Wimbledon

Federer sails past Nalbandian

2011-06-25 18:00
Roger Federer (File)

London - Six-time champion Roger Federer cruised into the last 16 at Wimbledon on Saturday and warned that he was hungrier than ever to end his Grand Slam drought.

Federer, who had dropped only seven games in his previous match, was similarly brisk against Argentinian 28th seed David Nalbandian, winning 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in just under two hours.

The Swiss former world number one, whose last triumph at Wimbledon came in 2009, was satisfied with his performance as he advanced to a meeting with Russian 18th seed Mikhail Youzhny.

"Overall I'm very pleased, I'm a bit more confident on my serve this year, I hope I can keep it going into the second week," said Federer, admitting he had been wary of an opponent who had beaten him eight times before.

"A guy that can beat me eight times can beat me nine times, so I'm happy with my performance."

Federer insisted he retained the desire to add to his record collection of 16 Grand Slam titles.

"The day after my victory, the day after my final losses, I've been hungry," Federer. "It doesn't come in phases, I'm always hungry."

The 29-year-old is also unconcerned by the fact that his last Grand Slam win came at the Australian Open in 2010.

"It hasn't been that long," Federer said. "I don't go through days thinking 'God I haven't won a Grand Slam in so long.' You don't cry over stuff like that.

"You guys bring it up and I answer the question. That's it. But I don't get pulled down by it. Actually I think I get motivation from it."

Against Nalbandian, the decisive moment in the first set came when Federer broke the South American to take a 4-3 lead before holding serve to go 1-0 up.

Nalbandian then suffered a break in the first game of the second set as Federer upped the tempo mercilessly.

A further break in the seventh game stretched Federer's lead to 5-2, and the Swiss ace wrapped up the second set in only 28 minutes after an exquisite drop shot that Nalbandian could only sink into the net.

The final set went with serve until the ninth game when Federer broke to go 5-4 up. Nalbandian battled bravely to survive three match points before Federer wrapped up another impressive win.

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