Roberto Bautista Agut powered through to a first grand slam semi-final by overcoming Guido Pella in four sets at Wimbledon.

The Spaniard extended his unbeaten record against Pella to 3-0 courtesy of a 7-5 6-4 3-6 6-3 triumph to earn the dubious honour of a last-four meeting with world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Bautista Agut began this year in fine style, beating Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych in succession to land the Doha title, before appearing to end Andy Murray's singles career with a thrilling victory over the former world number one at the Australian Open.

Murray strongly hinted that might have been his final match because of injury, so Bautista Agut might have raised an eyebrow at the sight of the Scot playing mixed doubles at Wimbledon with Serena Williams.

How Murray, on the comeback trail after hip surgery, would have relished being out there on singles duty instead on Wednesday, and he would have seen much to admire on No. 1 Court.

Bautista Agut had won through to his first Wimbledon quarter-final without dropping a set, a record that not even Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal could match.

The intensity of the 31-year-old was evident as he edged two tight opening sets, with Pella perhaps feeling the pace after two five-set matches in his run, including a marathon fourth-round win over Milos Raonic.

The 29-year-old left-hander from Argentina caused a light stir at the All England Club when he swept through the third set, becoming the first man at the championships to poke through Bautista Agut's armoury.

Yet Pella could not get back on level terms, though, and the writing was on the wall by the time an unforced backhand error gave up the first break in set four, which Bautista Agut consolidated to lead 4-1.

Pella fought off two break points in a valiant show of resolve, but his first effort in a slam quarter was ultimately a losing one.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Roberto Bautista Agut [23] bt Guido Pella [26] 7-5 6-4 3-6 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Bautista Agut - 42/35
Pella - 46/51

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Bautista Agut - 4/1
Pella - 14/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Bautista Agut - 4/16
Pella - 2/13

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Bautista Agut - 66
Pella - 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Bautista Agut - 71/58
Pella - 69/45

TOTAL POINTS
Bautista Agut - 144
Pella - 129

Defending champion Novak Djokovic took the wind out of David Goffin's sails to cruise into a ninth Wimbledon semi-final.

It was not plain sailing for the top seed in the first set, but he came from a break down and went on to brush Goffin aside 6-4 6-0 6-2 on Centre Court.

Goffin had the better of much of an entertaining opening set before Djokovic sapped the life out of the fast-fading Belgian, who wilted in his first quarter-final at SW19 on Wednesday.

Djokovic, who made only 17 unforced errors and won 76 per cent of points behind his first serve, has only dropped one set en route to the last four as he eyes a 16th major title.

The world number one, beaten by Goffin for the first time when they last met in Monaco two years ago, will now face Roberto Bautista Agut or Guido Pella.

Djokovic fended off a couple of break points with stoic defence and a trusty serve as his 23-ranked opponent applied early pressure, bossing baseline rallies.

Goffin was lightning quick over the famous grass as the two served up some thrilling rallies and the underdog got a thumbs up from Djokovic following a majestic cross-court winner before breaking to lead 4-3.

The Serbian appeared to be troubled by his eyes as he sat in his chair but was seeing clearly when he broke straight back and won the set after Goffin fizzed a backhand wide. 

The second set was a totally different story, Goffin fading fast after showing such promise, with an aggressive Djokovic sweeping him aside.

A sprightly Djokovic broke for a 2-0 lead with a volley at the net and continued to jump all over the Belgian's tame serve, returning superbly and sealing a bagel with a textbook overhead.

Goffin halted a run of 10 consecutive games won by Djokovic to level at 1-1 in the third but gifted the four-time champion a break with a double fault.

Djokovic saved two break points before taking a 4-1 advantage and Goffin was put out of his misery when he flashed a backhand into the tramlines.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Novak Djokovic [1] bt David Goffin [21] 6-4 6-0 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic - 24/17
Goffin - 28/23

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic - 3/3
Goffin - 4/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic - 7/10
Goffin - 1/6

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Djokovic - 59
Goffin - 45

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Djokovic - 76/50
Goffin - 62/38

TOTAL POINTS
Djokovic - 93
Goffin - 66

Tim Henman still has to see it to believe a moment of sheer class in his Wimbledon quarter-final victory over the great Roger Federer 18 years ago.

Federer was beaten in the opening round at the All England Club in 1999 and 2000 but went on to reach the last eight after winning his first main-draw match at the grass-court grand slam in 2001.

The legendary Swiss beat seven-time champion Pete Sampras to set up a showdown with home favourite Henman.

