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Saturday 21 July 2018

Federer and Nadal stay on track for final

Roger Federer reacts during his fourth round match against France's Adrian Mannarino. Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters
Roger Federer reacts during his fourth round match against France's Adrian Mannarino. Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters

Roger Federer is two sets away from equalling his longest perfect run at Wimbledon but will not have that on his mind during his quarter-final tomorrow.

The defending champion made it 32 straight sets won at the All England Club with a 6-0 7-5 6-4 victory over Adrian Mannarino to reach the last eight for the 16th time.

The last time he won as many consecutive sets was in 2005 and 2006, at the height of his dominance.

Federer said: "I feel like these streaks just happen. You can't plan for them anyway because one point can change the outcome of a set. Of course, if you give yourself maximum chances, you're playing well, you have super focus, then these streaks are kind of possible.

"I'm equally happy if I would have won all the matches in four sets. That it happened to be in straights, it helps me for the season, to save energy, it helps me to save energy for the rest of the tournament."

Rafael Nadal also breezed into his first Wimbledon quarter-final since 2011.

The Spaniard beat unseeded Jiri Vesely 6-3 6-3 6-4 on Centre Court to set up a last-eight meeting with Juan Martin del Potro or Gilles Simon.

The clay-court king, who won an 11th French Open last month, has had trouble moving on to grass in recent years, and has suffered some shock defeats, but he looks at home so far and has yet to drop a set.

And, 10 years on from his memorable win in an epic final against Federer, a rematch could be on the cards on Sunday.

Serena Williams charged into the last eight of the women's competition with a straight-sets win over Evgeniya Rodina. Williams, looking for an eighth title at the All England Club, swept away Russian Rodina 6-2 6-2 in an hour and two minutes.

The 36-year-old is playing only her fourth tournament since giving birth to daughter Olympia in September, while Rodina has a five-year-old called Anna.

Dominika Cibulkova was engulfed in controversy a after a dispute over a point caused a 10-minute delay in her match against Hsieh Su-wei.

The Slovakian had a return called out in the 10th game and then corrected.

Hsieh had hit the ball back into play but chair umpire Zhang Juan awarded the point to Cibulkova, prompting an understandable protest from the Taiwanese player who insisted: "I put the ball in."

Yet Cibulkova claimed the point should have been hers, and as both players pleaded their case the match referee had to be called onto the court before the umpire's decision was changed and the point replayed.

Cibulkova went on to win 6-4 6-1.

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