BEIJING, June 27 -- Roger Federer lost a set for the first time this week but advanced to the second week at Wimbledon by beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-1.
Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball to Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during the men's singles third round match at 2009 Wimbledon Tennis Championships in Wimbledon of London, June 26, 2009. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)
Federer was a break up in the fourth set before losing his focus, and two errant forehands cost him the tiebreaker. That merely extended his Centre Court workout by half an hour, and he earned a berth in the fourth round Monday against a familiar foe -- Robin Soderling.
Federer beat the Swede in the French Open final this month to complete a career grand slam and win his 14th major title, tying Pete Sampras' record. Now Federer, who has a 10-0 record against Soderling, seeks his sixth Wimbledon title.
Federer played with the new retractable roof open for a fifth consecutive day, despite rain in the forecast.
Serena Williams walked onto Court 2 for her match six minutes late; otherwise she remained right on schedule at Wimbledon. The two-time champion advanced to the fourth round by beating Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-4.
Serena Williams of the United States returns the ball to Roberta Vinci of Italy during the women's singles third round match at 2009 Wimbledon Tennis Championships in Wimbledon of London, June 26, 2009. Serena Williams won 2-0. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)
As Vinci waited for her tardy opponent to arrive for their noon start, there was brief speculation Williams might be a no-show. Once that ended, so did the prospect of an upset.
Williams said she was late heading to the court at the south end of the club because she was awaiting an escort.
"I thought someone was going to come get me," she said. "I was waiting and waiting. Finally I was like, 'OK, I think I'm just going to go out.' I'm used to someone coming and saying, 'OK, let's go.'"
The mixup didn't rattle Williams, who hit 10 aces and committed only 12 unforced errors to win for the 172nd time in 200 grand slam matches. The only other woman to play so many matches in major tournaments is her sister, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams (219).
The No. 2-seeded Williams used her penetrating strokes to push Vinci around the court. One time the Italian scrambled to retrieve a shot in the corner several steps beyond the lines, then stood helpless as Williams hit a winner into the other corner.
Only briefly did Williams waver, with a series of misplays midway through the second set. She squealed in anguish when a poor aim cost her a point at the net. She squealed again when she double-faulted on break point. When she pulled a backhand wide to lose another game, she stomped the grass and said, "Ai-yi-yi."
Serving at 4-3, she fell behind love-30, then hit three aces to hold. Two games later, one final ace gave her the match, and she screamed, "Yes!"
"I don't think I played great today at all," Williams said. "I'm just glad to have gotten through it and go on to the next match."
Williams' opponent in the round of 16 on Monday will be Daniela Hantuchova, who beat Ai Sugiyama 6-4, 6-3. Williams is 6-1 against Hantuchova.
"She's such a smooth player," Williams said. "I have to make sure I don't rush myself, because she is playing well, and I think she's moving well. So I'm going to have to really bring a tough game."
Seventh-seeded Vera Zvonareva, slowed by an ankle injury since April, pulled out before her match against No. 26 Virginie Razzano. Fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva, a semifinalist last year, beat qualifier Regina Kulikova 6-1, 6-2.
Soderling reached the fourth round for the first time by beating Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-4. Soderling lost only three points on his first serve and never faced a break point.
(Source: Shanghai Daily/Agencies)