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Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 16:53 UK

Federer to face Hewitt challenge

By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Roger Federer
Federer posted his 62nd straight win on grass

World number one Roger Federer moved effortlessly into the fourth round at Wimbledon with a 6-3 6-3 6-1 win over Frenchman Marc Gicquel.

The players were kept waiting in the locker room as rain delayed play for the first time this year.

Federer made a sluggish start, dropping serve immediately, but he hit straight back and was never in trouble again.

His serve was particularly impressive as he set up a fourth-round meeting with 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt.

Hewitt, the only other player in the draw to have won the title, produced an impressive display in beating Italian Simone Bolelli 6-1 6-3 7-6 (7-2).

"The next round will be a lot more difficult. It should be an exciting match," Federer said.

"I played well against Hewitt the last time we met. It has been a while now and that may work in his favour maybe.

"He is a great player and a great competitor - we were playing against each other when we were 15 so we go way back. With him being a former champion here and former world number one it will be an intriguing match for both of us.


"Gicquel's a tricky opponent who takes big cuts at the ball, plus the wind was swirling too. I think I played really well in the circumstances.

"It's nice to get to the second week without losing a set. I'm looking forward to a nice weekend and hopefully I'll play as well next week."

Federer will struggle to improve on the form he showed against Gicquel - although the Frenchman was completely out of his depth against the top seed.

The five-times champion broke five times to seal victory in just 81 minutes - his 62nd straight grass-court win.

Hewitt made short work of an opponent he comfortably knocked out in three sets in the second round of Wimbledon last year, using his fine return and some superb forehand passes to dominate the match.

The Australian got off to a strong start, breaking Bolelli in the 22-year-old's opening service game and again in the sixth to wrap up the first set in just 27 minutes.

Hewitt is looking forward to meeting Federer

Hewitt, the 20th seed, needed just one break in the second to go 2-0 ahead.

The third set was a much tighter affair as Bolelli, who struggled all match with his backhand, started to reduce the number of unforced errors.

Bolelli, who lost in the final of the ATP event in Munich against Fernando Gonzalez earlier this year, took the set to a tie-break but the end was soon coming, Hewitt sealing victory in just over two hours with his 14th ace of the contest.

"It was pretty good," Hewitt told BBC Sport. "I got off to a good start. I played aggressively and executed everything we put down in the gameplan.

"I played him here last year and I knew what to expect, although he has improved a lot since then.

"I was ready for a hard match. He did not go away and got tougher as the game went on."

Hewitt said that his ongoing hip injury was not hampering him and insisted he would be "ready" for his encounter with Federer on Monday.

"It is going to be a good match," Hewitt added. "You want to test yourself against the best players and he has owned this place for the last few years.

"He has cruised through so far and you are probably going to have to beat him if you are going to win this tournament. I am looking forward to the challenge."

see also
Wimbledon photos
27 Jun 08 |  Tennis

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