Briton Henman shattered Federer's dreams of winning a first major with a 7-5 7-6 (8-6) 2-6 7-6 (8-6) victory to send Centre Court into raptures.

Federer has gone on to win 20 grand slam singles titles and will go in search of a 100th win at SW19 when he faces Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Henman vividly recalls his encounter with the eight-time Wimbledon champion, but it was a sublime winner from Federer that stands out.

He told Omnisport: "There is one backhand pass he hit, and I've seen it a few times since.

"I felt I volleyed as well as anyone and remember I hit a volley in one of the tie-breaks and he hit this backhand pass, which is one of the fastest shots I have ever seen. I've only seen it on television, I don't think I saw it go past me!

"It's funny that stands out, but obviously getting the victory and being through to the semi was a great memory.

"At the time he was a top-10 player on the up, but now I can look back and say it's nice to have a victory over Federer on Centre Court on your CV."

Henman thinks Federer has a great chance of regaining the title this weekend, but fancies Rafael Nadal's chances of moving within one major triumph of his old foe.

He added: "I can see him [Federer] winning it, but if I had to pick one it would be Nadal. I've been so impressed with him so far."

 

Andy Murray does not expect to feature in the US Open singles competition as he continues his comeback from hip surgery.

Former world number one Murray and mixed-doubles partner Serena Williams eased into the third round at Wimbledon on Tuesday with a 7-5 6-3 win over 14th seeds Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo.

Murray and Pierre-Hugues Herbert crashed out of the men's doubles in the second round, but the Briton could lift a second trophy since returning from surgery following his triumph alongside Feliciano Lopez at the Queen's Club Championships in June.

However, the 32-year-old – who had initially suggested he would look to return to singles for the North American hard-court leg of the ATP Tour, which concludes with the grand slam at Flushing Meadows in August – has indicated he is unlikely to take the next step in his comeback so soon.

"I think it's pretty unlikely just in terms of timing," 2012 US Open champion Murray told a news conference. "I spoke to my team a bit about that yesterday. Just a lot of stuff I need to get done physically, get myself stronger.

"The amount of work I need to do on the court to get ready for singles, the amount of work I need to put in off the court to get myself strong enough to play best of five sets, it's still quite a way away unfortunately.

"I would love to play. I need to look, like, pretty long term with this. I don't want to be having to go through another big operation in a few years' time.

"I want to make sure the operation I've had lasts for as long as possible. To give it the best chance, I need to make sure that, I'm physically really strong before I get back on the singles court."

At least for now, Murray said the focus is simply on enjoying his tennis – and of-court life – once more following two injury-hit seasons.

"When I got my hip injury, I was ranked number one in the world. I went from playing at the highest level of the sport to really struggling to do day-to-day things," Murray added.

"Playing tennis was not fun anymore, because it was painful every time I played. The training wasn't great.

"Then I wasn't enjoying just going out for a walk, doing other kind of social things as well. Going out for dinner and things like that, it was just uncomfortable.

"Now that I'm pain-free again, I realise that's actually the most important thing, is to be healthy, enjoying a kind of normal life, for someone that's 32. I'm just doing the things I've always loved doing again, which I didn't have the opportunity to do much the last couple of years."

Andy Murray declared Serena Williams to be "the boss" after Alison Riske discovered the legendary American can still call the shots at Wimbledon.

Williams beat Riske 6-4 4-6 6-3 to reach the singles semi-finals on Tuesday, then returned to Centre Court to team up with Murray for a mixed doubles win over Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo.

The legendary Williams has christened their dream team 'Murena' and Murray is in no mood to argue with her despite being at his home grand slam.

Riske was not giving any secrets away over her father's career after her exit, while Henri Leconte put on a show on the outside courts.

Catch up on the action with the daily diary from the All England Club.

 

MURENA IT IS - SERENA IN CHARGE

Williams and Murray had an expectant crowd on the edge of their seats as they teamed up for a 7-5 6-3 win in the second round.

There has been plenty of talk over what the star duo should be called, but Murray says his playing partner has the final say.

"I think Serena is the boss so whatever she says goes!" Murray said.

Williams added: "I am having a blast. Obviously it has been great atmosphere playing out there with Andy, so it is great."

 

MUM'S THE WORD OVER DAD'S RISKE BUSINESS

Riske has expressed herself brilliantly on and off court in her best run at a major.

It was very much a case of mum's the word when asked about her father's role as a former secret service agent and FBI investigator following her battle with Williams.

