Eight-time former champion Roger Federer had to survive a difficult first set before sweeping past Richard Gasquet of France 7-6, 6-1, 6-4 in Wimbledon second round on Thursday. The sixth-seeded Swiss recorded his 19th victory in 21 matches against Gasquet on Centre Court in over one hour and 51 minutes. Federer became the oldest player in 46 years to reach the third round of The Championships. He is the oldest player to reach the Wimbledon third round since Australia’s Ken Rosewall, aged 40, in 1975. The 39-year-old will next play British 29th seed Cameron Norrie on Saturday.
Federer, who lost in the Noventi Open second round to Felix Auger-Aliassime two weeks ago, has a 103-13 match record at the All England Club. Tied with Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slam titles, the Swiss star is in search for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam championship crown. Earlier on Thursday, both players matched the other as the opening set came to life only in the tie-breaker. Federer, who struck 18 winners in the first set, won the tie-break and was unstoppable after that.
The second set was a mere formality for the 39-year-old as he lost only one game on his way to winning it. Federer continued to dictate the play in third set and got the crucial break at 3-3. Gasquet fought to stay in the match as he saved a match point at 3-5. But soon Federer wrapped it up, hitting an ace to seal the set and the match.
Daniil Medvedev showed his class in a thumping 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in the second round on Thursday. The second seed needed just one hour and 34 minutes to reach the third round at Wimbledon. The 25-year-old is full of confidence after winning the ATP 250 title on grass at the Mallorca Championships the week before The Championships. Against Alcaraz, Medvedev made just 12 unforced errors and won 95 per cent of his first-serve points. The Russian will next play former World No. 3 Marin Cilic, the 32nd seed and 2017 finalist, or French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi.
After the match, Medvedev was all praise for his opponent. “The faster you go at a Grand Slam the better, but Carlos is an amazing player,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “I was actually even surprised in a way with the first set. Grass is definitely not his best surface, but he was giving it all there. Of course [in the] second and third sets, maybe the gap was too high. But I’m sure he’s going to be sooner or later in the Top 10 and maybe even higher.”
Medvedev came into the tournament with full confidence after winning the title on grass at the Mallorca Championships recently. That victory would have been the ideal preparation for the Russian ahead of this Grand Slam tournament. Medvedev’s first Grand Slam main draw victory came on Centre Court against Stan Wawrinka in 2017. “I love grass,” Medvedev said. “Wimbledon is always going to be special for me.”
The second seeded Russia is into the third round at The All England Club for his third consecutive appearance. He will next play Cilic, the 32nd seed and 2017 finalist, or qualifier Benjamin Bonzi. “In Russia we say the third one is the lucky one, so hopefully that will work,” Medvedev said.
“But if not, I know that I might be playing Marin… that could be a great matchup for the third round, so not an easy game. But I just need to show my best tennis and like this I’m going to have chances to win the game.”