Schalken in line to meet 'saviour' Roddick

Andy Roddick and Sjeng Schalken are one round away from an extraordinary meeting in the quarter-finals of the men's singles after their victories yesterday. The two have more than a booming serve in common. Last month, the young American saved the lives of Schalken and his wife, Ricky, after a hotel fire in Rome during the Italian Open.

Both have spoken of the bond that now exists between them following the incident in which three people died. Roddick, 21, helped the couple, and other guests, down onto his balcony after they became trapped on the seventh floor. "Anytime you share an experience that's pretty traumatic, there's always something there," Roddick said.

Once the draw was made, they seemed fated to meet. The two practised together last week. If they do play each other it will be a tough, yet emotional, contest but no-one should expect too many disputed line calls.

Yesterday Roddick easily beat his fellow American Taylor Dent whose serve almost rivals his own for its ferocity. "I thought I lifted my game today," the second seed said after the 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 victory. "I had to. You know I was forced to." Dent is a different proposition on grass from when the men last met, at the Australian Open, and Roddick won with embarrassing ease.

Yesterday, the US Open champion, who holds the record for the world's fastest delivery at 153 mph, survived three set points in the second set tie-break but was never really in difficulty. However, his tennis is yet to reach the heights of last year and seems one-dimensional.

"Week one is over and I'm through, I'm alive" he said. "The whole tournament is a process. The first couple of rounds are always a little bit dicey.

"Once you're in the second week you start feeling like you're in the trenches. That's where I feel I am right now."

He added: "I didn't play as well as I wanted to in my first two matches. I feel I can beat anyone on grass with the way I'm playing now. If I serve well, I have a chance to beat anybody on any given day."

The second seed, who has lost just once in 18 contests with fellow Americans, clinched victory, holding five match points, with a vicious serve and will now meet 6ft 7in German Alexander Popp, who is unseeded but has reached the last eight in the past two years. That, because he has an English mother, led to embarrassing attempts to cultivate him as one of Wimbledon's own. Yesterday, he beat Denmark's Kenneth Carlsen 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.

Meanwhile Schalken, typically, took five sets to defeat Thomas Enqvist. As with the European Championship it was another victory for the Netherlands over Sweden and also one which went all the way - with the number 12 seed winning 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 in two hours and 56 minutes.

Schalken will next play the American Vince Spadea who was perhaps a surprisingly easy winner over the eighth seed, Rainer Schuettler, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 but will now face a greater challenge. "It's going to be a physical battle," Schalken said. "He (Spadea) is a very talented player but he also grinds out results. That's my game as well so those people coming to watch should bring their picnic bags with them." Indeed.

Making quietprogress through the draw is the Belgian Xavier Malisse, unseeded but a semi-finalist in 2002, who yesterday beat Karol Beck 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. He now faces the Croatian Mario Antic, who beat Dominik Hrbaty 7-5, 6-3, 7-5. The Slovak became the 24th seed to fall.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
News
people
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
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.

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced