Federer gets free ride into quarters

Robson falls to Stosur; Sharapova survives

Roger Federer was given a free ride into the quarterfinals of the US Open when his fourth-round opponent Mardy Fish withdrew because of undisclosed health concerns on Monday.

The pair was due to clash on the Arthur Ashe Stadium centre court on Monday afternoon but tournament organisers announced Fish had notified them he was pulling out.

The American, seeded 23rd for the tournament, missed part of the season because of a heart ailment and received treatment for an unspecified illness after his gruelling third round win over Gilles Simon on Saturday night.

World number one Federer has not dropped a set in this year's US Open at Flushing Meadows. The 31-year-old Swiss will now play Tomas Berdych after the Czech sixth seed thrashed Spain's Nicolas Almagro 7-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Third seed Maria Sharapova survived a scare against Russian compatriot Nadia Petrova to reach the quarterfinals, having trailed 2-0 in the deciding set before a 73-minute rain delay allowed her to regroup and march to a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory.

Other winners included top-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and defending champion Sam Stosur of Australia on the women's draw and David Ferrer of Spain and Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka on the men's side.

The party continued at Flushing Meadows for Roddick, who has become a rock star since announcing on Thursday he would retire after the US Open.  New York fans always enjoyed watching Roddick but it has been raised several notches. Fans in Ashe Stadium cheered the 30-year-old American's every move and repeatedly broke into chants of “Let's go An-dy, let's go, An-dy.”

When Fognini's service return slammed into the net on match-point, the crowd, including Roddick's model/ actress wife Brooklyn Decker, erupted.

“I'm comfortable out there,” Roddick told reporters. “I'd be an idiot not to use the crowd right now. It's a huge advantage.” Roddick will next play seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner, who beat Argentine compatriot Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 7-5, 7-6.

While Roddick and five-times US Open winner Roger Federer have grabbed most of the headlines, Djokovic, the defending champion, has progressed through the draw without losing a set.

Stosur advanced 6-4, 6-4 by ending the giant-killing run of 18-year-old Briton Laura Robson, who had beaten Kim Clijsters and Li Na to make the fourth round.

In a mild upset, 11th seed Marion Bartoli of France recovered from a disastrous first set to remove fifth seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 1-6, 6-2, 6-0 to reach the quarterfinals.

Serena Williams cruised into the quarterfinals without losing a game as the American thrashed Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova 6-0, 6-0.

Results (prefix denotes seedings): Men’s singles: Fourth round: 1-Roger Federer (Sui) bt 23-Mardy Fish (US)W/O; 6-Tomas Berdych (Czech) bt 11-Nicolas Almagro (Esp) 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1.  

Third round: 19-Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger) bt 9-John Isner (US) 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; 13-Richard Gasquet (Fra) bt Steve Johnson (US) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-3; 8-Janko Tipsarevic (Srb) bt Grega Zemlja (Slv) 6-4, 6-3, 7-5; 20-Andy Roddick (US) bt Fabio Fognini (Ita) 7-5, 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-4; 18-Stanislas Wawrinka (Sui) bt 14-Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukr) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2; 7-Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg) bt Leonardo Mayer (Arg) 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (9-7); 4-David Ferrer (Esp) bt Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-0; 2-Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt 31-Julien Benneteau (Fra) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Women’s singles, fourth round: 4-Se­re­na Williams (US) bt Andrea Hlavackova (Cz­ech) 6-0, 6-0; 12-Ana Ivanovic (Ser) beat Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) 6-0, 6-4; 3-Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt 19-Nadia Petrova (Rus) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4; 11-Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt 5-Petra Kvitova (Cze) 1-6, 6-2, 6-0; 1-Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Anna Tatishvili (Geo) 6-2, 6-2; 7-Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt Laura Robson (Gbr) 6-4, 6-4.

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