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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Federer into quarters when Haas withdraws

Charles Bricker South Florida Sun-Sentinel

WIMBLEDON, England – As if Wimbledon hasn’t been easy enough for Roger Federer the last four years, he was handed the biggest break of the fortnight Sunday when No. 13 seed Tommy Haas announced he was withdrawing from the tournament with a stomach muscle injury, sustained during his third-round win over Dmitry Tursunov.

Not only does Federer escape facing a dangerous player, he gets a free ride into the quarters and will have four days off before he goes back on court Wednesday to play the winner of Juan Carlos Ferrero versus Janko Tipsarevic.

Haas was in a generally somber mood as he revealed his injury to reporters, but not entirely. He pointed out that he will miss playing Federer because he has a winning record on Centre Court.

“Yeah, 1-0,” he said, smiling and recalling his victory over Andre Agassi in the second round in 1998.

It’s the third time Haas has had to either retire or give a walkover at Wimbledon.

In 2001, he quit a first-round match against Wayne Black because of illness and two years ago stepped on a ball during his warmup against Tipsarevic, spraining his right ankle. He soldiered on for one set and three games, then quit the first-round match.

It’s also the sixth time Haas has given a walkover or retirement in the last two seasons as he has fought shoulder problems.

Rain won’t go away

Sunday was the traditional mid-tournament day off for all players, even though Wimbledon is slightly behind after only two singles matches were completed Saturday because of foul weather. Some rain is predicted Monday and Tuesday before sunshine is forecast Wednesday and Thursday. When players return Monday, the men will complete the bottom half of the draw’s third round and play the top half round of 16.

In the women’s tournament, No. 2 Maria Sharapova and No. 3 Amelie Mauresmo beat the rain Saturday to reach the round of 16, so they’ll have to catch up to the rest of the bottom half of the third round and play the top of the round of 16.

Russians are coming

The deadline for the Russians to name the Fed Cup team to face the United States in Stowe, Vt., on July 14-15 is Wednesday, but Nadia Petrova said she will not play. That leaves the likely players as Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elena Dementieva, Anna Chakvetadze and Dinara Safina.

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