"My dad was on president detail with [Bill] Clinton, he was with [George] Bush Sr. He did that for quite a while. He was also with actually [Ronald] Reagan for a very short period of time," said the American.

"Honestly, my dad didn't share too many stories - he wasn't allowed to. I don't think I would share them now either, to be honest. His humour is a little off colour. I would probably feel better keeping them to myself."

 

LECONTE HOLDS FORTE IN ROLE REVERSAL

Charismatic Frenchman Leconte took centre stage on the outside courts before the serious action got under way.

The 56-year-old handed the chair umpire his racket to partner Patrick McEnroe and climbed up to officiate rather than do battle with Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis.

Leconte commentated on the encounter behind the microphone for richly entertained spectators on No.3 Court, offering words of advice for the umpire and also dishing out a warning.

The official took a tumble stretching for a winner, earning praise from Leconte as both starred in their alternative roles.

 

LUCKY 13: HISTORY MADE IN DOUBLES MARATHON

History was made at SW19 when Henri Kontinen and John Peers went down as the first winners of a final-set tie-break.

There was nothing to choose in a men's doubles clash between the eighth seeds and Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury that went the distance.

It was Kontinen and Peers who eventually prevailed, sealing a historic 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 3-6 4-6 13-12 (7-2) success in a contest which lasted four hours and 29 minutes on Court 12.

Serena Williams and Andy Murray sailed into the third round of the mixed doubles by taking out 14th seeds Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo at Wimbledon.

Williams beat Alison Riske to reach the singles semi-finals in a tough battle on Centre Court earlier on Tuesday and returned to secure another victory with Murray.

The former singles number ones will face top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar following an entertaining 7-5 6-3 win.

Murray and Williams enjoyed themselves on the main show court, American Atawo and Frenchman Martin unable to break a star duo that also won their first match in straight sets.

Williams said she was feeling good after setting up a last-four clash with Barbora Strycova despite a slight issue with her ankle and the 23-time major singles champion looked fresh as she combined superbly with Murray.

Murray and Pierre-Hugues Herbert crashed out of the men's doubles in the second round, but with Williams in this sort of form, the Briton could lift a second trophy since returning from hip surgery after teaming up with Feliciano Lopez for a success at the Queen's Club Championships last month.

Williams returned with venom and Murray put the seal on an impressive victory with an ace as the dream team marched on.

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal eased into the quarter-finals at Wimbledon with dominant displays in their respective fourth-round matches.

After Nadal easily brushed aside Joao Sousa, defending champion Djokovic made light work of Ugo Humbert 6-3 6-2 6-3.

Federer rounded off the day on Centre Court, easily dispatching world number 20 Matteo Berrettini to claim his 99th win at the grand slam.

The eight-time champion will face Kei Nishikori, who got the better of Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Djokovic will go up against David Goffin, while Sam Querrey's 6-4 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) win over compatriot Tennys Sandgren means he will play Nadal.

Milos Raonic succumbed to Guido Pella in a tightly contested five-set encounter, with Roberto Bautista Agut making up the last eight.

 

FEDERER NEARING WIMBLEDON MILESTONE

No player has ever reached a century of wins at a single grand slam, but after breezing past Berrettini 6-1 6-2 6-2 in 74 minutes Federer is one victory away from doing just that.

The 37-year-old was in supreme form against the Italian - 14 years his junior - with Berrettini making a number of rookie mistakes in a humbling defeat.

Eighth seed Nishikori will be Federer's opponent in the quarters after he edged past Kukushkin in four sets.

"I think it's going to be tough. I remember some of the slams recently he arrived into the later stages with maybe some tough matches going into it. So far it's been really easy for him," Federer told a news conference when asked about Nishikori.

 

INEXPERIENCED HUMBERT HARDLY TESTS DJOKOVIC

Playing for the first time in the second week of a grand slam, 21-year-old Humbert offered little resistance as Djokovic took another step towards defending his crown.

Humbert found himself chasing the 15-time major winner for the majority of the match, which was wrapped up when a delightful drop shot set the Serbian up to serve it out.

"I played against a very talented player who made some big wins this tournament and definitely has a potential to reach big heights in tennis because he's got quite [an] all-around game," Djokovic told a news conference.

 

BULLISH NADAL LOOKS RAMPANT

French Open champion Nadal proved untouchable for Sousa, as the world number two cruised to a 6-2 6-2 6-2 victory on Centre Court.

Nadal hit 30 winners and converted six of eight break points in the win, which took an hour and 45 minutes.

With Federer and Djokovic likely to join him in the last four for the second straight slam, the third seed reflected on their lengthy period of dominance.

"It is special what we achieved in the last 15 years," Nadal said. "Something special, difficult to repeat I think, so many titles between three players."

Roger Federer moved onto 99 wins at Wimbledon as he progressed into the quarter-finals with an emphatic 6-1 6-2 6-2 victory over Matteo Berrettini.

No other player has ever reached a century of victories at a single grand slam event, but Federer is now within one win of achieving the milestone.

With Rafael Nadal and defending champion Novak Djokovic having breezed into the last eight earlier on Monday, the 37-year-old showed no weaknesses against 17th-seed Berrettini on Centre Court, taking just 74 minutes to win.

Some neat shots from Berrettini got the crowd onside in the final set, though two consolation holds of serve were all he could manage as Federer inflicted a humbling defeat to set up a quarter-final tie with former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori.

It took Federer just 17 minutes to take the first set, swinging an ace down the middle after two breaks had already put him well in control.

Berrettini's nerves seemed to be getting the better of him, and the world number 20 failed to arrest his poor display in the second set, making seven unforced errors.

Federer played a clever drop shot to strike in the third game, and after Berrettini held the next time around on his serve, the Swiss claimed another break to take the second set with ease.

Another Berrettini mistake followed as Federer broke to love in the first game of the third - the Italian getting an attempted drop shot all wrong.

Federer did not let up, rushing up close to the net to win a fantastic point, and he subsequently broke again when the 23-year-old slipped from his return.

Berrettini failed to take advantage of his only break point in the next game, and despite holding twice to make the scoreline more respectable, his race was run as Federer - last time a Wimbledon champion in 2017 – won every point in the final game.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Roger Federer [2] bt Matteo Berrettini [17] 6-1 6-2 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Federer- 24/5
Berrettini - 14/23

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Federer- 5/1
Berrettini - 3/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Federer- 6/7
Berrettini - 0/1

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer- 69
Berrettini - 45

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer- 88/68
Berrettini - 69/34

TOTAL POINTS
Federer- 79
Berrettini - 40

Novak Djokovic enjoyed a serene passage into the Wimbledon quarter-finals as he dispatched Ugo Humbert 6-3 6-2 6-3.

The 21-year-old Frenchman, ranked 66 in the world, was playing in the second week of a grand slam for the first time in his career and found the going tough against an imperious defending champion.

Djokovic's supreme defensive game made life incredibly tough for Humbert, who found himself chasing the match after early breaks in each of the first two sets.

A pinpoint backhand return from Djokovic opened up a 3-1 advantage in the opener and his progress to a last-eight encounter with 21st seed David Goffin was scarcely in doubt thereafter.

The world number one dropped a paltry 14 points on his own serve and, although Humbert's biggest weapon yielded six aces, Djokovic snaffled five of nine break points.

"I had never played Ugo but saw him play and he's won against a couple of great players," Djokovic told BBC.

"I was able to study his game, but he probably wasn't at his best. I'm pleased to execute the job in three sets."

After a processional second set, Humbert knuckled down gamely in the third.

But he coughed up three more break points in the eighth game and Djokovic only needed one – a delightful drop shot settling him up to serve out via a couple of deuces.

With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in similarly uncompromising moods on Monday, SW19 is enjoying some of the all-time greats in prime form.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Novak Djokovic [1] bt Ugo Humbert 6-3 6-2 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic - 25/14
Humbert - 20/34

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic - 3/1
Humbert - 6/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic - 5/9
Humbert - 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Djokovic - 70
Humbert - 60

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Djokovic - 78/80
Humbert - 65/38

TOTAL POINTS
Djokovic - 91
Humbert- 60

Rafael Nadal refuted the suggestion Ashleigh Barty should have featured on Centre Court at Wimbledon at his expense.

Women's world number one Barty played on No.2 Court on Monday, but the French Open champion and top seed crashed out with a shock 3-6 6-2 6-3 defeat to Alison Riske, who will face Serena Williams in the quarter-finals.

Nadal, meanwhile, cruised to a convincing 6-2 6-2 6-2 triumph over Joao Sousa in the main arena.

But the second-ranked men's player did not agree with a reporter's suggestion Barty deserved to play on Centre Court, the third seed stating his status in the sport is higher than the Australian's.

"I am the world number two and I have won 18 grand slams," Nadal told a news conference.

