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Gamewatch: Federer v Ancic
Wimbledon quarter-final result:

R FEDERER Swi 1 v M ANCIC Cro 7

6-4 6-4 6-4

GAME-BY-GAME UPDATES

By Tom Fordyce

Third set:

Federer 6-4 Ancic
There it is - an ace from Federer clinches a brilliant win. It was a fantastic display - Ancic couldn't have hoped to play any better, but Federer hit heights there that no other current player could match. He could conceivably win the title this year without dropping a single set. Or with his eyes shut.

Federer 5-4 Ancic
Ancic stays alive, but you sense that he's only delaying the inevitable. Mirka readies herself for the celebrations.

Federer 5-3 Ancic
Ancic is impressing everyone with his fortitute in the face of the Federer storm. He forces two errors out of Federer and gets a break point, bosses the point and then watches in bewilderment as Federer somehow conjures a crosscourt winner from beyond the tramlines. Ancic isn't going to come out on top this time, but he's got the look of a future Wimbledon champion about him - if aliens manage to abduct Federer first.

Federer 4-3 Ancic
Ancic goes back to serve and volleying and does it well. He holds, but is still that break down. To put his chances into context, Federer is yet to lose a single set at Wimbledon this year. Maybe they'll have to change the rules next year and make him enter the men's doubles - on his own.

Federer 4-2 Ancic
Yup - he's riled alright. Just to make sure Ancic doesn't forget who he's dealing with, Federer wins his service game to love.

Federer 3-2 Ancic
Ancic is refusing to back down. He wins his service game to 15 and the crowd respond with rapturous applause. He loads up on orange squash during the changeover and soaks up the sweat with his thick fluffy Wimbledon towel. Your only fear is that this gutsy show will only serve to rile Federer.

Federer 3-1 Ancic
Here's a turn-up for the books - Ancic actually breaks Federer, to widespread amazement. Full credit to him too - he wins the game on merit with a great crosscourt forehand. That's only the second service game Federer has lost all tournament. It seems almost rude.

Federer 3-0 Ancic
Ancic is broken again. Federer is now playing so well that when he fails to put an Ancic full-strength smash back past him for a winner, there's genuine surprise. The ball came at him at over 130mph, yet he only missed the back line by an inch. Looking up at Federer's coach Tony Roche, you see a very, very happy man, and not only because he's entitled to 10% of Federer's winnings.

Federer 2-0 Ancic
Ancic is now openly clapping his opponent. Some of Federer's angles don't seem mathmatically possible. This match is only going one way. Even better, there are actually shadows on court - even the sun has had to come out to watch this display.

Federer 1-0 Ancic
Poor old Ancic. Federer breaks him in his first service game of the set, just as he did in the second set. Ancic is looking totally bemused. He's doing everything he should - coming to the net behind deep approaches, mixing it up - but nothing is working.

Second set:

Federer 6-4 Ancic
There it is - a two set lead for the defending champion, and it's hard to see a way back for the Croat. Everything he hits just comes back harder. He comes to the net, he gets passed. He stays back, he gets pulled all over the place. How can anyone beat this man?

"Ancic's report card reads nine out of ten - it's just his bad luck he's come up against Federer." John Lloyd, BBC Sport summariser.

Federer 5-4 Ancic
Ancic stays in the set after an epic game that saw Federer take him to deuce with another fantastic display of volleying. Ancic's big first serve allows him to hold on but it's a mighty close thing. The crowd are desperate for Ancic to get back into the match, and the power of Federer's groundstrokes is making them wince.

Federer 5-3 Ancic
Federer is toying with Ancic. He teases him from one corner of the court to the other before sliding home the killer blow. The crowd gasp at the sheer power of his groundstrokes.

"The only way you could stop Federer would be to get someone to step on him." John Lloyd, BBC Sport summariser.

Federer 4-3 Ancic
Ancic holds, but not before Federer has almost vapourised the ball with a 105mph backhand return. There's enormous power to go with the well-documented subtlety.

Federer 4-2 Ancic
A brilliant backhand pass from Ancic gives him a glimmer of hope, only for Federer to whip two forehands past him and hold his serve. Fred Couples has taken a seat in the VIP box, sporting a distinguished greying mullet.

