Federer on Ancic alert in quarters
PARIS, June 5 (Reuters) The memory of a rare defeat at Wimbledon will ensure world number one Roger Federer does not underestimate Croatian Mario Ancic in their French Open quarter-final tomorrow.
Ancic was the last man to beat triple Wimbledon champion Federer on a grasscourt, winning in straight sets in the 2002 first round at the All England Club.
''I'm not going to underestimate him at all because that happened to me in Wimbledon when I lost to him,'' said Federer, who is trying to become only the third man to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time.
''That's the last thing I'll do. That's not going to happen.
Everybody expects me to win. I know that this player is dangerous.'' Ancic is playing in his first Roland Garros quarter-final and clay is not his best surface. Like, Federer, his best grand slam performances have been on grass and he reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2004.
The tall 22-year-old overcame cramps and vomited during his five-set fourth round win over clay specialist Tommy Robredo of Spain and Federer admitted he was impressed.
''He did an incredible job to come back in this match and to finally finish,'' said the Swiss.
''I think it's a little bit of a surprise he gets through that section of the draw. He's been playing really well on clay lately.
''He's a good player. He can shorten the points or he can stay at the baseline and rally. He's a tough player.'' UNBELIEVABLE SHOTS Since that Wimbledon win, Ancic has lost twice to Federer and he knows what lies in store.
''You can expect some unbelievable shots,'' he said. ''We all know Roger. But I have to focus on my game and try to maybe do something to interrupt him.
''I have to think, 'What can I do?' Can I produce my 100 per cent game that day? If it's good enough, fine. If it's not, well done to him.'' The winner faces a tough semi-final against either Argentine third seed David Nalbandian or Russian sixth seed Nikolay Davydenko. Both players have reached the last four at Roland Garros before but neither has yet won a grand slam.
Nalbandian leads their head-to-head 3-2 and has won two of their three claycourt meetings, including the Estoril Open final in May.
REUTERS PM PC1800