• Wimbledon, Day Eight

Federer feared injury would end Wimbledon campaign

ESPN staff
July 2, 2012

ESPN will be providing extensive coverage of Wimbledon in association with Rolex, with live scores, commentary and analysis and you can follow it all with our live scorecentre

Roger Federer played down concerns over his fitness after he was forced to receive treatment for a back injury during his four-set win over Xavier Malisse. "It started to feel better as the match went on. It was a bit of a shock. I thought I was in big trouble. I'm pleased I came through and I had to apologise to Xavier for the first set for what happened, it was just a freak thing, can happen to anyone. The back sometimes hurts you just hope it doesn't happen on a big match like today."

Mikhail Youzhny will face Roger Federer - a man he has lost to in each of their 13 meetings - in the quarter-finals, after he defeated Denis Istomin in five sets. He said: "Even if I said now, 'No, it doesn't matter', of course in my head when I lost to a guy 13 times in a row and never beat him, you have to take in our head, I think, in our brains.

"Because of course I remember almost all our matches, and it's not on my side, actually. But before going to quarter, I understand that new match is like new life. I try to do all my best and don't think about what was previous."

Novak Djokovic trounced good friend and fellow Serbian Viktor Troicki to breeze into the quarter-finals. "We know each other so well - the first match we played against each other he was nine years old, I was eight years old back in Serbia in a local tournament. So there's no secrets between us and it's never easy to play your very good friend, somebody you grew up with, but today there had to be one loser."

Maria Sharapova, the runner-up last year, was dumped out of the tournament at the hands of Sabine Lisicki. She said: "She did many things much better than I did. I thought I had a chance of coming back in the first set but I managed to play a few sloppy shots just as she raised her game. If she can keep serving as well as that she has a good chance on this surface, she has a lot of potential. She keeps her shots low and hits the ball really hard. She's a very aggressive player."

Victoria Azarenka is now the highest ranked seed remaining in the draw, and will face the unseeded Tamira Paszek after defeating Ana Ivanovic. She said: "I think when you're on the top, everybody kind of wants to beat you. You always have that kind of baggage to carry with you. But that's the position where you want to be, you work hard to be. There's really no bad or good, it's just the situation and you deal with it."

Serena Williams insists she is not feeling the effects of two draining three-set matches after she survived a second-set wobble to defeat Yaroslava Shvedova. "Drama again. I love drama! I feel fine. I'm not tired. I'm not anything. I feel good. The bottom line is I can play so much better than what I've been playing. Today I didn't serve as well as the other match - I can improve on everything. You know me, I'm never satisfied."

Williams will now face Petra Kvitova, who steeled herself in wet conditions to come from behind to defeat Francesca Schiavone in three sets. "The grass was a little bit damp so it was a little bit dangerous but I was ready to play on, to continue, because I knew that I had a chance. When I made the break finally, after one hour or however long we had played, it was better for me."

Of Williams, she added: "I think it will be a huge match for both of us. I am looking forward to facing her and looking forward to having a challenge."

Schiavone was visibly angry to be made to play in the conditions, but tried not to use that as an excuse for her eventual demise. "When it is damp you should say yes or no, not just stay there and wait. But that is not an excuse (for losing), of course. I am sorry because I knew how I was playing. I knew how much this match counted. I was playing a good game, I was winning."

Lisicki was delighted with her victory over world No. 1 Sharapova: "It's just unbelievable. For the third time, I've beaten the French Open champion here. I'm just so happy. I just went for my shots from the first point on. It's my favourite tournament. I just love it.

"I didn't play well in my last tournaments, but that's why I went to Florida. I practiced just before Wimbledon there. I got my confidence and my shots back. I just had fun on the court again. Spent twice two hours a day on the court and just feeling good. That's why I went back home to Florida and came in here feeling much, much better. So it's all good."

Kim Clijsters said goodbye to Wimbledon after being beaten by Angelique Kerber. The Belgian reached the semi-finals twice but never triumphed at the All England Club. She was emotional at ending her long association with the tournament. "It all started from when I was a youngster, being at home, watching Wimbledon during summer holidays in Belgium, watching it on TV. You just kind of felt the magic coming through the television. Then as I got older, when I was able to be here for the first time as a junior, it was just very special. This was like Disneyland to another child. It was such a beautiful thing."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.