1630 BST: 55 minutes after coming off, the players are back on court. They now get the full five minute warm-up. Roger is wearing his pristine white headband and, as usual, looks completely at ease.

"They now have a gym for the players to loosen up in after a rain delay. In my day, we just used to play cards." John Lloyd, BBC Sport summariser.

1620 BST: Centre Court is taking a while to dry out, but we're almost there. The stands are filling up again at least. There were rumours of sunshine in Guildford a few minutes ago, so maybe we could be set for a prolongued period of on-court action.

1603 BST: The good news is that the rain has stopped and the covers are coming off. The bad news is that the courts will need about ten minutes to dry out before Rog and Mario can get going again. No sign yet of that second heavy shower.

1555 BST: Alas - the rain is still falling. Teenage lads on Henman Hill have made themselves makeshift sou'westers from black bin bags and are amusing themselves by trying to get into shot behind Carol when she goes on air.

1540 BST: Word from BBC weather expert Carol Kirkwood: there's a worrying weather system developing over the North Downs which could be on its way to SW19. Or it could miss Wimbledon completely and drench Raynes Park instead - it's hard to be sure at the moment. Either way, the current shower should clear shortly, so keep your fingers crossed.

Second set:

Federer 3-2 Ancic
Ancic holds well again - but it's bad news for all concerned as the rain begins to fall again. The umpire gives the shout, the ball-boys run on and the covers are back on. Play is suspended again. Ancic must be the only person here who's glad of the break - the only way he can stave off Federer at the moment is to make sure the two of them aren't on court together at the same time.

Federer 3-1 Ancic
14 consecutive points on his own serve from Federer. If Ancic cloned himself and brought Mario Too out on court with him, he'd still struggle to compete.

Federer 2-1 Ancic
Ancic does well to hold under another Fed barrage. Some of the shots Rog is playing don't actually seem possible - until he makes them without appearing to break sweat.

Federer 2-0 Ancic
Poor old Ancic. He's played really well, but Federer is destroying him. Mirka, no mean player herself (she played at the Sydney Olympics, you know) is now nodding with open pleasure.

Federer 1-0 Ancic
Extraordinary shot-making from Federer - barely has Ancic come to terms with the loss of the first set when he is broken. Torn to pieces might be more appropriate - no player yet born could have lived with Federer's forehand in that game. Ageing tennis legend Guillermo Vilas watches on, accompanied by his partner - a lady named Phiangphatu Khumueang.

First set:

Federer 6-4 Ancic
Easy for the champ - he holds to love, and the set is his. His girlfriend Mirka allows herself a little smile. Federer is winning 90% of points on his first serve - and that's making life awful hard for Ancic.

Federer 5-4 Ancic
Ancic is going to make him work for it - he powers through his service game. Breaking Federer's serve to stay in the set won't be quite as easy.

Federer 5-3 Ancic
Ancic is giving Federer his toughest challenge so far. A Federer double fault sets up a break point, only for Ancic to slice his backhand return off the second serve into the net. The chance disappears in a flash and Federer is one game away from taking the set.

Federer 4-3 Ancic
Great serve and volley tennis from Ancic. He looks a natural grass court player - but then no-one's ever looked more natural on grass than his opponent today. This match has the potential to be the best of the tournament so far. Former Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday striker Efan Ekoku watches on appreciatively.

Federer 4-2 Ancic
Federer races into a 40-0 lead and, despite Ancic hauling back two points, serves out to extend his lead. There's a brief hullaballoo as two men run onto the court, but the security guards hustle them off before they can remove enough garments to be considered bonafide streakers. They leave a lime-green tennis ball on court as a calling-card, which Federer coolly dispatches into the stands.

Federer 3-2 Ancic
On with the action after a break of almost an hour and a half - and Federer comes out of the traps at top speed, breaking Antic immediately with a casual forehand pass.

1451 BST: The A-league celebs are out in force on Centre - there's Sir Jackie Stewart, just a few seats away from Sir Tim Rice. Over there is Ross Kemp, his shiny pate glistening in the humid conditions.

1446 BST: Here come the players. Roger isn't wearing his blazer - maybe Mario hid it when Roger was taking a courtesy break. It must have been tempting - those sort of mind games could seriously rattle a self-styled jacket-lover like Federer.

