Federer, Cilic through; Nishikori quits

Roger Federer reached his 14th Wimbledon quarterfinal and tied Martina Navratilova’s all-time Grand Slam record of 306 match wins on Monday.

The seven-time champion achieved his double landmark by seeing off Steve Johnson of the United States 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 in the fourth round on Centre Court.

Federer, the third seed, next takes on Croatia’s Marin Cilic for a place in the semifinals.

Cilic, the ninth seeded Croatian, progressed to his third Wimbledon quarterfinal when Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori pulled out of their last-16 clash with a rib injury in the second set.

Federer has a 6-1 record over Cilic but the big Croatian stunned the 17-time major champion in the US Open semifinals in 2014 on his way to his maiden Grand Slam title.

“He brushed me off the court in the US Open a few years ago and I hope to get him back,” said Federer who had former coach Stefan Edberg watching on from the player’s box on Centre Court.

Johnson, the champion on grass at Nottingham this summer and playing in his first fourth round at a Slam, was comprehensively out-played in the first two sets.

He rallied to break the 34-year-old Federer in the fourth and sixth games of the third set but the former American college champion was reeled in on both occasions.

“Best of five matches are always tough,” added Federer, whose 14th appearance in a Wimbledon quarterfinal matches the mark of Jimmy Connors.

“I’m happy with how I played. It wasn’t as easy as maybe it looked. Steve has picked up a lot of confidence in the last few weeks and he has a nice game for grass but I think I mixed it up well.”

Federer has reached the last eight without dropping a set, easing to four successive wins on Centre Court.

“I would never have thought I would win the first four rounds in straight sets. I now need to play my best tennis.”

GIANT-KILLER QUERREY OVERPOWERS MAHUT

Sam Querrey said fears his famous victory over Novak Djokovic would be labelled a fluke helped motivate him to beat Nicolas Mahut and become the first American man to reach a grand slam quarterfinal for five years.

The 28-year-old suffered no hangover from his shock weekend triumph over the world No 1 as he beat Frenchman Mahut 6-4 7-6(5) 6-4 in the fourth round to reach the first grand slam quarterfinal of his career.

“If I didn’t win, there would have been a lot of: Wow, it was kind of a fluky match against Novak because you didn’t back it up,” he told reporters.

“I definitely knew if I lost, it would have been: Hey, you beat Novak, but obviously that was just like one special moment.”

The 28th seed was rarely troubled as he simply overpowered world number 51 Mahut with his huge serve, backed up by booming groundstrokes. He lost just two points on his first serve in the entire match against the Frenchman, who had won their two previous meetings.

On US Independence Day, he became the first American man to reach the quarterfinal at Wimbledon since Mardy Fish in 2011. He is also the first American man to make the quarterfinal of any slam since John Isner and Andy Roddick at the US Open of the same year.

Querrey said he had savoured the triumphs and plaudits that had come his way at Wimbledon this year.

“I’m not going to lie. After the Novak match, I watched every highlight I could over and over. Enjoyed the hell out of that moment,” he said.

“I’m just going to keep kind of enjoying myself – it feels great, it’s exciting – but I’m going to get ready and try to make a semifinal appearance.”

RAONIC ROARS BACK TO BEAT GOFFIN IN FIVE

Canadian Milos Raonic overturned a two-set deficit for the first time in his career to keep his hopes alive, edging David Goffin 4-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-4 to reach the last eight.

With holder Novak Djokovic’s shock exit opening up the top half of the draw, sixth seed Raonic appeared to be blowing his chance as Belgian Goffin outclassed him for two sets.

But the 25-year-old finally began to do some damage with his first serve and slowly the match turned his way.

After breaking once in the third and fourth sets Raonic began to ooze confidence and pounced in the fifth game of the decider with a thunderous forehand to go 3-2 ahead.

There was no way he was going to let 11th seed Goffin back after that and he claimed victory with a forehand winner, saluting his players’ box which included three-times winner John McEnroe.

Rather than his expected quarterfinal foe Djokovic, American Sam Querrey blocks his path to a second Wimbledon semifinal, having reached the last four in 2014.

TSONGA THROUGH TO LAST EIGHT AFTER GASQUET RETIRES HURT

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his fourth-round match when his fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet retired with a back injury with the score at 4-2 in the first set.

Tsonga, who won a marathon match at the weekend against John Isner 19-17 in the final set, was a break up against No 7 seed Gasquet when the match was ended.

The 31-year-old, seeded number 12, will play either Andy Murray or Nick Kyrgios in the quarterfinals.

© Reuters

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