Roger Federer cruised past Richard Gasquet in straight sets to set up a third-round clash with Britain's Cameron Norrie at Wimbledon.
The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion may not be one of the favourites for the title at SW19 this year in what is his latest comeback from an injury layoff, but he looked typically comfortable on Centre Court as he won through, 7-6, 6-1, 6-4.
The Swiss superstar found life very tricky in the opening set as Gasquet, who has never won a set against him, battled ferociously from the back of the court. But once in the tie-break, Federer accelerated away with consummate ease to take it 7-1.
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With the first set by his name on the board, the 39-year-old almost bagelled the Frenchman in the second with Gasquet just about able to muster a solitary game in the nick of time. The third set was, perhaps, the middle ground as Federer secured the crucial break of serve and held on to his advantage comfortably.
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The sixth seed will next take on British number two Norrie in the third round after the 25-year-old sealed a 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 win over Australia's Alex Bolt earlier in the day.
"I hope the crowd gets into it," Federer said in his on-court interview.
I understand if they cheer for him and if it is for me it is because of the last 20 years and all the big wins I've had here.
"Cam is a good guy, he's had a great year and played well at Queen's, backing that up here."
Then he added, jokingly: "But enough now - I hope he goes out!"
Roger Federer (Wimbledon 2021)
Image credit: Getty Images
When asked about the prospect of facing Federer prior to the legend's match, Norrie joked: "Come on Gasquet!"
If there was a time to play Roger now is probably the time I guess. He's still a decent player though, he still can play!
With world number one Novak Djokovic the overwhelming favourite to triumph at Wimbledon this year and retain the trophy he won two years ago against Federer, the Swiss has a lot on the line. Particularly given Djokovic will be aiming to equal his tally of 20 Grand Slam singles titles this fortnight.
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