1440 BST: Not only are the covers off, but the net is up and the umpire's chair out.

1434 BST: Guess what - the covers are being taken off again. The change in the Wimbledon microclimate is negligible, but this is no time for recrimination - let's get on with the tennis. At least the television boys have got some good footage for the 'Singing in the Rain' segment of the end-of-tournament montage.

1429 BST: Oh dear - the covers are back on before the players can even set foot on court. It's barely a shower, but it's enough to send the frightened officials scurrying inside. Fingers crossed the delay won't be too long. No word as yet on how Federer and Ancic are passing the time - possibly with a game of Othello or Downfall in the players' lounge.

1422 BST: We're in business! The word from the powers that be is that the players will be back on court in about five minutes. It's not a great deal brighter up above, but the rain has gone for the time being. There's a rush to get back to the Centre Court stands from punters in the concourse bars and food stalls. Drinks are being carried carefully - when a small glass of Pimms costs 4.15, you can't afford to be involved in any spillage nightmares.

1413 BST: Great news from the officials - the covers are going to be taken off all the courts. The referee will then check the state of the court surface and get back to us with a thumbs up or thumbs down. Looks okay from here, but we'll leave it to the experts.

1407 BST: A quick note to those worried about the likelihood of an appearance from Sir Cliff Richard during these rain delays - he has been spotted at Wimbledon this week, but there are no official plans to hand him a mic and allow him to serenade the Centre Court with one of his timeless classics.

1400 BST: Still raining - but it's definitely not lashing down. It's the sort of drizzle that would have you scrunching your face up if you were out in it, but certainly not running panicked for cover. A light mac would probably suffice.

1344 BST: Announcement over the PA - there'll be no play for an hour. The rain is very light, but the Met Office are being pessimistic with their forecast. Most of us would probably be perfectly happy playing in these conditions, but to be fair there's seldom 655,000 riding on the result of our matches.

1342 BST: Weather update: it's still raining. Sorry.

1335 BST: More on that blazer. Apparently the three tennis racquets on the crest represent Federer's three Wimbledon singles titles, while that wiggly bit is supposed to be a bit of grass. Spot of inside BBC chat for you - when Sue Barker asked Roger about the inspiration behind the garment, he simply replied: "I like to wear jackets." And to think they call the Swiss boring.

1330 BST: As the players loll around in the dressing-room, a possible explanation for Federer's infamous creme blazer. Last year he was voted 'International Man of Sexiness' by People magazine - when you pick up an accolade like that, you're surely far more likely to take a public fashion gamble like this.

1324 BST: Groans from the crowd as the announcement comes from the umpire: "Play suspended". The rain is coming down - not too heavy yet, but the covers are on and the brollies up. Go and grab a cup of tea, and we'll keep you posted on climatic conditions when you get back.

Federer 2-2 Ancic
Great opening to this match. Federer gets his own serve going and holds with few problems, but it's a very even contest so far. Could this be the classic that Wimbledon 2006 has been crying out for?

Federer 1-2 Ancic
Ancic's big first serve quickly builds him a lead, and another excellent forehand from the back of the court is too good for Federer. A few anxious faces courtside - those heavy grey clouds overhead aren't shifting.

Federer 1-1 Ancic
Although Federer eventually holds, there's more reason for Ancic optimism - he produces two brilliant passes to take the reigning champ to 30-30. He's bang up for this - and not at all intimidated by his opponent's record or reputation.

Federer 0-1 Ancic
Good work from Ancic - he whistles down his 79th ace of the championships and then comes to the net to put away a volley to hold serve. In the dressing-room pre-match, he was all energy - throwing himself into all sorts of stretches. Federer, by contrast, just sat there relaxing in his Gatsby blazer.

1302 BST: Roger Federer is such a hot favourite for the men's singles title that the idea of him being beaten is almost laughable to some punters - after all, he's won his last 45 matches on grass.

But if anyone can stop the Federer Express (guaranteed last use of that cliche), it's Mario Ancic - the last man to beat Rog on this surface.

"Ancic will have to get to the net and pressure Federer - he has to come up with something special." Jimmy Connors, BBC sport summariser.

1255 BST: Here's the good news - it's not actually raining at Wimbledon. The bad news - the clouds are heavy in the air above Centre Court.

SEE ALSO
Wimbledon ponders court fencing
05 Jul 06 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day nine photos
05 Jul 06 |  Tennis


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