FOR ROGER, IT'S OVER AND OUT
For 2nd straight Grand Slam, exit comes in quarterfinals
Federer falls to Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in quarterfinal bout at All England Club
WIMBLEDON, England — Roger Federer covered his face with both hands, no doubt wishing he were doing anything at that moment other than dissecting his latest earlier-than-expected Grand Slam exit.
This one came at Wimbledon, no less — the tournament that he loves more than any other, that he ruled for so long.
After all the victories, all the championships, all the records, Federer now must deal with a new streak: The owner of 16 major titles, the man widely considered the best player in tennis history, has lost two consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals in the span of a month, both against opponents who have yet to win a single such trophy.
Federer arrived at the All England Club aiming to reach the final for the eighth year in a row and win a record-tying seventh title. Instead, he leaves before the semifinals, beaten 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 Wednesday by No. 12 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
On June 1, Federer lost in the French Open
Continued from C1 quarterfinals as the defending champion there, too, putting an end to his unprecedented 23 consecutive appearances in major semifinals.
“God, I can’t wait for Paris and Wimbledon to come around next year again, that’s for sure, because they’ve been frustrating tournaments for me, even though they weren’t too bad. Quarters is a decent result,” Federer said, as if trying to convince himself along with everyone else.
“Obviously, people think quarters is shocking, but people would die to play in quarterfinal stages of Grand Slam play,” he added, fidgeting during his news conference. “It’s not something I’m used to doing — losing in quarterfinals — because it’s not something I’ve done in the last six years.”
Federer placed at least some of the blame for this loss on two previously undisclosed health issues: a bothersome back and right thigh.
“I couldn’t play the way I wanted to play,” said Federer. “You just don’t feel as comfortable. You can’t concentrate on each and every point, because you do feel the pain sometimes.”
Against Berdych, Federer whiffed on a forehand in the fourth game, but otherwise gave no obvious indication he was troubled. Berdych didn’t notice anything wrong.
“I don’t know if he just (is) looking for some excuses after the match or something like that,” said Berdych, who also beat Federer at Key Biscayne, Fla., in March, after losing to him eight times in a row.
Berdych, whose 130-mph serve constantly got him out of trouble, never had been past the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam until Paris. If he’s going to reach his first major final, he’ll need to eliminate No. 3 Novak Djokovic on Friday. Djokovic cruised 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 over 82nd-ranked Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan, who upset Andy Roddick in the fourth round.
Also Friday, Rafael Nadal — ranked No. 1, seeded No. 2 — will meet No. 4 Andy Murray, who is trying to become the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936. Britain hasn’t even put a man in the final since 1938.
“A huge, huge deal for us,” Murray said after getting past No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semifinals for the second straight year. “Winning a Grand Slam is obviously why you play the game. But I’m a long, long way from that.’’
Nadal dispatched No. 6 Robin Soderling 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 61 in a rematch of the French Open final, which also was won by the Spaniard.
The women’s semifinals today serve up No. 1 Serena Williams and three long shots. It’s No. 21 Vera Zvonareva of Russia vs. unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, and Williams vs. unseeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.
Roger Federer said after Wednesday’s loss that his quarterfinal exits at both Wimbledon and the French Open were ‘frustrating.’
beat Roger Federer in four sets.