Roger Federer says Britain’s Cameron Norrie has gone far enough at this year’s Wimbledon ahead of their third-round clash on Saturday, having easily dispatched Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 6-4.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner – who is still searching for form and fitness after two knee surgeries – looked rusty in his first-round victory over Adrian Mannarino earlier in the week, with the Frenchman retiring injured with the scores tied.
That rustiness persisted a little in the first set of his second-round clash, with the 39-year-old having to work hard to hold serve as Gasquet fired typically elegant backhands his way.
It required a tiebreak to split the two men, but a tight contest quickly threatened to turn into a blowout as several magical shots from the Swiss wrapped up the first set.
Federer’s level jumped up at the start of the second set – or perhaps Gasquet’s dropped off – and a couple of quick breaks followed, with the second set in the bag inside half-an-hour.
There was no late drama or comeback from Gasquet and Federer booked his ticket to the third round inside two hours; next up is in-form home favourite Norrie, though the Swiss superstar hopes his eight titles at the All England Club will still mean he has plenty of support in the crowd.
Asked how different the atmosphere will be, Federer replied: ‘I heard Cameron Norrie and then I heard boos and cheers so I didn’t really hear the question!
‘Yeah I hope [the atmosphere is very different]. I hope the crowd is going to get into it regardless of who they cheer for.
‘I understand if it’s for him, and if it’s for me it’s because of the last 20 years and all the big matches I’ve played.
‘Cam’s a good guy too, he’s had a wonderful year, played great at Queens and backed it up here as well. So I know it’s going to be a tough match.
‘I’m happy for him it’s going well but enough now, he needs to go out! I need to go through! But we will see what happens. But no I’m looking forward to the game.’
Norrie, who beat Australia’s Alex Bolt earlier in the day on No.1 Court, said of facing Federer: ‘I think the guy’s obviously such a legend of the game, he’s very comfortable here, very confident here. He’s won a lot, probably more than any other slam here. He’s very successful here at Wimbledon.
‘Yeah, first of all, it’s just going to be a pleasure to play against him again. I played him once before. He absolutely whacked me pretty easily. I’m going to just look at it like any other match.
‘But definitely need to take into account obviously he’s got such a well-suited game for the grass. I actually watched his match against Adrian in the first round. He’s playing very well, and he looks comfortable out there. I thought it was a high-level match.’
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