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Federer defuses Groth to advance at Wimbledon

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Federer: I'm very pleased

Roger Federer talks about his four-set win over Sam Groth to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon.

LONDON -- In the third game of their Centre Court encounter, Australian Sam Groth hit a scorching 147 mph serve that Roger Federer couldn't quite handle.

It was, certifiably, the second-fastest serve in Wimbledon's 138-year history. Five years ago, Taylor Dent hit a 148 mph fireball in the direction of Novak Djokovic.

Groth is a big fan of Australian Rules football and, at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he looks as though he could play the game. Instead, he hits aces for a living. Three years ago, he clocked 163 in a Challenger in Korea, a professional record.

None of this fazed Federer, who has a history of defusing these bombs with something approaching disdain. He's 59-10 against the ATP World Tour's 10 fastest servers on record. Feast your eyes on these tasty head-to-heads: Andy Roddick (21-3), Ivo Karlovic (13-1) and Dent (2-0).

As it turns out, Federer is now 2-0 against Groth after a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 victory Saturday.

"Very pleased with the first week," Federer said, sounding as though he meant it.

On to our five Wimbledon Takeaways:

1. Like (Swiss) clockwork: The 33-year-old father of four is where he usually is this time of the tournament. For the 12th time in his past 13 events at the All England Club, Federer finds himself surviving and advancing to Week 2. He still has a chance to collect his eighth Wimbledon title, which would make him only the second man to win a major eight times or more. Rafael Nadal owns nine French Open crowns.

2. Speed, apparently, isn't everything: Federer had 17 aces, only four fewer than Groth. And while Groth won 60 of 80 first-serve points (75 percent), Federer was a searing 60-for-67 (90 percent). The Swiss champion did not face a break point.

3. The one that got away: While some of the leading men here have gone through to Monday without the loss of a set, Federer donated the third set to Groth. The Aussie was particularly sharp, with a 21-7 winner-to-errors ratio. For the match, though, Federer had 54 winners and only eight unforced errors.

4. His grass is always greener: Federer raised his record at the All England Club to 76-9 -- his best mark at any Grand Slam. He's won 15 grass titles, the last coming a few weeks ago in Hall, Germany.

5. The garden path: This how Federer's potential journey through the second week looks: No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut, whom he's beaten twice, No. 6 Tomas Berdych in the quarters, No. 3 Andy Murray in semifinals and No. 1 Djokovic in the final.