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Sports

Federer drops set, moves on

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 12:27 AM
WIMBLEDON, England -

Lo and behold, Roger Federer actually lost a set at Wimbledon on Friday.

Not a match, mind you, just a set, which in and of itself counts as news. Dating to the start of the 2003 tournament, after all, Federer is 43-1 at the All England Club, dropping a total of 11 sets along the way.

Here's the part that's interesting - and perhaps intimidating to future foes: Federer called his 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-1 victory over 27th-ranked Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in the third round his best performance of the week.

On Monday, he will face a familiar opponent: Robin Soderling, the man Federer beat in straight sets in the French Open final this month to complete a career Grand Slam and tie Pete Sampras' record of 14 major titles.

Also moving into the fourth round: Dudi Sela, who beat No. 15 Tommy Robredo 7-6 (8), 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 and is the first Israeli man to make it this far at Wimbledon in 20 years; No. 4 Novak Djokovic, who eliminated No. 28 Mardy Fish of Tampa in straight sets; No. 22 Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, who hit 46 aces to knock off No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga; and No. 7 Fernando Verdasco, who beat No. 32 Albert Montanes.

Serena Williams almost didn't make it to her court on time, appearing fashionably late to play Roberta Vinci of Italy.

What happened? The 2002-03 Wimbledon champion was waiting for an escort.

"I thought someone was going to come get me," Williams explained after beating Vinci 6-3, 6-4 to improve to 172-28 in Grand Slam play. "I was waiting and waiting. Finally I was like, 'OK, I think I'm just going to go out.' I'm used to someone coming and saying, 'OK, let's go.'"

The second-seeded Williams next plays Daniela Hantuchova, a straight-set winner against her doubles partner, Ai Sugiyama. Elsewhere, Gisela Dulko, lost to No. 10 Nadia Petrova 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, while No. 12 Marion Bartoli, the 2007 runner-up at the All England Club, was beaten by Francesca Schiavone 7-6 (5), 6-0.

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