Federer exacts Olympic revenge
Swiss wins in straight sets to stay on course for Nadal final
Last Updated: 13/08/08 5:08pm
Federer: Into quarters
Top seed Roger Federer exacted Olympic revenge on Tomas Berdych on Wednesday, four years after his Athens humiliation at the hands of the Czech.
The Swiss maestro was left in tears after his shock second-round exit in 2004 but made no mistake this time around.
He overcame breaks in each set to defeat his opponent 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to stay on course for an Olympic final with Rafael Nadal.
After serving out the first set with an ace, Federer then netted a backhand to go a break down in the second.
But he hit back in game five and dominated the tie-break, finishing it off with another ace and a service winner.
Welcoming his win, the Swiss said: "I'm very happy with the way I played. I haven't lost to him since the Olympic Games.
"He's always dangerous - you can see how hard he hits the ball."
Federer, who finished fourth in 2000, will now face James Blake in the quarter-finals after the US number one beat Gilles Simon 6-4 6-2.
Meanwhile, Nadal and Novak Djokovic are also into the quarters after the pair ended Russian involvement in the men's singles with straight-sets wins.
The Wimbledon champion saw off Igor Andreev 6-4 6-2 while Djokovic beat 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.
Nadal broke Andreev at 3-3 and saved four break points when serving for the set with a series of unreturnable deliveries.
The setback clearly affected Andreev and Nadal then broke twice before taking the match with another big serve, making it four in a row against the 25-year-old.
The Spaniard is bidding for his eighth title this year after his fourth French Open crown and first Wimbledon win boosted his career trophy total to 30.
He is playing in his first Olympic singles tournament after appearing as a little-known doubles player four years ago in Athens.
"I'm playing close to my best level. I beat a very tough player today," said Nadal.
"My feeling is go on court and try to play my best tennis all the time."
The Spaniard's half of the draw has been eased by the exit of world number six Andy Murray, who was shocked in round one by Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun, while defending champion Nicolas Massu has also been eliminated.
Nadal will next meet Jurgen Melzer after the Austrian ended the giant-killing run of Lu 6-2, 6-4, while third-ranked Djokovic will play either seventh seed David Nalbandian or Gael Monfils for the prize of meeting the Spaniard in the semis.
In the other last eight meeting, Athens bronze-medallist Fernando Gonzalez and Paul Henri-Mathieu of France will play each other after wins against Olivier Rochus and Nicolas Kiefer respectively.