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Page last updated at 21:39 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 22:39 UK

Ancic and Safin continue progress

Wimbledon: Monday 23 June to Sunday 6 July
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Mario Ancic
Ancic will face world number one Roger Federer in the last eight

Unseeded duo Mario Ancic and Marat Safin continued their progress through the draw to reach the quarter-finals.

Ancic staged a remarkable recovery against Fernando Verdasco, coming from two sets down to beat the 22nd seed 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 13-11 win on Court 11.

Safin beat Swiss 13th seed Stanislaw Wawrinka 6-4 6-3 5-7 6-1 in his fourth round clash.

Safin followed his shock win over third seed Novak Djokovic with another superb performance, this time on Court Two.

Ancic never led until he went 7-6 up in a tense decider with a service break, but Verdasco broke back immediately.

The set then went with serve until Ancic broke again to lead 12-11, and the unseeded 24-year-old held his nerve to triumph with his 15th ace.

Verdasco, who had led 4-1 in the final set, looked shattered by the loss after an epic contest which lasted for three hours and 48 minutes.

Ancic who reached the fourth round by beating fifth seed David Ferrer, also in five sets, now faces title holder Roger Federer.

He is the last man to have beaten the five-time reigning champion at Wimbledon, as an 18-year-old making his SW19 debut in 2002.

606: DEBATE

A semi-finalist in 2004, Ancic is currently ranked 43 in the world, having dropped as low as 136 after missing most of the 2007 season through illness and injury.

"The match...was unbelievable," he said after his win over Verdasco. "I felt after the second set I had done nothing wrong but I was two sets down.

"(Wimbledon) means a lot to me, maybe even more because I missed last year. If I think where I was a year ago, I feel like I'm a winner, whatever happens."

Safin, Russia's former US and Australian Open champion last reached the quarter-finals in 2001

"It was almost black and white TV, it was a long time ago," he joked.

"It was important to start well and hold my serve and be aggressive on his serve and that's what happened.

"I was not playing great tennis but I was in there fighting with him and I am happy with my performance."

He now plays left-hander Feliciano Lopez, 26, from Spain, who overcame Cypriot 10th seed Marcos Baghdatis 5-7 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 8-6.

The 31st seed was staring defeat in the face when serving at 4-5 0-40 down in the final set but saved all three match points, the final one with an ace, to hold.

He then broke Baghdatis, a semi-finalist two years ago, to seize the initiative and served out for victory.

Germany's Rainer Schuettler became the second unseeded player into quarters after Ancic as he beat Janko Tipsarevic 6-4 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

The result guarantees an unseeded player in the last four, with Schuettler facing Arnaud Clement on Wednesday.

The French world number 145 eased into the quarter-finals with a 6-3 7-5 6-2 win over Croatia's Marin Cilic.

He is the lowest-ranked player to reach the men's last eight since number 198 Alexander Popp in 2003.




see also
Wimbledon photos
30 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Cool Radwanska stuns Kuznetsova
30 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Ancic targets Wimbledon success
29 Jun 08 |  Tennis


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