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TENNIS / WIMBLEDON

These men's quarters are well-drawn

Andy Roddick faces Lleyton Hewitt in a quarterfinal between former Grand Slam champions, and Roger Federer takes on big-serving Ivo Karlovic.

July 01, 2009|Chuck Culpepper

TODAY'S FEATURED MATCHES

Men's quarterfinals; world rankings in parentheses:

Andy Roddick (6) vs. Lleyton Hewitt (56), Australia

Awww, remember long ago when they were up-and-comers and they played that raucous nighttime 2001 U.S. Open quarterfinal and Hewitt won and Roddick lost his mind after that overrule of a line call in the fifth set? At times like these, you can just feel the nostalgia, seeing as how they're older and they're mutually respectful and there's so little chance of anybody calling the chair umpire "an absolute moron."

Roger Federer (2), Switzerland vs. Ivo Karlovic (36), Croatia

Look, Federer won the French and completed his Grand Slam dinner set and notched his record-tying 14th Grand Slam title, but now he's facing this guy who's won all 128 of his service games in two grass-court tournaments in the last month. If and only if Federer can break this guy's serve, then he becomes the greatest player ever.

Andy Murray (3), Britain vs. Juan Carlos Ferrero (70), Spain

At 29, Ferrero is the first wild card to reach a Wimbledon quarterfinal since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001, but he simply cannot emulate Ivanisevic's title because, unlike Ivanisevic, he has failed to recognize the calming influence of spending match-day mornings watching "Teletubbies."

Novak Djokovic (4), Serbia vs. Tommy Haas (34), Germany

Djokovic, who did lose to the geezer Haas on grass in Germany three weeks ago, has played marvelously here and has basked in the lack of attention paid it. In fact, just to mention it here is probably rude.

ENGLISH BREAKFAST

With 33 titles plus runner-up showings, Serena Williams owns a heap of hardware, so it's probably unsurprising that she uses a trophy or two as a household appliance. "I mean, I use some of my trophies for makeup brushes," she said Tuesday, adding that someday after retirement, she might "take all the makeup brushes out and really appreciate every title and every trophy." Asked which trophy makes the most apt makeup-brush holder, she quickly said, "My Indian Wells '03." Listeners began laughing, aware that was the year that the crowd at Indian Wells had booed her family because Venus Williams withdrew from a semifinal. Serena smiled fiendishly. "Or was it '01?" she said. "Whatever year that was."

BRITMANIA UPDATE

It had been a 3-hour 57-minute, inspiring, perspiring, fourth-round, indoor tennis match at Wimbledon on Monday night. It had featured No. 3-ranked Murray, hauling around the hopes of his tennis nation -- Scotland, England, United Kingdom -- and No. 18 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, providing ample resistance as have so many across 73 years of British failure to win the men's singles title (and 71 to reach a final). It had riveted viewers until 10:39 p.m. It had prompted the seasoned Judy Murray, mother of Andy and first architect of his game, to spring to her feet on multiple occasions. Yet still, somehow, the tabloid the Sun managed a classic case of mischievous overstatement: WORLD WAW III.

BURDEN OF ROOF

The Centre Court roof, having catapulted to broadcast and tabloid stardom on Monday, took a scorching Tuesday off and looked all smug sitting up there.

ALSO TUESDAY AT WIMBLEDON

Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, the 2006 men's doubles titlists, closed out the proceedings on Centre Court by advancing to the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 wipeout of No. 5 Bruno Soares of Brazil and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe.

STATISTIC OF THE DAY

15-0: Venus Williams' record in quarterfinals and semifinals at Wimbledon since 2000.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Italy's No. 43-ranked Francesca Schiavone, who played her first four matches of this Wimbledon on boondocks courts, on playing the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of her life on the giant stadium Court No. 1: "You are small over there."

-- Chuck Culpepper

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