Roger Federer his through to his eighteenth third round at SW19 thanks to a 7-6(1), 6-1, 6-4 victory over Richard Gasquet.
Meeting for the twenty-first time in their careers, Federer played solidly throughout, winning 84% of points behind his first serve and saving all five of the breakpoints he faced to record his nineteenth win against the two-time former semi-finalist.
In the third round, the Swiss will face Cameron Norrie, who backed up his final run at the Queen's Championship two weeks ago with a straight-sets win over wild card Alex Bolt.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss, elected to receive and fashioned a breakpoint immediately thanks to a forehand return winner.
A backhand shank allowed Gasquet to save it before another shank offered a game point, and he held for 1-0.
The Frenchman got into Federer's first service game, creating a breakpoint thanks to a slick return and then holding two more, but Federer edged the game thanks to a stylish drop shot followed up with an ace.
The pair then exchanged back to back holds, but Gasquet looked the more likely to create something of the two with some crisp ball striking.
However, Federer got the closest in the tenth game, forcing deuce, but Gasquet held for 6-5, and the set went to a tie break.
Into the tiebreak and Federer moved up the early mini-break, guiding a forehand into the open court when Gasquet had left himself too much ground to cover.
The Swiss won both service points for 3-0 and then secured the double mini-break winning a lengthy rally that dragged both players across the baseline to lead 4-1.
Two quick service points gave Federer five set points, and he converted at the first time of asking thanks to a Gasquet double fault to take the opening set 7-6(1).
Federer needed to save a breakpoint in the opening game of set two, but he did so with some solid serving to hold for 1-0.
Gasquet was quickly up 40-0, firing a backhand winner off a Federer overhead, but Roger pegged him back to deuce and then broke thanks to an injection of pace off both wings.
The Swiss consolidated it for 3-0 and secured the double break, landing a clean winner on the return.
Another speedy love hold moved Fed up 5-0, and he'd soon bagged the second set 6-1, winning 30 points to Gasquet's 16.
The pair exchanged holds at the start of the third, but Federer created a breakpoint in game four. Gasquet saved it with a well-struck forehand and held for 3-2.
However, the former world number seven was immediately back serving after a quickfire Federer hold, and he dropped serve courtesy of an ill-thought-out drop shot.
Federer held to love for 5-3 and then served it out 6-4 to book his spot in the third round.
|Roger Federer||Richard Gasquet|
|First Serve % In||61/94 (65%)||55/96 (57%)|
|Win % On 1st Serve||51/61 (84%)||36/55 (65%)|
|Win % On 2nd Serve||19/33 (58%)||21/41 (51%)|
|Net Points Won||16/25 (64%)||10/17 (59%)|
|Break Points Won||3/6 (50%)||0/5 (0%)|
|Receiving Points Won||39/96 (41%)||24/94 (26%)|
|Total Points Won||109||81|
|Distance Covered||3976.4 m||4136.4 m|
On Court Interview
Thoughts on the Match
I know Richard really well. We’ve played so many times against each other. It’s always a pleasure playing against him. He’s got the most wonderful backhand. It was a wonderful match for me. I was really happy with my performance today. A tough first set and a great second set. I was just a little bit better in the third. I’m very, very happy, of course.
It’s not the most important to feel your absolute best in the first and second rounds. What you don’t want to do is go out. Because then you’ve got to really look at everything and question yourself. I’m not there. I’m in the third round, I’m really happy with my level right now. Today was special, so I’m very happy with that. Federer on his win over Gasquet.
The first set was fast-paced, and both guys played well, but Federer took it up a notch in the tie break with more intensity behind his shots.
Rather than a level drop like previous matches, he kept that intensity throughout the second, and his whole game looked sharper with more pop on his groundstrokes.
The third was more of the same, and for the first time in a while, Federer looked comfortable with where his game was and what he needed to do on the court.
No doubt the 18-2 head to head helped in that regard, but everything just felt a bit livelier both in the legs and the arm, so it was good to see.
As for Gasquet, I thought he gave a good showing of himself; he's a ridiculous talent in ball-striking and shot-making but doesn't have that clutchness on the bigger points, which is why Fed got it done in straights.
- He kept his level throughout
- The entire game flowed more
- Served well for all three sets
Predictions vs Norrie
Next up is Cam Norrie, who defeated Alex Bolt for the loss of just six games, half of those being the first three games of the match, but he roared back to win in straights.
After a tough opening round against Pouille, who had his chances, Norrie looked solid against the Nottingham Challenger champion, and he has been one of the form players of 2021.
The South African born Brit has a no-frills type game, but he's one of the best competitors going and has a nice mix between a flat as a pancake backhand paired with a heavy topspin forehand.
Federer has played him once before, at the Hopman Cup, which was a routine victory, and he seemed to take a liking for his game that day, so hopefully, that's the case on Saturday.
What did you guys think of Federer's match vs Gasquet? Predictions against Norrie? Let me know in the comments.