Home bet Andy Murray and former No. 1 Novak Djokovic needed three sets, while Roger Federer also had a jittery start before completing a straight-sets win as the men’s tennis big three advanced to the last eight of the Olympic tennis tournament at the All England Club.
Murray recovered from a bad start to move on to the quarterfinals with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus. He next takes on Spain’s Nicolas Almagro, who disposed of Steve Darcis of Belgium 6-3,7-5.
Djokovic also dropped the first set against Australia’s former world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt but steadied himself to win the next two. The Serb won 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 to set up a meeting with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a 7-6, 6-4 winner over Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
Federer saved three break points in the first set en route to a 7-5, 6-3 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, forging a quarterfinal against John Isner of the US, who nipped Serb Janko Tipsarevic 7-5, 7-6.
The last quarterfinal pits Japan’s Kei Nishikori against Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro. Nishikori defeated fourth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer, 6-0, 3-6, 6-4, while Del Potro downed France’s Gilles Simon, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
In women's play, top seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat No. 16 Nadia Petrova 7-6, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals against seventh-seeded German Angelique Kerber, who defeated Venus Williams 7-6, 7-6.
Maria Sharapova beat Germany’s Sabine Lisicki 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 and will face fellow former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters of Belgium, who beat Serb Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-4