Wimbledon | Federer pays tribute to Centre Court crowd
DEFENDING Wimbledon champion Roger Federer strutted his Struff to ease into the last-16.
Federer overcame unseeded German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 7-5 6-2.
And the Swiss master paid tribute his loyal Centre Court fans who stayed until the end despite the distraction of a Brazil v Belgium World Cup quarter-final which had kicked off before it.
Regardless of the amount of matches I’ve played on Centre Court it is a wonderful occasion. It is the most special court in the world and I appreciate all the hundreds of thousands who have watched me down the years. Even though it was not a five-set classic it was special Roger Federer
The eight-time champion master said: “Regardless of the amount of matches I’ve played on Centre Court it is a wonderful occasion.
“It is the most special court in the world and I appreciate all the hundreds of thousands who have watched me down the years. Even though it was not a five-set classic it was special.
“It is always a wonderful feeling walking out there.
“I’m taking one match at a time. Try to put on a good match. Never under-estimate an opponent.
“He was a big server, who goes for it a lot. It was difficult to get my rhythm but I feel happy with how I played. Stayed calm.”
Top seed Federer faces France’s Adrian Mannarino next.
He said: “I’ve played him before, come close to losing to him in my home town of Basel. He likes grass. Is a great fighter. He’s on a good run – hope I can stop him.”
Federer began where he left off in his previous 26 sets at Wimbledon – by extending the run to 27.
Struff made a fist of it in the second but he was left having to fight back from two sets down for the third successive match.
The trouble was the last player to achieve the feat in London SW19 was Henri Cochet way back in 1927.
And also he had the small task of doing it against the greatest player the world has ever known.
Federer might be 37 next month, but if he is feeling his age he is disguising it well.
His movement around the court is not dissimilar to the twenty something version of the Swiss.
And his shot making as good as ever. Who said this was a young man’s game?
His tactical nous also allowed him to dominate, taking the pace off the ball with a big-serving opponent trying to generate power.
Any hope Struff had swiftly began to evaporate in the third game of the third set when he was bamboozled by a low bounce off the chalk on break point on his serve.
And Federer soon put him out of his agony, acing his opponent on match point. And with the seeds scattered his hopes of extending his winning Wimbledon record to nine improve.