Ferrer pushes Roddick closer to farewell

30 June 2012 07:48

Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer beat three-time runner-up Andy Roddick to reach the Wimbledon last 16 on Saturday, sparking fresh doubts over the American's future in tennis.

Ferrer came back from a set down to clinch a 2-6, 7-6 (10/8), 6-4, 6-3 triumph and goes on to face 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the quarter-finals.

But it was Roddick's farewell gesture to Centre Court which was the talking point.

The 29-year-old, who came into the tournament on the back of a 31st career title in Eastbourne, applauded all four sides of the court, blowing a kiss to the fans, many of whom would have witnessed his three agonising final defeats to Roger Federer in 2004, 2005 and 2009.

That last loss, an epic five-setter, which ended 16-14 in the final set, was Roddick's last memorable campaign at the All England Club.

He lost in the last 16 in 2010, the third round last year and Saturday's loss, also in the third round, will only increase the speculation over the former world number one's career.

"I don't have a definitive answer, I can't give you much else," said 2003 US Open champion Roddick, when asked if Saturday was his last farewell to Wimbledon.

At least the United States had the consolation of seeing two men into the last 16.

Tenth seed Mardy Fish, a quarter-finalist last year and playing his first tournament since undergoing a heart operation, beat Belgian wildcard David Goffin 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (8/6).

Fish will face French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a semi-finalist in 2011, who defeated Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Qualifier Brian Baker's fairytale return hit a new high when he enjoyed a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over France's Benoit Paire.

Baker lost six years of his career to an assortment of injuries that left him needing five different operations on a hernia, left and right hips and his right elbow.

The 27-year-old, who started the year ranked 458, will rise to at least 78 after his performances at Wimbledon.

"It's been unreal," said Baker, who took a job as a college tennis coach to maintain his feel for the sport during his lengthy lay-off.

Czech world 100 Lukas Rosol, who had caused one of the greatest upsets in the history of the sport when he beat world number two Rafael Nadal in five sets in the second round under the Centre Court roof on Thursday, was knocked out.

On a windswept Court 12, normal service was resumed as German 27th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Nadal on grass at Halle two weeks ago, eased to a 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) win and a first appearance in the last 16.

Kohlschreiber will tackle Baker for a place in the quarter-finals.

"It was a little bit windy and that didn't help me a lot. He was playing pretty good, he didn't gave me a lot of chances," said Rosol, who will come back down to earth with a bump next week when he plays a second-tier Challenger event in Germany.

Del Potro defeated Kei Nishikori, the first Japanese man since 1995 to reach the third round, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 and will face Ferrer.

Later Saturday, British fourth seed Andy Murray takes on Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus with the winner to meet either Croatia's Marin Cilic or Sam Querrey of the United States.