Federer, Williams Sisters Reach Wimbledon Final 8

Roger Federer moved three wins away from a record-equaling seventh Wimbledon singles title while Venus and Serena Williams inched closer to another Grand Slam championship battle as action at the All England Club resumed on Monday.

Federer, the defending men’s champion, benefited from a rest day on Sunday as he cruised to his easiest victory in the tournament so far with a clinical 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, victory over 16th seed Jurgen Melzer. Venus Williams, on the other hand, was challenged by Jarmila Groth, but eventually scrapped her way into the quarterfinals with 6-4, 7-6, victory.

Defending women’s singles champion Serena held off former titlist Maria Sharapova, 7-6, 6-4, to set up a quarterfinal battle against ninth seed Li Na, who upset seventh seed Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-3, 6-2. Venus will face unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova, who defeated 11th seed Marion Bartoli, 6-4, 6-4.

Former world No.1 Kim Clijsters also advanced into the next round after rallying from a set down to defeat fellow Belgian Justin Henin, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, in a battle of two players making their Wimbledon comebacks.

Clijsters, the eighth seed, will take on 21st seed Vera Zvonareva for a place in the semifinals. The last two quarterfinalists are unseeded Petra Kvitova, a 6-2, 6-0, winner over third seed Caroline Wozniacki, and qualifier Kaia Kanepi, who defeated Klara Zakopalova, 6-2, 6-4.