Big three storm into Beijing last eight
The big three of men’s tennis – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – are all through to the last eight of the Olympic singles event after routine victories in Beijing on Wednesday.
Second seed Nadal enjoyed another easy straight-sets win as he beat Russian Igor Andreev 6-4, 6-2. The soon-to-be world No.1 will take on Jurgen Melzer from Austria for a place in the semi-finals.
Melzer ended the run of Andy Murrays conqueror, Lu Yen-Hsun from Chinese Taipei, 6-2, 6-4.
Waiting for Nadal in the semis could be world No.3 Novak Djokovic after he continued his progress by beating 13th seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny 7-6, 6-3 in the third round.
The Serbian third seed will face physical Frenchman Gael Monfils in the last eight after he beat Argentine David Nalbandian 6-4, 6-4.
In the top half of the draw, top-seeded Swiss Roger Federer got the better of 17th seed Tomas Berdych from the Czech Republic.
Roger Federer came through 6-3, 7-6(4) to avenge his defeat to Berdych at the last Olympics in Athens in 2004. The Swiss now plays American James Blake after he beat Frenchman Gilles Simon in straight sets.
Also in the top half, Chiles Fernando Gonzalez and Frenchman Paul Henri Mathieu will meet in the last eight. Gonzalez thrashed Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-0, 6-3, while Mathieu put out German Nicolas Kiefer 6-3, 7-5
Venus Williams was the first of the big names through in the womens draw before she was joined in the last eight by sister Serena and second seed Jelena Jankovic.
Seventh-seeded Venus was too good for Victoria Azarenka during a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Belarussian. Her next opponent, China’s Li Na, kept home hopes alive as she beat Estonias Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.
Serena was pushed all the way by French teenager Alize Cornet in the match of the day on Centre. The fourth-seeded American came from a set down to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and now faces Russian Elena Dementieva, who eased past Dane Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.
Second seed Jankovic proved too strong for Slovak Dominika Cibulkova as the Serb emerged a 7-5, 6-1 winner. She will take on French Open runner-up Dinara Safina in the quarter-finals after the Russian outplayed Chinas Zheng Jie 6-4, 6-3.
Also through are Austrian Sybille Bammer, who beat Czech Lucie Safarova 7-5, 6-4, and ninth seed Vera Zvonareva from Russia who put out Italian Francesca Schiavone 7-6, 6-4.
Bammer and Zvonareva will meet in the quarter-finals, both having profited from a wide-open top quarter of the draw after the late withdrawal of world No.2 Ana Ivanovic.
Federer (Sui) Vs Blake (USA)
Mathieu (Fra) Vs Gonzalez (Chi)
Djokovic (Srb) Vs Monfils (Fra)
Nadal (Esp) Vs Melzer (Aut)
Bammer (Aut) Vs Zvonareva (Rus)
S Williams Vs Dementieva (Rus)
V Willliams Vs Li (Chi)
Safina (Rus) Vs Jankovic (Srb)
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