Roger Federer is through to his fifty-eighth Grand Slam quarter-final and eighteenth at Wimbledon, thanks to a 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 over Lorenzo Sonego.
The Swiss faced a tricky test against the 23rd seed, who was fresh off making the final in Eastbourne last week, but after a close opening set, he made short work of his opponent thanks to some heavy forehands and an aggressive gameplan that allowed him to play the points on his terms.
Federer will have to wait until Tuesday to find out who his next opponent is, as he awaits the winner of Daniil Medvedev vs Hubert Hurkacz, with their match postponed due to rain with the Russian leading two sets to one.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and chose sides. Sonego chose to serve and held to fifteen to start proceedings.
The Swiss matched him with his own hold to fifteen, landing all five of his first serves for 1-1.
When serving at 1-2, Federer slipped down 15-30, thanks to a shanked drive volley which left him giving daggers to someone in the crowd whose phone went off. However, he quickly regrouped to hold for 2-2.
In the fifth game, Sonego was quickly up 40-0, but Federer reeled him in to create his first break point of the match.
A short slice return that could Sonego could only slice back was called out, seemingly giving Federer a break but a challenge overruled the call as it had clipped the line. Sonego then won the replayed point and staved off a further two break points with some big serves to eventually hold for 3-2.
Federer responded with a speedy hold to love and created three more breakpoints for 0-40 thanks to the Sonego forehand leaking errors.
The Italian saved the first but went long on the second to drop serve; unbeknownst to him, the forehand called out 0-15 was in had he challenged.
Federer then held to love for a 5-3 lead before Sonego responded with a love hold of his own to force the Swiss to serve it out.
However, the set was far from done as Federer threw in four consecutive errors to drop serve.
At 5-5, Sonego quickly moved up 40-0, meaning he'd won 11 points in a row before a double fault stemmed the tied.
Federer then made deuce and, in a lengthy game, held three break points which Sonego saved. A fourth break point also came his way, but play had to be suspended due to rain.
That meant the roof had to be closed, and Sonego resumed serving down breakpoint. Upon resumption, he fired down a double fault to drop serve.
That meant Federer had a second bite of the cherry to serve it out, and he again struggled, slipping to 15-40, but some timely serve + forehand combos got him over the line to take it 7-5.
Into set two, and Sonego kicked with a hold to thirty for 1-0. Federer was quickly level, and that pattern repeated itself as the scoreboard ticked over to 2-2.
The fifth game saw Federer create breakpoint thanks to a ripped cross-court forehand. Sonego saved up, but a second soon followed, and this time Federer converted, firing a forehand up the line to produce his best return game of the match.
Federer consolidated for 4-2, and despite Sonego trying to gee up the crowd after holding serve, Federer maintained his lead with a hold for 5-3.
Another Sonego hold asked Federer whether he could serve it out, and he answered with a hold to love, playing a much cleaner set overall.
The third set started with more success for Federer as he broke to lead 1-0. A love hold consolidated the break for 2-0.
Three more breakpoints followed in game three, and although Sonego saved two of them, a missed volley gave Federer a double break for 3-0. A speedy hold put him up 4-0.
The pair traded holds, and soon Federer was serving for the match at 5-2, and he did so in style to seal his spot in the quarter-finals.
|Roger Federer||Lorenzo Sonego|
|First Serve % In||47/77 (61%)||67/108 (62%)|
|Win % On 1st Serve||37/47 (79%)||44/67 (66%)|
|Win % On 2nd Serve||19/30 (63%)||18/41 (44%)|
|Net Points Won||29/46 (63%)||10/23 (43%)|
|Break Points Won||5/15 (33%)||1/3 (33%)|
|Receiving Points Won||46/108 (43%)||21/77 (27%)|
|Total Points Won||102||83|
Thoughts on the Match
I’m extremely happy. Tricky conditions inside and outside against Lorenzo, always dangerous. But I felt like after that first set, I was able to control things. It was a great match. I couldn’t be more excited to be in the quarters. It’s a big moment and I’m very, very happy. Federer speaking on court after his win.
Yet another good win here for Federer, and he's managed to make the quarter-finals from virtually a standing start.
He's also looked better and better on the court over the last seven days, which is pleasing to see. Today, his forehand was the strongest suit, and that shot penetrated the court to set up plenty of points.
Once he had the lead, he started swinging freely, and it was a bit like the old days where he was able to play on autopilot.
There were still a few ‘off colour' moments in the first set but comparing his footwork and overall level today to what he showed vs Mannarino a week ago; it is night and day.
So while you can't exactly call it prime Federer, given he moves nowhere near as well, there's still plenty left in his game, and if he keeps this up, he will be a handful for anyone on this surface.
As for Sonego, he had some good moments but never played with the consistency to trouble Federer. This match needed someone who could make Federer play one more ball, but Sonego opted for a high octane type approach that worked in the first set, but he couldn't sustain it.
- Scratchy first set but came through it
- He picked up his level from there to dominate
- Can still move better / improve on the run
Predictions vs Hurkacz
Next up for Federer is Hubert Hurkacz after the Pole defeated Daniil Medvedev in five sets.
Medvedev held a 2 sets to 1 lead, but with play suspended overnight, Hurkacz won the fourth set on resumption, broke early in the fifth and maintained his advantage to move into his maiden Wimbledon quarter-final.
The two sets were the first Hurkacz has dropped during the Championships, and he's a very unassuming type of player that goes about his business quietly.
This year he won his first Masters 1000 title in Miami, but overall it's been a season of mixed results, he lost the first round in the French Open and had early losses in Stuttgart and Halle, but at SW19, he's found some good form.
The Pole has a heavy first serve, and I think the match will depend on how well Federer can return him.
The two have played once before at Indian Wells in 2019, which resulted in a Federer straight sets win, but two years I'd expect Hurkacz to have improved significantly since then and he has the tools that have caused Federer problems at Wimbledon before.
Still, if Federer can put enough balls in play and not give up ground on the baseline, I like his chances.
What did you guys think of the win over Sonego? Let me know in the comments.