Federer raises the roof as rain causes pain

Roger Federer insisted it was right to keep the Centre Court roof open, saying the rain intensified the Wimbledon drama despite it playing havoc with the men's fourth round on Monday.

Updated: July 03, 2012 00:07 IST
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London: Roger Federer insisted it was right to keep the Centre Court roof open, saying the rain intensified the Wimbledon drama despite it playing havoc with the men's fourth round on Monday.

Six-time champion Federer was home and dry, having got his last 16 match out of the way before the worst of the downpours in southwest London that saw one match cancelled and only one other being completed on the outside courts.

Despite being taken off for a rain break, the Swiss great said Wimbledon officials were right not to close the roof during his 7-6 (7/1), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 win over Belgium's Xavier Malisse.

It seemed a volte face from the All England Club, having kept the roof closed on Friday as a preventative measure -- to the annoyance of some -- despite the overcast skies never spilling over into showers.

"I was happy they kept it open because it is an outdoor tournament. We don't want to play indoors all the time. It's not that big of a deal coming on and off," third seed Federer said after his 850th tour win.

"I know spectators would rather see a match than sitting in the rain."

But, he added: "They love it. To see the referee coming out and inspecting the courts, that's the whole drama that belongs to Wimbledon. Eventually if it's too bad and it's really raining, this is when you shut it."

Federer knows who he will play in Wednesday's quarter-finals, after Mikhail Youzhny, the 26th seed, triumphed in a tough, five-set battle with Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin.

Youzhny won 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 out on Court 18 to give him another shot at a first win over Federer -- at the 14th time of asking.

But he was keeping his cards close to his chest on how he planned to go about it.

"It's good for me that I have one more chance against a great player, one of the best players in the world," the Muscovite said after reaching his first Wimbledon quarter-final.

"I cannot say anything more about that right now, because I don't want to talk now how I will play, what happens against Federer.

"I never beat this guy. So just now I can't talk about my dreams, what I have to do on court to beat Roger.

"If he gives you some chances, you have to take them immediately, because maybe you will never have a second chance.

"But... a new match is like a new life. I will try to do all my best and not think about what was previous."

Youzhny now holds the Open Era record for the most round of 16 appearances at the same Grand Slam before reaching his first quarter-final, having done so at the seventh attempt.

Monday's fourth round was heavily affected by rain which brought play to a stop on all outside courts.

British fourth seed Andy Murray was 7-5, 3-1 up against Croatia's Marin Cilic on Court One.

French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was 6-4, 1-1 ahead against US 10th seed Mardy Fish on Court 2.

A lineswoman had to leave the court after being accidentally hit in the eye by a power-packed Fish serve.

Germany's number 31 seed Florian Mayer was 6-3, 2-1 up against French 18th seed Richard Gasquet.

With the Centre Court roof closed, reigning champion Novak Djokovic was able to get his match started against fellow Serb Viktor Troicki.

The winner of that contest will face the victor in the Mayer-Gasquet match in the quarter-finals.

German 27th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber was about to get started against US qualifier Brian Baker when the covers went on.

The victor will take on either Tsonga or Fish in the last eight.

The match between Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer and Argentinian ninth seed Juan Martin del Potro was postponed until Tuesday, the winner to meet either Murray or Cilic.

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  • Tennis
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Andy Murray
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  • David Ferrer
  • Novak Djokovic
  • Bernard Tomic
  • Stanislas Wawrinka
  • Wimbledon 2012

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