A light workout for Roger Federer at SW19 as he defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 3-0 as the Ukrainian threw in the towel with an ankle injury after just 43 minutes.
Despite the short nature of the match, it was still enough time for Roger to rack up another milestone, hitting his 10,000 Ace on tour and also becoming the leader for wins at Wimbledon with 85 now in the bag as he moves into Thursday's second round.
So, easy start but a disappointing day for Centre Court ticket buyers as in the scheduled three matches they only saw four sets of tennis; with Martin Klizan pulling out at 6-2 2-0 down in his match against Djokovic earlier in the day.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Dolgopolov won the first two points on serve, but a double fault at 30-30 all gave Roger a breakpoint, and although the Dog saved it, he lost the next 2 points to drop serve.
Roger then held to 30 for 2-0, and the score moved quickly to 4-2. In Game 7 the Swiss held two more break points, again aided by a Dolgo double fault but the Ukrainian held for 3-4. Roger then held for 5-3. In his next service game another double fault from the Dog gave Roger two set points and he took the second to win the set 6-3.
At the changeover, Dolgopolov had a brief consultation with the physio about an ankle problem. He continued but was broken in his opening service game to fall 2-0 behind. Roger held to 15 for 3-0 and after Roger hit a drop shot return winner to make 30-30 Dolgopolov came to the net offering a premature handshake to call it a day.
|Match Statistics||A. Dolgopolov||R. Federer|
|First Serve % In||23/50 (46%)||27/36 (75%)|
|Win % On 1st Serve||13/23 (57%)||21/27 (78%)|
|Win % On 2nd Serve||12/27 (44%)||4/9 (44%)|
|Net Points Won||3/5 (60%)||1/2 (50%)|
|Break Points Won||0/0 (0%)||3/9 (33%)|
|Receiving Points Won||11/36 (31%)||25/50 (50%)|
|Total Points Won||36||50|
|Distance Covered (Ft)||1421.7||1690.8|
|Distance Covered/pt. (Ft)||16.5||19.7|
Thoughts on the Match
Straightforward outing here for Roger against an opponent who's out of form and struggling with injury. Like I said in my Wimbledon preview Dolgopolov hurt his ankle in Rosmalen and obviously hadn't fully recovered for today. So what many thought would be a tricky first round turned into a virutal walkover.
As a result, Roger got one and a quarter sets in of light practice and he looked in solid enough form. He served well, looked relaxed and was always in control serving ten aces in just six service games. Dolgopolov, on the other hand, hit four double faults and didn't have a single break point chance. Fed with the effortless repeatable motion holding easily, and the guy with the twitchy fast action firing in double faults; no real surprise. So good start, maybe not ideal to get a walkover but when it's so early in the tournament I don't think it makes much difference either way.
Predictions vs. Lajovic
Next up is Dusan Lajovic who defeated qualifier Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets. That's a good win for the Serb, and I think he will offer some resistance against Fed. They've never met before, but I'm sure Roger will know his game from the Davis Cup tie in 2014 where he played Wawrinka in the second singles rubber.
It's not Lajovic's best surface, and he's never been passed the second round at Wimbledon, but he has a versatile one-handed backhand and I think he will compete hard, which is more than quite a few of the guys managed today 😛 .
But regardless, I think Roger just has too much in his game to be in any trouble. Should be straight sets with maybe one of them going over 10 games.
What are your predictions? Let me know in the comments.