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Federer happy to live up to expectations

Two years ago, Roger Federer ended Pete Sampras' 31-match Wimbledon winning streak. He's been trying to live up to expectations ever since.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2003 12:15 IST

Two years ago, Roger Federer ended Pete Sampras' 31-match Wimbledon winning streak. He's been trying to live up to expectations ever since.

With a strong serve and superior allround game, Federer beat Andy Roddick 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-3 Friday to become the first Swiss male to reach a Grand Slam final. He'll play Mark Philippoussis on Sunday. "After winning against Pete, I didn't believe I could be in the finals two years later, even though people were predicting that," 21-year-old Federer old. "I'm happy also to put all this kind of negative talkers _ that I don't perform in the Slams _ a little bit in the corners. Because I really felt that I could prove how good I could play today."

After beating Sampras in the fourth round in 2001, Federer lost to Tim Henman in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Federer's previous best at a Grand Slam was the quarterfinals at the 2001 French Open. He's also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open twice, the U.S Open twice, and the French once. ___

GREEK THOUGHTS: Mark Philippoussis looks to his Greek heritage for guidance on the tennis court.

The 26-year-old Australian, who beat Sebastien Grosjean 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-3 to make his first Wimbledon final, had the Greek words "pothia" and "andras" written on bandages he wore on his thumb and forefinger.

"It's just something to remind myself on the court," Philippoussis said, refusing to elaborate.

Philippoussis said he was proud of his roots.

"It's very important," he said. "My dad is Greek, my mum's Italian but speaks Greek. I was born in Australia. Obviously, I'm always going to play for Australia. But the Greek heritage is very important for me, because Greek was my first language growing up as a kid."

STILL SHOOTING FOR 20

Martina Navratilova won one _ and lost one on Friday.

She was eliminated from women's doubles when she and Svetlana Kuznetsova dropped their quarterfinal against Kim Clijsters and Ai Sugiyama 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

But she won her mixed doubles quarterfinal, teaming with Leander Paes to defeat the American pair of Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

Navratilova is trying to match Billie Jean King's record of 20 Wimbledon titles. She has 19, tied with Elizabeth Ryan. King has six singles titles, 10 in doubles and four in mixed. Navratilova has nine singles titles, seven in doubles and three in mixed. Navratilova ranks second in career titles at all the Grand Slam events with 57: 18 in singles, 31 in doubles and eight in mixed doubles. The women's record is 62, held by Margaret Smith Court (24 singles, 19 doubles, 19 mixed).

HEWITT SLIPS

It hasn't been a good month for Lleyton Hewitt. First he became only the second defending champion since 1967 to lose in the opening round of Wimbledon, going out against Ivo Karlovic. Now his ATP ranking has slipped.

In three weeks, Hewitt's world ranking has dropped from No. 1 to No. 5.

Andre Agassi will stay No. 1 in the rankings that come out on Monday.

SIZE MATTERS

Andy Roddick's coach Brad Gilbert says there is some hypocrisy involved in former players like John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova calling on the ITF to reduce racket size. "Last I checked, Martina's playing with a racket the size of a 747," he said. "She was the first one to go to a massive racket. "It looks ridiculous when old guys are making these statements."

Gilbert said McEnroe was one of the "first guys to switch to a midsize" racket.

He said Roddick plays with a midsize racket and doesn't use a "widebody."

NOTES

The Williams sisters top the aces table in the with 31 each, but Serena has the faster serve _ 120 mph (193 kph) to Venus' 119 mph (191 kph). The two meet in Saturday's final ... Beaten semifinalist Andy Roddick has recorded the fastest men's serve at this year's Wimbledon: 141 mph (226 kph).