LONDON - Defending champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal closed in on a dream Wimbledon final as the sport's two greatest players swept into the last-eight on Monday.
Eight-time champion Federer needed just 16 minutes to win the opening set on his way to a 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 defeat of France's Adrian Mannarino to reach his 16th All England Club quarter-final. World number one Nadal, the two-time champion, reached his first quarter-final at Wimbledon since 2011 -- when he went on to finish runner-up -- with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic.
Nadal, like Federer yet to drop a set, routed world number 93 Vesely on the eve of the Czech player's 25th birthday. Monday's win took Nadal, 32, into a 35th Grand Slam quarter-final.
"It was an important victory as since 2011 I have not been in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. So it's an important moment," said Nadal, the 17-time Grand Slam champion who has made four successive quarter-finals at the majors for the first time in six years. "He started to play better from the base line, I made a couple of mistakes in the service game I lost (at 3-4 in the third set) but I feel I came back straight away. That was key."
Next up for Nadal is either Juan Martin del Potro, the fifth seeded Argentine, or unseeded Gilles Simon of France. He has a 10-5 winning record against del Potro and 8-1 over Simon.
Federer will be playing in his 53rd Grand Slam last-eight when he tackles Kevin Anderson, the eighth-seeded South African. Federer boasts a 4-0 career record against 2017 US Open runner-up Anderson, who reached the quarter-finals for the first time with a 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 7-6 (7/4) win over France's Gael Monfils. Anderson is the first South African man in the Wimbledon last-eight since Wayne Ferreira in 1994.AFP