Roger Federer celebrates his win over Lorenzo Sonego. PA

Federer through, Canadian youngster shocks Zverev, and British prodigy bows out through injury

Montreal prodigy Felix Auger-Aliassime knocked out German fourth seed Zverev over four gruelling hours in what was just his second ever five-setter.

LAST UPDATE | 5 Jul 2021

ROGER FEDERER ON Monday became the oldest man to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since the dawn of the Open Era in 1968, while fourth seed Alexander Zverev bowed out to 20-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

British teenager Emma Raducanu’s superb run came to an end, meanwhile, as she was forced to withdraw during the second set of her clash with Ajla Tomljanovic.

Federer, who will be 40 in just under five weeks’ time, eased past Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 to make the last-eight at the All England Club for the 18th time.

“I felt after the first set I was able to control things. I couldn’t be more excited to be in the quarters,” said Federer whose match took place on the final ‘Manic Monday’, so-called because all the last-16 ties in the men’s and women’s event are played.

From next year, play will be held on the middle Sunday, which has traditionally been the tournament rest day.

“I’m happy to have played in the era that there was a ‘Middle Sunday’ but it now means more people can come to the tournament.

“It was very special and I really enjoyed it.”

In what will be his 58th Grand Slam quarter-final, eight-time Wimbledon champion Federer will face either second seed Daniil Medvedev or Hubert Hurkacz, the 14th seed, for a place in the semi-finals.

Medvedev was leading Hurkacz 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 3-4 when play was halted for the night due to rain.

“It is not fair for anyone. I have been in these situations before — but these guys are young and they can recover,” said Federer.

“Unfortunately they are very, very good too, so hopefully it rains again tomorrow… I’m kidding, I’m kidding!”

Canadian youngster Auger-Aliassime earned a career-best victory in dumping out German fourth seed Zverev over five gruelling sets.

Auger-Aliassime won 6-4 7-6 (6) 3-6 3-6 6-4 over four hours in what was only his second ever five-setter — and he lost his first from two sets up against Aslan Karatsev at last year’s US Open.

He also gave up a 2-0 lead over Zverev who, by contrast, had won a remarkable 16 of his 25 previous five-set matches at the age of just 24.

“It’s a dream come true, unbelievable,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I’m just a normal guy from Montreal and here I am. Court One, Wimbledon.

“It’s surely the best victory of my life so far. With the roof closed the sound was crazy, like nothing I’ve experienced before.

“It was super difficult, I’ve never beaten Alex before, or even won a set against him. When he started serving better and things got difficult I had to dig deep.”

Auger-Aliassime will meet Queen’s Club champion Matteo Berrettini, who beat Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-3 6-1 to become the first Italian since 1998 to reach the quarters.

Meanwhile, British prospect Emma Raducanu bowed out at the fourth-round stage to a combination of Berrettini’s partner, Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, and injury, bringing to an end the run which saw her become an overnight sensation in the UK.

Tomljanovic fended off an early onslaught from the teenager to take the opening set 6-4 and was leading 3-0 in the second when Raducanu, conspicuously struggling with her breathing, took a medical timeout from which she could not return.

Nonetheless, Kent native Raducanu will climb to 175th in the world rankings from her pre-tournament placing of 338 and has marked the British public’s card for future success at Wimbledon and beyond.

© – AFP, 2021

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