"My answer is not no or yes. My answer is [the schedulers] make a decision. You are putting Ashleigh Barty in front of me.

"In the world of tennis today, honestly, my feeling is I am a little bit more than Ashleigh Barty, even if she is the top player in the world, won the French Open and is playing unbelievably well.

"A day like today, everybody is playing. Of course, [Novak] Djokovic is not on Centre Court. The first day, I was playing on No.1 Court."

Nadal will face Sam Querrey in the last eight after the American beat his compatriot Tennys Sandgren in their fourth-round tie.

Rafael Nadal maintained his supreme form at Wimbledon as he cruised into the quarter-finals with a dominant 6-2 6-2 6-2 win over Joao Sousa.

Nadal's coach Francisco Roig claimed the third seed was "playing without any weaknesses" at the grand slam following a brilliant display against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in round three, and the 18-time major winner was at his scintillating best in Monday's tie.

Sousa was unable to get close to the French Open champion on Centre Court, with the Portuguese - who shocked 13th seed Marin Cilic earlier in the competition - failing to claim a single break point throughout.

After some wicked shots in the final set, Nadal wrapped up the win in style on the first of three match points to progress into the last eight, where he will face Sam Querrey or Tennys Sandgren.

Nadal started off as he meant to go on and broke twice in the opening four games to take a 4-0 lead, with Sousa only able to win four points in response.

Sousa avoided an unwanted hat-trick of breaks against him when he held to love to pull a game back, but a passing winner from Nadal sealed the set in the Spaniard's favour.

The world number two's dominance told on Sousa early in the second set, as he aired his frustration with members of his team after Nadal won against serve for a third time.

Sousa's frustration turned to admiration soon after when he applauded a wonderful forehand from his opponent, who claimed the set.

Having pulled level on his serve after going 1-0 down in the third set, Nadal came out on top in a 20-shot rally with a sublime cross-court backhand before breaking with the next point.

Another stunning winner followed on Nadal's next break of serve, before he capped off an exceptional performance with an ace to hold to love.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Rafael Nadal [3] bt Joao Sousa 6-2 6-2 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal - 30/10
Sousa - 16/15

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal - 5/3
Sousa - 4/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal - 6/8
Sousa - 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Nadal - 57
Sousa - 68

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Nadal - 85/69
Sousa - 56/46

TOTAL POINTS
Nadal - 84
Sousa - 53

Andy Murray sees no reason why he cannot re-establish himself as one of the best players in the world when he resumes his singles career.

Murray teamed up with Feliciano Lopez to win the doubles title at Queen's Club in a glorious return five months after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery.

The three-time grand slam champion feared his career may be over when speaking about his injury during an emotional news conference at the Australian Open, where he was beaten in round one by Roberto Bautista Agut before going under the knife again in January.

Murray, bidding to win the mixed doubles with Serena Williams at Wimbledon after the Brit and Pierre-Hugues Herbert lost in the second round of the men's doubles, says he can be a force when he feels ready to go it alone.

"Why not?" The former world number said when asked if he can challenge the top players in the world.

"If someone can give me a reason why I shouldn't be able to compete again then I would listen to it, but so far I haven't really been given one.

"If, physically, I can get back to a good level my tennis is still fine. I'm sure that, tennis-wise, I will be able to keep up with guys. I don't feel that the game has moved on and I won't be able to get back.

"A lot of the same guys are still there."

Rafael Nadal is "playing without any weaknesses" at Wimbledon, according to his coach Francisco Roig.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal cruised past Yuichi Sugita in his opener but dropped a set in a fiery encounter against Nick Kyrgios in the second round.

However, the third seed was in top form in a 6-2 6-3 6-2 triumph over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Saturday, with Joao Sousa standing between him and a place in the quarter-finals.

"The match against [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga was one of precision and controlled intensity," Roig told the ATP Tour's official website.

"Rafa maintained a state of fluidity throughout, and it makes matters difficult for his opponents when he's in that kind of groove. His return was on point and his serves were on target.

"Rafa is playing without any weaknesses; even Tsonga commented he wasn't sure where to attack or what to do. If a player like Tsonga can't figure out how to handle Rafa, that says something about his game. No one has found a solution.

"He has a clear vision in his head of what he wants to do, and he's been able to dictate play on his terms so far."

Roig thinks clay-court specialist Nadal's improvement on grass is down to hard work behind the scenes.

"Rafa believes he can take adjustments he's made during training, then step on the court and put those adjustments to use," he added.

