After Federer’s last match was played under the roof with dry conditions outside, Wimbledon seemed keen to keep the roof open as much as possible for for this 4th round match. In what were possibly the most testing conditions I have seen at Wimbledon in recent years Federer came through 7-6, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 and the match could have been a lot trickier than it turned out.
Malisse served for the first set at 6-5 and was broken to 15 with Federer playing conservative tennis, letting Malisse make the errors. This theme continued in the tiebreak that Federer controlled from start to finish winning it 7-2.
Malisse continued to struggled with the conditions in the second and it looked like the match was going to be a straightforward 3 sets like their last Slam meeting at the 2011 Australian Open. But Federer suffered a drop in form himself at the start of the 3rd set (his back was troubling him throughout the match), which Malisse took 6-4 before going a break up in the 4th. From nowhere it seemed like Federer was going to have to undertake back to back 5 set matches, but he stepped it up and broke the X Man twice in row to take a 5-2 lead.
Stat of the match: Federer won an impressive 34/39 of net points (87%), which was a sharp turn around from the same stat in his prior match against Benneteau (56%). He also converted 6 of 7 break point chances.
Federer will now play Youzhny in the quarter finals, and with a 14-0 head to head against the Russian (most recently in the semi-finals of Halle) it’s likely we’ll see Federer in the semi-finals on Friday.
By making the quarter finals, Federer extends his Grand Slam quarter final streak to an impressive 33.