Wimbledon 2021: Roger Federer's dream of record-equalling ninth title in tatters after quarter-final mauling

Roger Federer's dream of winning a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon title has ended in a heart-breaking 6-3 7-6(4) 6-0 quarter-final defeat by Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.

Before this fortnight, 14th seed Hurkacz had won only four matches on turf but no one would have guessed his lack of grasscourt pedigree after witnessing the stupendous display he put in against his own childhood idol.

All the cheers and standing ovations in the world could not save Federer from the Centre Court mauling as it seemed his 39-year-old body finally said enough is enough.

A Federer forehand into the tramlines handed Hurkacz the biggest win of his career while fans were left wondering that should this turn out to be the Swiss's final Wimbledon appearance, there could not have been a more cruel way to bow out than losing 6-0 in the final set of his 22nd appearance.

Federer, the winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, had been chasing Martina Navratilova's All England Club haul of nine singles titles. 

Djokovic ends Fucsovics' run 

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic Photo credit: Getty Images

A business-like Novak Djokovic threatened to short-change over 14,000 fans at Wimbledon on Thursday (NZ time) when after only 19 minutes of action, he stood on the cusp of bagging the first set 6-0.

Trailing 0-5 and 15-40 on serve, it seemed like Marton Fucsovics's first foray into a Grand Slam quarter-final would be short and not very sweet.

But somehow the 29-year-old avoided disappearing into a Wimbledon sinkhole for two hours and 17 minutes before Djokovic pushed him over the edge for a 6-3 6-4 6-4 win that secured him a place in the All England Club semi-finals for a 10th time.

Playing in his 50th Grand Slam quarter-final, Djokovic recorded a century of tour-level wins on grass and his 315th victory at a major.

While such numbers might sound impressive, for Djokovic the only statistic that really matters is that his dream of joining Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal on a record 20 Grand Slam titles was still very much alive as was the chance of becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the calendar slam.

"I am aware of certain stats, I love this sport with all my heart, body and soul have been devoted to it since I was four," said the world number one, who is bidding to win his third consecutive Wimbledon title, and sixth overall.

"Sometimes things do look surreal for me but I try to live in the moment and take every opportunity I have on the court. Going for history is a huge inspiration for me, let's keep it going."

Fucsovics was also chasing history, which in case was to become the first Hungarian man to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since Jozsef Asboth in 1948.

As the 29-year-old stared into the abyss of being wiped out in the opening set, a string of sloppy Djokovic errors not only handed Fucsovics a lifeline but he unexpectedly won three games in a row to the delight of the crowd who rapturously applauded the Serb's misfiring shots.

Djokovic finally won the opening set at the sixth attempt -- 23 minutes after holding his first set point -- when the lunging Hungarian mis-hit a forehand long.

Fucsovics produced some gutsy shots to hang in with Djokovic till 4-4 in the second set and even won a lung-busting 27-shot baseline rally that kept the fans on the edge of their seats.

The effort of winning that single point, however, appeared to have sucked the life out of Fucsovics as two points later Djokovic broke for a 5-4 lead.

When Fucsovics banged a service return long to surrender the second set, the prolonged roar from Djokovic signalled that it was game over for the Hungarian.

"It was a solid performance," summed up Djokovic.

"I started extremely well, didn't do many things wrong in the first six games. One break of serve in the second and third set was enough to clinch the victory - credit to Marton for fighting and hanging in there, he had a great tournament."

Shapovalov sees off Khachanov in five sets

Denis Shapovalov
Denis Shapovalov Photo credit: Getty Images

Canadian Denis Shapovalov produced a storming finish to beat Karen Khachanov in five sets and reach the Wimbledon semi-finals on Wednesday, his deepest run at a Grand Slam tournament.

The quarter-final was in danger of slipping away from the stylish 22-year-old left-hander when he trailed by two sets to one against but he hit back to win 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-1 6-4.

Shapovalov, who put out twice winner Andy Murray in the third round, will play defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic.

"Obviously, he is the best player in the world but I think anything is possible and when the match starts on Friday the scoreboard will show zero zero," the popular Shapovalov, who will be guaranteed strong support, said on court.

Both 10th seed Shapovalov and 25th seed Khachanov were playing in a Grand Slam quarter-final for only the second time and they delivered a superb contest on a packed No.1 Court.

Shapovalov carried the form he showed in a fourth-round hammering of Spaniard Robert Bautista Agut into his second career clash with Khachanov and took the opening set courtesy of a single break of serve in the ninth game.

But rock-solid Russia Khachanov responded to go 4-0 ahead in the second set and although Shapovalov re-focused it was too late to save the set.

A high-quality third set was a fierce battle for supremacy and it was Khachanov who pounced on a Shapovalov lapse to break serve at 5-5, then saving a break-point in the next game before taking the set as Shapovalov blazed a forehand long.

In days gone by, Shapovalov's game might have unravelled but he is made of tougher stuff now and got back to work in stunning fashion as he hit a purple patch in a dominant fourth set.

As the clash went into the decider, the 25-year-old Khachanov seemed to be feeling the pace after also going the distance in his previous match against American Sebastian Korda.

But he was still a formidable presence, hanging on grimly to scramble out of a hole when he fell 0-40 down on serve at 2-2.

Shapovalov dropped only four points on his serve in the deciding set, meaning he could play expansively on his return games and he piled on the pressure again at 4-4.

His frustration was mounting when three more break points went begging but he kept knocking at the door and eventually Khachanov could resist no more, sending a tired-looking forehand over the baseline on a fourth.

Serving for the biggest win of his career, Shapovalov overcame a nervy double-fault and brought up two match points with a fizzing forehand winner, before sealing victory when Khachanov dumped a backhand into the net.