"The better he's prepared and the harder he works, the smoother things go during matches. Right now, Rafa feels he has everything covered; he doesn't feel there are any cracks in his game. That reflects well on us as a team.

"He's always going to have the skill; it's about being ready for anything and having the right mindset going into any situation.

"This is especially so on grass but even on clay, there are moments when things aren't going his way, but he can fall back on what he's learned during training to carry him through.

"With all the work he's done, I go into every match believing things will go Rafa's way and that he can win."

Andy Murray was in awe of doubles partner Serena Williams at Wimbledon on Saturday and believes she and Roger Federer do not get the credit their longevity deserves.

Williams was in inspired form as a mixed doubles bow with Murray ended in a dominant 6-4 6-1 victory over Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi on Centre Court.

But having seen Williams at close quarters, Murray suggested her competitive drive is underestimated after a lengthy career at the top.

The 37-year-old has won 23 grand slam singles titles, while Federer - also referenced by the Briton - is the same age and just three major triumphs behind.

"It's impressive, after the amount of success that someone like Serena has had for such a long period, to still be out there," Murray explained.

"Whatever, eight o'clock at night, having already won a singles, just wanting to win and being competitive.

"That's impressive. I don't think people always appreciate how difficult that is to do I think because of what Serena and Roger have done for such a long period.

"It's kind of taken for granted a little bit. But it's impressive.

"I don't mean that Roger and Serena themselves are taken for granted. I'm just saying it's more like the longevity, the competitiveness to keep going at that level.

"I think that's what people maybe sometimes don't always talk about. Maybe sometimes it looks like it comes easy to them, and it isn't. I know that.

"It's hard work to stay at the top of a sport for a long time physically, mentally. Yeah, for me, that's what's really impressive as a professional athlete, just to see what they've done.

"I think tennis is grateful for all that they've done, all the fans they've brought to the sport. But I don't think people always talk about that side of things."

Wimbledon great Roger Federer gave a modest response to becoming the first player to win 350 singles grand slam matches on Saturday.

Federer defeated Lucas Pouille 7-5 6-2 7-6 (7-4) on Centre Court to bring up the milestone.

But while Billie Jean King dedicated a Twitter post to the Swiss, describing him as "this GOAT", Federer himself preferred to explain why the achievement was slightly biased.

"The records mean something to me but not everything just because I am very much aware that not everybody for the last 100 years played all the slams," he said.

"It's really only the last 20 years that that's been going on. Travelling has gotten easier. I'm sure that's going to keep happening from now on, most of the players will keep playing."

Federer was at least positive about his performance, though, adding: "I'm very happy how it's going so far. I thought it was a good match with Lucas.

"Of course, I hope it's going to take a special performance from somebody to stop me, not just a mediocre performance. I'm happy that I'm able to raise my level of play."

 

NADAL: CHALLENGERS NEED TIME...

It is a question that is asked of Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic time and again. Who can end their dominant reign?

There was certainly no sign of Nadal slowing on Saturday as he blitzed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 6-3 6-2, although the Spaniard acknowledged the end is nearing for the big three after a "special" stretch.

"There are a couple of very good players on the Tour. Yeah, a couple of young ones," he said. "They need some time.

"I don't know. For me, it is not easy to answer this question because I am part of it. It is difficult to have clear answer.

"Honestly, what we have achieved in the grand slams, in tennis in general, during the last 14, 15 years, is something special. To have three players that achieved that much is something difficult to repeat because we played more or less at the same time.

"But here we are. Of course, somebody is going to come and beat us or we are going to leave because we are not young anymore."

 

...AND SOUSA TAKES IT

This might not be quite what Nadal meant. His next opponent Joao Sousa was the last man off the court on Saturday after being taken to five sets by Briton Dan Evans.

An entertaining match might have enthused the two-time champion in more ways than one as the contest dragged on in draining fashion until Sousa won 4-6 6-4 7-5 4-6 6-4 in three hours and 56 minutes, becoming the first-ever Portuguese player to reach the last 16.

 

SANDGREN SETS UP ALL-AMERICAN CLASH

Tennys Sandgren and Sam Querrey, two Americans, will face each other in the next round following impressive wins.

Sandgren kept his composure as opponent Fabio Fognini lost his cool, extraordinarily ranting about a wish to see Wimbledon bombed, while Querrey's superb form continued against John Millman.

A third American fell by the way side as Kei Nishikori breezed past Steve Johnson, though.

Matteo Berrettini will play Federer, with Mikhail Kukushkin also through.

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