LONDON – Cruising into the quarterfinals without the loss of a set, Roger Federer is making it look easy as he chases a record eighth Wimbledon title. Serena Williams, meanwhile, is picking up momentum as she goes for a seventh championship at the All England Club.
Federer swept to a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 win over 29th-ranked American Steve Johnson on Centre Court on Monday, equaling Jimmy Connors’ Open-era record by reaching his 14th quarterfinal at the All England Club.
Looking fresh and sharp after two days off, Federer broke Johnson five times and was in control throughout a match that lasted just over 90 minutes — one of 16 men’s and women’s fourth-round matches on the schedule.
“I didn’t think it was as easy as it maybe looked,” the third-seeded Federer said.
Federer hadn’t played since Friday and was able to rest over the weekend while the tournament cleared up a backlog of matches caused by a rainy first week.
“I would have never thought that I was going to win the first four matches in straight sets, so I’m extremely pleased,” said Federer, who will next face Marin Cilic, who beat him en route to the 2014 U.S. Open title.
“He brushed me off the court like I was nothing at the U.S. Open in the semis a few years back,” Federer said, “so I hope to get him back this time.”
If Federer gets to the final, he could face No. 2-seeded Andy Murray, who handily defeated No. 15 Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 in the last match on Centre Court to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the ninth successive year.
Murray, the 2013 champion, took command after Kyrgios was broken to lose the first set — missing a simple forehand volley on the third set point.
From then on, Kyrgios seemed to lose interest, mumbling to himself, hanging his head and giving an uneven effort. Murray played solidly, closing with an ace on his third match point, and setting up a quarterfinal matchup with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
For Williams, the match swung in her favor once the roof was shut over Centre Court, as she reeled off the last nine games to beat No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-0 and reach the quarterfinals for the 12th time.
With Kuznetsova serving for the first set, Williams broke back to make it 5-5. Play was then delayed for nearly 30 minutes while the retractable roof was closed.
After the match resumed, Kuznetsova did not take a game. Williams won 24 of 29 points in the second set, and finished with a 43-8 advantage in winners.
“It was really tricky out there,” Williams said. “Even though it wasn’t raining hard, it was dewy on the grass.”
Serena’s sister, five-time champion Venus, moved into the quarterfinals here for the first time since 2010, beating No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5