Roger Federer beat German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1 in Wimbledon's third round Friday, and next faces Robin Soderling. Federer is bidding for a record-breaking 15th Grand Slam title and a sixth Wimbledon crown.
AFP - Roger Federer set up a Wimbledon last 16 clash with Robin Soderling on Friday, the man he beat to win the French Open and who was once famously described by Rafael Nadal as the most disliked man in tennis.
Federer, bidding for a record-breaking 15th Grand Slam title and a sixth Wimbledon crown, overcame a third set slump before seeing off Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1 in the third round.
The world number two said: "I felt more pressure two years ago when I was trying to win a fifth Wimbledon title, but I'm relaxed and feeling good about being in the second week."
Kohlschreiber had lost all his three previous meetings with Federer without winning a set and he was outgunned immediately on Friday, slipping to a double break to trail 4-0.
The 25-year-old German, who had knocked world number four Novak Djokovic out of the French Open, stopped the rot with a break back in the fifth game, but Federer earned a third break to take the set in the ninth game.
Federer cruised through the second set with breaks in the first and fifth games.
The second seed was ahead again the third set, but Kohlschreiber levelled at 4-4 before running away with the tiebreak.
It was a brief respite, however, as Federer romped through the fourth set to ensure his place in the second week.
Soderling, the 13th seed, reached the last 16 for the first time with a 7-6 (9/7), 6-4, 6-4 win over Spain's Nicolas Almagro.
The 24-year-old Swede, fresh from his French Open heroics where he handed Nadal a first career Roland Garros defeat before progressing to a first Grand Slam final, will return to Centre Court on Monday to face the Swiss.
Two years ago, Soderling lost to Nadal in five sets here in an acrimonious encounter which saw the Swede imitate the Spaniard's habit of pulling at the rear of his shorts.
Nadal described Soderling as one of the least liked players in the locker room.
"It's tough to play against Roger," said Soderling. "I've played him ten times, and after the matches I never felt like I played well.
"It's not because of me, I think it's because of him. He makes you play."
Later Friday, Djokovic, the fourth seed, tackles American 28th seed Mardy Fish, while seventh seed Fernanado Verdasco, Spain's best hope in the absence of Nadal, takes on compatriot Albert Montanes.
Two of the game's most promising talents are also in action with French ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga facing Croatia's Ivo Karlovic and Marin Cilic, the Croatian 11th seed, facing German veteran Tommy Haas.
Date created : 2009-06-26