Federer, Murray, Djokovic advance
WIMBLEDON, England -- They played into the night on Centre Court, later than anyone ever had in Wimbledon's long history, and they played indoors, the first match contested entirely under the new roof.
And at 10:39 p.m. Monday, when No. 3-seeded Andy Murray of Britain finally finished off a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 victory over No. 19 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland to reach the quarterfinals at the All England Club, the partisan fans celebrated their guy's victory with quite a roar.
"It was pretty special," said Murray, who dropped to his knees when the match ended, then stood and swatted a ball straight up so hard it hit the roof.
No man from Britain has won Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936, and, like his countrymen, Murray -- a 22-year-old from Scotland -- is more interested in that sort of history than the sort he and Wawrinka made Monday.
Federer-Soderling Career Head-to-Head
Still, these circumstances were rather extraordinary, what with Centre Court's roof shut, the lights on and a chance to play the match until its rightful conclusion, no matter how late. That's never before been the case at Wimbledon, where unlike the U.S. Open, there never has been lighted courts, and matches often are stopped in progress because of darkness. Previously, no Centre Court point had been played later than 9:35 p.m.
"I'll have a pretty deep sleep after that one," Murray said.
At a tournament that began in 1877, not a single point had been contested indoors until earlier Monday, when a light sprinkle interrupted No. 1-ranked Dinara Safina's 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over 2006 champion Amelie Mauresmo. After the fifth game of the second set, the translucent roof above the main stadium was closed, and Safina and Mauresmo finished up underneath -- even though by the time they resumed, the rain had stopped.
Because forecasts called for later showers (none arrived), organizers left the contraption sealed for Murray-Wawrinka, which turned out to be a fortuitous decision, even if Murray found the conditions "very, very heavy and very humid; sweating so much."
"When I finished, it was like I'd been in a bath," he said.
All in all, though, the day's last match provided far more excitement than the generally open-and-shut cases that dominated the rest of the fourth round.
Federer advanced to the quarterfinals, hitting 23 aces, never losing serve and beating familiar foil Robin Soderling 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5). Federer improved to 11-0 against Soderling, including a victory in the French Open final three weeks ago to complete a career Grand Slam.
This time the No. 2-seeded Federer came through on a handful of key points. He earned the only service break of the match in the ninth game of the opening set, when Soderling committed five unforced errors to fall behind for good, 5-4.
Soderling led in the final tiebreak but double-faulted on the next-to-last point before hitting an errant return.
"Today was hard to get through a really dangerous match," Federer said. "Not many rallies, so maybe not as much fun for the people. But I stayed calm, waited for my chance."
Soderling had only two break-point chances against Federer -- both at 4-all in the third set -- and failed to put either return in play. Federer lost just eight points on his first serve and committed only eight unforced errors in the match.
Federer said he has regained the confidence he lacked early this year.
"No signs of panics, what I maybe had, you know, six months ago when I played. I would just feel uneasy. I wouldn't be exactly sure what the right plays were. Now I feel perfect."
He needs three more victories here for his 15th major title, which would break the record he shares with Pete Sampras. Federer doesn't have to worry about defending champion Rafael Nadal, who missed the tournament with bad knees.
Djokovic broke seven times and beat Dudi Sela 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.
Former Australian Open champion Djokovic, the youngest man remaining in the draw, simply had too much ammunition for the 24-year-old world No. 46 and reached the last eight for the second time with ease.
Sela, the first Israeli man to go this far at a Grand Slam for 17 years, could not reproduce the form that took him past Rainer Schuettler and Tommy Robredo in previous rounds, ditching a forehand into the net on match point.
Former champion Lleyton Hewitt rallied from two sets down to beat Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic and reach the quarterfinals. Hewitt was broken four times in the first two sets but held serve the rest of the match to win 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
The Australian broke for the second time in the decider to take a 5-2 lead and then served out the match when Stepanek sent a shot wide. The 2002 champion dropped to one knee and pumped his fist repeatedly in celebration.
Hewitt set up a quarterfinal clash with Roddick, a 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-3 winner over Tomas Berdych.
"I'm having so much fun," said Roddick, a two-time runner-up to Federer. "I love playing here. It really is an honor, and that's something that is never lost on me."
Haas, who won his first title on grass at Halle two weeks ago, made it through to the quarterfinals for the first time.
Need the scores from any match played at Wimbledon today? Results
"If you'd told me maybe even two months ago that I was gonna get to the quarters of Wimbledon, playing at this level now, I'm not sure I would have believed it," Haas said.
"This is so far a fantastic run no matter what happens from here on out. I'm really happy and pleased to make it to the 'elite eight club,' or whatever you call it here. So that's really nice," he said.
Roddick fired 24 aces as he outclassed the 20th seed with a combination of guile and power. After giving Berdych the runaround, the American sixth seed sealed his place in the last eight here for the fifth time when his opponent could only paddle a backhand into the net.
Berdych had been one of only two men who had not dropped a set coming into the fourth round but he failed to trouble Roddick with his baseline tactics and went out after 1 hour, 48 minutes.
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.
Women's singles: Serena Williams, United States
Roger Federer, Switzerland
Men's doubles: Daniel Nestor, Canada, and Nenad Zimonjic, Serbia
Women's doubles: Venus and Serena Williams, United States
Mixed doubles: Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Germany and Mark Knowles, Bahamas
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