A Wimbledon to remember for qualifier Marcus Willis comes to an and as he was defeated by Roger 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 on Centre Court at SW19. The encounter had been the talk of tennis for the last 36 hours but Roger put to bed any chance of an upset in the first few games as he quickly got to grips with Willis' slice and dice game and went on to prevail in just 85 minutes.
Quick Match Recap
Willis won the toss and elected to receive, winning two points on the return before Roger held and broke to lead 2-0. In game 3 Willis pulled out the point of the match to make 30-30 and went on to hold a break point but Roger saved it and went on to sweep the opener 6-0.
The Brit needed a game under his belt badly in set 2 and he finally troubled the scoreboard to level at 1-1. Another hold saw him level for 2-2 but after Roger held to 30 the Swiss broke for 4-2 and closed out the set 6-3.
Roger has never lost to a Wimbledon qualifier who was playing club tennis 3 weeks ago from 2 sets to love up so the odds were firmly in his favour going into the third. However he didn't have it all his own way as Willis began to find more rhythm on serve to hold three times on the spin for a 3-2 lead. The world number 772 created his second break point of the match in game 5 but Roger held and at 4-4 the 7 time champion broke to love and served out the match to 30.
|Match Statistics||R. Federer||M. Willis|
|First Serve % In||45/73 (62%)||50/83 (60%)|
|Win % On 1st Serve||35/45 (78%)||32/50 (64%)|
|Win % On 2nd Serve||19/28 (68%)||14/33 (42%)|
|Net Points Won||29/40 (73%)||12/22 (55%)|
|Break Points Won||5/12 (42%)||0/2 (0%)|
|Receiving Points Won||37/83 (45%)||19/73 (26%)|
|Total Points Won||91||65|
|Distance Covered (M)||1568.8||1530.4|
|Distance Covered/pt. (M)||10.1||9.8|
Thoughts on the Match
Extremely fun match to watch but not a whole lot to learn regarding Roger's form as it wasn't really much of a physical or mental test for him. I guess you have to say he played well as it was a straight sets job, he didn't drop serve, volleyed nicely and looked to be moving fairly well. Other than that there's not much to glean.
As for the Willis out of all the top players he could have played Federer was both the best and the worst opponent for him. The best in terms of the spectacle but the worst because Fed has played across generations of the sport where unorthodox players were pretty common. Many of today's players will have never seen someone like play Willis which is why Berankis got dumped out in straight sets and he might have caused a modern baseliner more problems.
Anyway, great atmosphere, crowd loved it and I'm sure Willis did too. I found it interesting because it shows the difference between the two players is both small and huge at the same time. In terms of tennis ability there's not a huge difference, but when it comes to fitness, movement and intensity the gap widens. Hopefully Willis starts playing on the Futures circuit and gets his ranking up and we see more of him. It's kind of a shame that this guy was on the verge of quitting tennis when he clearly has a talent for it (does it show tennis is broken in the UK?) because if this was in France it'd never happen. Willis easily matches Mannarino and the Frenchman has been as high as 27 in the world.
Predictions vs. Evans
Next up is Dan Evans who took out Dolgopolov in straight sets yesterday. Hugely impressive win for Evans and he's matched his US Open run from 2013. In fact if Evans had beaten Robredo that year (had set points to force a fifth set) he'd have faced Federer in the USO 4th Round. That would have been an interesting match as Roger was way off the pace that year getting dumped out in straights by a guy he schooled regularly.
Evans has a decent game to watch and I think he'll offer a bit more than Willis as he's more experienced but ultimately Roger will have too many options out there to really be troubled. All Roger's recent losses have to come to guys with fairly big serves and ground games. Evans is solid in all areas but isn't going to reel off aces and winners like Thiem & Zverev can when they need them. I'll pick Fed in straights.
What did you guys think of the match? Let me know in the comments.