The possibility of a stand-off in the final between long-time rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer moved one step closer after both won their matches Saturday and cruised into the final 16.
AFP - The prospect of a fourth Wimbledon final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer moved a step closer on Saturday as the two rivals cruised into the last 16.
World number one Nadal wrapped up a straight sets win over Luxembourg's Gilles Muller in a match that had been halted on Friday because of rain, winning 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5), 6-0.
The reigning champion, who will face Juan Martin Del Potro in the last 16, was in imperious form against Muller, totting up only three unforced errors as he breezed into the fourth round.
But Nadal is under no illusions about the scale of the task facing him in the second week of Wimbledon fortnight, saying the depth of talent in this year's draw made it one of the most unpredictable men's tournaments ever.
"You never know what's going on," Nadal said. "It seems like the best players are playing well. I don't know if I'm gonna win next round, so probably the rest of the players think the same."
Federer, who is bidding to win a record seventh Wimbledon title, romped into the fourth round with a brisk straight sets dismissal of Argentinian 28th seed David Nalbandian, winning 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
Third seed Federer has not won a Grand Slam title for 18 months but showed the sort of form which suggests a record 17th major title is well within his capability over the coming week.
The Swiss former world number one, whose last triumph at Wimbledon came in 2009, was satisfied with his performance as he advanced to a meeting with either Nicolas Almagro of Spain or Russian 18th seed Mikhail Youzhny.
Federer insisted he remained as hungry as ever to reclaim his Wimbledon crown. "The day after my victory, the day after my final losses, I've been hungry," Federer. "It doesn't come in phases, I'm always hungry."
The 29-year-old is also unconcerned by the fact that his last Grand Slam win came at the Australian Open in 2010.
"It hasn't been that long," Federer said. "I don't go through days thinking 'God I haven't won a Grand Slam in so long.' You don't cry over stuff like that.
"You guys bring it up and I answer the question. That's it. But I don't get pulled down by it. Acutally I think I get motivation from it."
In other matches Saturday, Mardy Fish ensured the United States will be represented in the last 16 following the shock exit of Andy Roddick, when Dutch opponent Robin Haase retired as he trailed by two sets to one.
Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych accounted for another American, waltzing past Alex Bogomolov Jr 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.
The biggest upset of the day saw French ninth seed Gael Monfils tumble out against Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot. Kubot won 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Elsewhere there were wins for seventh seed David Ferrer, who downed Slovakia's Karol Beck 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Fernando Gonzalez 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
Date created : 2011-06-25