The three-time defending champion Roger Federer was in great form at his beloved Wimbledon in 2006, passing four rivals in straight sets to advance into his fifth quarter-final. After dominant triumphs over Richard Gasquet, Tim Henman and Nicolas Mahut, Federer proved to be too strong for world no.
14 Tomas Berdych, beating the Czech 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 23 minutes. Unfortunately, Berdych had shoulder troubles, and that reduced him to one ace and over 40% points lost behind the initial shot, getting broken four times from seven chances offered to Roger.
On the other hand, the Swiss dropped 14 points in 14 service games, repelling the only break chance and staying in front to enter the last eight and extend his Wimbledon winning streak. Tomas sprayed a forehand error in the opener’s seventh game to suffer a break, and Roger sealed the set with a volley winner and another return game at 5-3.
Berdych got broken at 3-4 in set number two, allowing the Swiss to close the set with an ace in the next one and build a massive two sets to love lead in under an hour. The Czech stayed in touch until 4-4 in the third set before Federer broke him with a return winner and sealed the deal with a service winner a few minutes later.
Roger Federer reached the fifth Wimbledon quarter-final in the last six years in 2006.
“It was an awkward match today, as Berdych struggled with a shoulder injury. It bothered him while serving from the beginning, and that was an important factor.
I played better in the previous matches, which has to do with Tomas’ game. I’m pleased to have had an easy day at the office. I know how to play on grass and overpower my rivals. I play aggressive tennis against him in the final in Halle, and he struggles with my variety.
He didn’t serve well, and that got us into rallies where I had the advantage. The courts are not the same as a week ago, which is normal. They are drier, and the bounce is a little higher. Rafa and I played in three finals on clay this spring and also in Dubai.
It would be interesting to face him on grass, and I would be surprised to see him in the final. Still, he is such a good player, and many people expect to see him there. He hits the ball so well and moves great. Also, he is confident, which makes him even stronger.
It’s quite a disappointment for the American players, with no one in the fourth round. They are a big tennis nation, and I hope they would bounce back at the US Open. The next match should be tight, facing Mario Ancic or Novak Djokovic.
I had some fierce battles with Ancic in the past. He is the last guy to beat me on grass, and that probably should be in your headlines. The crowd loves my jacket, and I do, too; it’s an excellent idea. When I put the jacket on, I thought the spectators wanted to see more, and then I turned and gave another wave,” Roger Federer said.