Federer oldest man in Wimbledon third round for 46 years

Filed on July 1, 2021 | Last updated on July 2, 2021 at 08.56 am
Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during his second round match against France's Richard Gasquet. (Reuters)

Next up for the Swiss will be in-form British 29th seed Cameron Norrie who thrashed Australian Alex Bolt

The sun finally came out at Wimbledon on Thursday and eight-time champion Roger Federer got his old sparkle back on Centre Court to eclipse Richard Gasquet and move serenely into round three.

It was not quite vintage Federer, but the 7,500 fans packed around his favourite court did not care as the Swiss gave them plenty to ooh and aah about in a 7-6(1) 6-1 6-4 victory.

The 39-year-old Swiss took a while to find his timing and needed to save three break points in his first service game.

But having been pushed into a tiebreak, the 20-time Grand Slam champion flicked the switch and his game began to flow.

After taking the opener the sixth seed moved smoothly through the gears and Gasquet could not live with him as he suffered an 11th successive defeat against Federer.

Next up for Federer, who became the oldest man in 46 years to reach the Wimbledon third round, will be in-form British 29th seed Cameron Norrie who thrashed Australian Alex Bolt.

“It was a wonderful match for me and I’m really happy with my performance,” Federer said on court.

It was a marked contrast to Tuesday evening when persistent rain meant Federer’s first-round clash with another Frenchman, Adrian Mannarino, took place under the Centre Court roof and looked to be slipping away from the Swiss.

He eventually got through after Mannarino suffered a knee injury after slipping on the greasy turf.

Maverick showman

Meanwhile, maverick showman Nick Kyrgios breezed into the third round with his usual mixture of exuberant shot-making and near constant chatter as he made light work of Italian Gianluca Mager to progress 7-6(7) 6-4 6-4 on Thursday.

Kyrgios went through his usual repertoire of berating officials, himself and anyone else in his vicinity but when it came to the serious business on court he was almost faultless.

He saved a set point in the first set tiebreak and then roared in approval as he snatched the opener before taking the game away from his 77th-ranked opponent with some superb serving and delightful groundstrokes.

He fired down his 29th ace to bring up match point and then sealed his spot in the next round when Mager hit a forehand long, receiving a rapturous reception from an approving crowd.

Next up for Kyrgios, who was playing only his second match since losing in the third round of the Australian Open in February, will be a clash against either Canadian 16th seed Felix Auger Aliassime or Sweden’s Mikael Ymer.

Gauff beats Vesnina

American teenager Coco Gauff overcame a bout of nerves which came with playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon before settling into her groove to beat Russian Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-3 in the second round on Thursday.

Gauff is no stranger to the spotlight at the All England Club, having stormed into the fourth round in 2019 on her main draw debut as a 15-year-old to fuel ‘Coco-mania’ but she admitted she was nervous on her return.

“It means a lot to be back here on Centre Court. Honestly, this court makes me the most nervous of any court in the world but after I win the match it’s one of the best feelings,” she said in her post-match interview.

“Today I was super nervous coming in. There’s no other court like Centre Court at Wimbledon.”

Meanwhile, three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber held off a spirited challenge from Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo to win 7-5 5-7 6-4 on Thursday and book her place in the third round.

Barty to face Siniakova

Ashleigh Barty’s bid to win the Wimbledon singles title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first victory stayed on course on Thursday.

However, Barty produced a far from perfect performance in her 6-4, 6-3 win over Russia’s Anna Blinkova as she progressed to a third round meeting with Czech Katerina Siniakova.

“She pushed me incredibly hard,” said Barty.

“A few points here and there it could have been a different story.”

Barty is seeded to meet this year’s French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in the last 16.

Krejcikova brushed aside second round opponent German veteran Andrea Petkovic 7-5, 6-4.

Medvedev wins

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev saw off promising Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets to reach the third round at Wimbledon.

Medvedev beat the 18-year-old Alcaraz 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and then predicted his opponent will soon be a top-10 player.

Alcaraz has drawn similar praise from countryman Rafael Nadal and made the third round at the French Open this year. He was playing Wimbledon for the first time after being given a wild card.

Medvedev is a two-time Grand Slam finalist but has never made it past the third round at Wimbledon.

Former US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori lost 7-5, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to Jordan Thompson of Australia.

Svitolina needs a rest

Elina Svitolina says she is not in a good place and needs to rest after the third seed went out in the second round of Wimbledon, beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Poland’s Magda Linette on Thursday.

The 26-year-old Ukrainian — a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2019 — admitted part of the problem was the “different kind of pressure” Grand Slam events bring.

“Sometimes, you know, it’s tough to handle, tough to handle, but is the part of the job, is the part of the Grand Slam,” she said.

However, she said her problems run deeper than that and needed to take a break and reset.

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