STUNNED fifth seed Andy Roddick admitted he had played “horrendously” after crashing out to little-known Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan in the shock of the tournament.
Roddick, last year’s runner-up and three times a Wimbledon finalist, fought tooth and nail to preserve his challenge but eventually lost a marathon last-16 match that featured three tie breaks.
Lu, ranked 82nd in the world, won 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (5-7), 9-7 to become the first Asian man for 15 years to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final, where he will meet third seed Novak Djokovic.
“Through the first three sets I was playing horrendously, really badly,” said the American.
“I think the fifth set was the best set I played as I was hitting the ball well and making him struggle to get through service games sometimes, but when you dig yourself a hole it is hard to get out when you have given them confidence. I thought he did a good job controlling the middle of the court all day, he had a gameplan and stuck to it and deserved the win more than I did.”
In contrast to Roddick, top seed Roger Federer coasted into the last eight with a straight-sets victory over Austria’s Jurgen Melzer.
Federer put his early-tournament wobbles behind him with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 over the 16th seed that took less than an hour and half.
The six-time champion faces Czech 12th seed Tomas Berdych next, after he eased into the last eight here with a 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 7-5, 6-3 win over Daniel Brands.
No2 seed Rafael Nadal defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final against the only man ever to beat him at the French Open, Sweden’s Robin Soderling.
Djokovic, meanwhile, overcame Australian 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt to take his place in the next round, the mercurial Serb winning 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
ORDER OF PLAY | TODAY
K Clijsters (Bel) (8) v V Zvonareva (Rus) (21)
S Williams (USA) (1) v N Li (Chn) (9)
T Pironkova (Bul) v V Williams (USA) (2)
P Kvitova (Cze) (3) v K Kanepi (Est)