhny or Denis Istomin.

Part of the reason behind Federer's laboured victory was a back injury for which he needed off-court treatment after the eighth game of the first set.

Federer looked determined to get back to the warmth of the locker room early on.

The Swiss handed his opponent two break points but Malisse wasted them by netting a forehand and returning wide.

The problems did not stop there for Federer as he offered Malisse another chance to break in the fifth game but an ace rescued the six-time champion.

Federer then took a medical time-out to receive treatment on the injury, leaving the court, and he moved gingerly upon his return.

Malisse seized the initiative, breaking Federer to move 6-5 ahead, but the Swiss struck back immediately by returning a bullet forehand just over the net to draw level.

Luckily for Federer, Malisse's game imploded in the tie-break as he made three unforced errors to hand the third seed the set before the rain came.

Comical scenes followed as the players emerged from the locker room but they were ordered back when it started raining again.

Following an inspection the players returned 35 minutes after the tussle was first suspended, and despite light drizzle, the roof remained open.

Federer was still not moving perfectly, but he adapted his game to allow him to take a grip on the match.

The Swiss avoided getting involved in baseline rallies and instead opted for softer drop shots to prevent him from putting his injured back to the test.

The tactic worked as Federer engineered a break point in the third game and Malisse completely mis-timed a forehand to send the ball flying into the stands about seven yards from the Royal Box.

Federer broke again and survived two Malisse break chances to wrap up the second set in quick fashion.

Federer wanted to wrap the match up in three sets, but the Swiss, and a shivering crowd on Centre Court, were stunned as Malisse fought back, breaking with a forehand in the opening game.

Malisse had two more chances to break in the fifth but he wasted them. It did not matter, however, as the Belgian was already a break up and he served out for the set.

A superb backhand from Malisse gave him an immediate break in the fourth set but Federer levelled the match when his opponent spooned a forehand wide at 40-30 behind in the fourth.

Federer, who now seemed to be moving better than before, broke again in the sixth game when Malisse netted and the crowd favourite clinched victory with a powerful ace three games later.

PA

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Suggested Topics
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate