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Men's singles fourth round result:

R FEDERER (Swi) 1 v L HEWITT (Aus) 20

7-6 (9-7) 6-2 6-4

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By Tom Fordyce at Wimbledon

Federer 6-4 Hewitt
A big serve out wide leaves Lleyton flailing feebly, and that's the match - smoothly super from Fed, and he's takes a standing ovation from the Centre Court crowd as he waves regally to all corners.

He tugs off his barely-sweaty bandana and tosses it casually into the crowd, where a large-armed lady grabs at it with the feverish desperation of a drowning sailor reaching for the last life-jacket. The champ's through, and he's still to lose a set in the tournament. Reckon Rafa's scared?

Federer 5-4 Hewitt
What would you do if you were Lleyton? You're two sets down, your right hip is paining you mightily and you've got to break the Fed serve for the first time all day to stay in the match. Who said "pray"?

Federer 5-3 Hewitt
Relentless accuracy on the Fed serve. They're not necessarily turf-searingly fast - around the 120mph mark - but they're clipping lines left and right. A top-spin backhand cross-court takes him to within four points of the quarters.

Federer 4-3 Hewitt
Imagine if you could match Hewitt's guts with, say, Safin's power on the groundstrokes. Wowzer. A sixth ace from Hewitt keeps him within barge-pole length but he still can't get within touching-distance.

Federer 4-2 Hewitt
Big wince from Hewitt as he stretches for a forehand on the run - looks like his old hip injury is sparking off again.

Federer 3-2 Hewitt
"YAAYYS! Here we go!" screams a thirsty Aussie as Hewitt holds with grim-faced determination.

Federer 3-1 Hewitt
Fed volleys like a blindfolded Bogdanovic to wobble to another break point, but it's almost as if he likes testing himself in a little fire - he saves it again with a driller to the Hewitt forehand and another the other way. A looper off the frame sets up another Lleyton opening; a delicate dropper saves it. An eighth break point of the match comes from a sloppy forehand; an ace gets rids of it. A second serve that kicks like Jonny Wilkinson finally polishes it off.

Federer 2-1 Hewitt
Hewitt's had all the pressure in this set, but suddenly it's Fed who has the break - he just eases through a few gears, targets the tiring Hewitt forehand and disects his opponent like an expert surgeon.

Federer 1-1 Hewitt
Super return from Hewitt, followed up by an inch-perfect approach and volley - 15-40. Does Fed panic? Get out - he breezes a forehand past the lunging Lleyton, forces a forehand error with a cruel return and then serves up a sizzling ace to close it out. Cheers die stillborn on Aussie lips.

Federer 0-1 Hewitt
More bad omens for Hewitt - he's never won a match against a current number one. "Come orrnn!" screams an angry Aussie fan, as his man punches away a backhand to stay alive.

SECOND SET

Federer 6-2 Hewitt
Fed backhand-slices like someone with OCD and almost pays the price, listing at 15-40. The sniff of burning points seems to act like smelling-salts, and he suddenly wakes up to wallop a forehand down the line, save the day and seal the set. Grim for Lleyton - facing a slippery mountain to climb.

Federer 5-2 Hewitt
Roger almost looks like he's running through his repertoire just to clear out any rust before the next round. Wonder if he's heard that possible quarter-final opponet Mario Ancic is losing to Fernando Verdasco - two sets to one down, level pegging in the fourth.

Federer 5-1 Hewitt
There was the chance for Hewitt - guts take him to his first break point, only for Fed to breeze an ace out wide. Lleyton's shoulders slump, and he tugs mournfully at his back-to-front baseball cap.

Federer 4-1 Hewitt
Desperate cries of encouragement from the wavering Hewittettes as he finally gets on the board in the set. Bright sunshine overhead again, and sun-cream is duly slip-slap-slopped.

Federer 4-0 Hewitt
Hewitt is now wearing the stroppy expression of a teenage boy who's just had his mobile confiscated by an angry, bill-waving parent. Roger cruising.

Federer 3-0 Hewitt
Federer fires a first-serve return at Hewitt's feet - if we'd been playing cricket, that yorker would have cleaned up the Aussie timbers. Hewitt lamely punts a falling-backwards forehand into the net, and that's another break gone. Funny thing, momentum.

Federer 2-0 Hewitt
You blink, you miss it. I almost did. Rampant hold from Fed.

Federer 1-0 Hewitt
Sloppy as a liquidised blancmange from Hewitt - a patsy backhand into the net and his first double-fault of the match to ship a break at exactly the wrong point.

FIRST SET

Federer 7-6 Hewitt
Backhand drifter from Fed slides long after Hewitt gambles on a Hawk-Eye challenge and comes out quids up. Icy stares over the net as the players swap ends locked at 3-3. Hewitt drives an adrenalised forehand just long but benefits from a poor Fed second serve to stay level pegs at 4-4. Lleyton grimaces as an ambitious backhand flies wide and another eats tape, and suddenly Roger is at 6-4 and two set points. The first goes as his back-foot backhand fails to make the divide, and then there's a stunned silence as he goes long with a simple forehand winner which should have sealed the deal. 6-6. An ace piles the pressure back on Hewitt but another Fed forehand error takes them level again - three set points blown. An overrule keeps him alive before a poor approach from Hewitt opens up a pass - and a Fed ace sees him hope. Tight - but the champ leads.

Federer 6-6 Hewitt
Beautiful from Federer, driving and slicing Hewitt into pieces to crouch for the pounce at 30-30. Hewitt uses his backhand down the line to squeeze through. Tie-break - and while Hewitt's shoot-out record in 2008 reads three wins and nine losses, Fed's reads 10-6.

Federer 6-5 Hewitt
Bish bash bosh goes the Fed serve, and Hewitt is sent to his chair to glug his orange squash with a testy old serve to hold. "Let's go Lleyton, let's go!" chant the wild-eyed Antipodeans, predictably.

Federer 5-5 Hewitt
Super angled forehand from Lleyton to force Fed wide and draw the error to go to 40-15, and when Fed slaps a backhand service return into the divider the Aussie stays in the set.

Federer 5-4 Hewitt
In this crazy winning Wimbledon streak of Roger's - victorious his last 37 matches - he's only lost the first set of a match once, against Andy Roddick in the 2004 final. Something for Lleyton to chew on at the changeover as Fed fires through another rapid-fire service game.

Federer 4-4 Hewitt
Raucous cheers from the Aussie massive as Hewitt dinks away a delicate drop-volley to cruise level. A touch cloudy overhead, and the sun's sneaked away for a second.

Federer 4-3 Hewitt
Mirka chomps on chewing-gum in the VIP seats as Roger volleys as crisply as fresh Ryvita to get his beak in front.

"I think the next level of retro for Roger is getting some tweed on his cardie and get some tennis style loafers, maybe a pipe too."
James, Hitchin via text

Federer 3-3 Hewitt
Little patchy from Roger - that's six unforced errors already, and he looks a little perturbed. Rumours sweep Centre that Henry Winkler is about to make an appearance. Happy days.

Federer 3-2 Hewitt
Fed holds with effortless ease, brushing a stray tendril of hair off his bandana as he strolls to his chair for a refresco. Surprising number of empty seats around Centre Court - one senses that some noses may still be deep in the corporate trough.

"This is a classic match-up. Whoever is watching come out today because it is the best day of the Championship."
Boris Becker in the BBC commentary box

Federer 2-2 Hewitt
Sniff of a chance for Fed at 30-30, but he goes long with a forehand and Hewitt wriggles off the hook.

"I think Hewitt has to start well today. Federer is playing very well and you just wonder if Hewitt has the weapons to withstand what Federer will throw at him. It is going to be a tough task, you think."
John Lloyd in the BBC commentary box

John Lloyd

Federer 2-1 Hewitt
Four serves that sizzle to unplayable areas like lazer-guided missiles, and Hewitt can't get close. Fed aiming for his 17th successive Grand Slam quarter-final; Lleyton hasn't been in one since the 2006 US Open. Hmmm.

Federer 1-1 Hewitt
Swoony backhand volley from Fed at the net to get to 30-30, before two rapid Hewitt serves down the middle slam the door on his fingertips. Three of the Aussie fans in the crowd are sporting yellow Afro wigs so large that they could pass for backing vocalists in Funkadelic.

Federer 1-0 Hewitt
Volley into the net from Rog from a Hewitt howitzer to slip to 0-30, but then the Fed serve goes big and accurate and the game is pouched. A little nugget for the stat-friendly among you: these two chaps are the only two active players to have won at Wimbledon.

1303: "Ooh!" shout the male Aussie fans as Hewitt hits the ball in the warm-up. "Aah!" shout the female Aussie fans as Fed does the same. Within 13 seconds everyone else on Centre Court is looking ready to strangle them. Fed to serve first.

1300: Here come the players, and Lleyton hands a bag containing six enormous bottles of orange squash to a slightly stunned ball-boy.

1250: Wonder how far Roger is prepared to take it with his retro look. Maybe the Gatsby cardie and canvas are just the start - while Lleyton paces the locker-room listening to Powderfinger on his iPod, does Roger pop a Dietrich wax platter on a gramophone with horn speaker before trying to make conversation about universal suffrage and the League of Nations?

1240: The omens for Let's Go Lleyton aren't great - he's lost his last 11 matches against Federer. Still, his gold-shirted fan-club is here in force - two blocks of them, one on the second row from the front and the other a further five rows back. Keen not to miss a moment, they took their seats a mere hour and a half before the players were due to come out. Still - as Roy Castle once told us, dedication's what you need.

1235: Afternoon, and if you're not a little shaky with excitement ahead of today's rip-snorters, then human blood does not pump around your heart. First up: champion for the past five years against the man who preceded him as the daddy of SW19.

see also
Live - Wimbledon day seven
30 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Women's singles latest
23 May 08 |  Tennis
Men's singles latest
02 Jun 08 |  Live scores


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