PARIS - Defending champion Roger Federer is into the French Open quarterfinals after securing his fourth consecutive straight-set victory.
The top-ranked Federer beat his friend, protege and 2008 Olympic gold medallist doubles partner Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3 7-6 (5) 6-2 yesterday.
Federer was only briefly in trouble, getting broken in the second set and falling behind 4-2. But he broke back to 4-4.
Then, at 5-all in the tiebreaker, the 20th-seeded Wawrinka missed an easy volley, giving Federer a set point.
Federer converted that with a service winner, and Wawrinka mangled his racket by smashing it on the court.
With one more victory, Federer will reach the semifinals at a 24th straight Grand Slam tournament.
Meanwhile for anybody who still doubted it, Rafael Nadal proved he was in rude health as he bulldozed into the second week of the French Open on Saturday but a dizzy Serena Williams needed the doctor to keep her challenge alive.
On a grey and cheerless day at Roland Garros, four-times champion Nadal subdued a typically belligerent Lleyton Hewitt to reach the last 16 although a comfortable looking 6-3 6-4 6-3 scoreline disguised a ferocious war of wills. - Sapa-AP and Reuters