All eyes were on Roger Federer as he walked out on Centre Court today to open play at Wimbledon. But not for the usual reason. For the first time, Federer didn’t wear the swoosh Nike logo, but instead had Uniqlo attire on, confirming the rumor the Swiss had signed on with the Japanese clothing manufacturer.
The new gear didn’t change the result as Federer rolled to a blowout 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Dusan Lajovic. It was Federer’s 8th straight win at Wimbledon and 8th straight in a Slam after he won Australia.
“[I'm] very happy. I felt good from the start, too, which was nice,” Federer said. “I felt right at home again, so it was a really nice feeling. Got the early break in each set and was able to bring it home.
“I was really able to enjoy the match out there because I got off to a good start. When you get off to a good start in set one and two, you’re able to just enjoy the moment more than when you’re struggling early on,” Federer said. “There is always pressure and nerves when you go into a first round.”
Federer will next face Slovak Lukas Lacko on Wednesday.
Federer’s old management teammate Grigor Dimitrov suffered another shock loss. The slumping Bulgarian was sent home by Federer’s countryman Stan Wawrinka 1-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(5), 6-4. Wawrinka had lost his last four matches to Dimitrov and grass was Grigor’s surface. But after dropping a quick first set, Wawrinka grabbed momentum with an early break in the second then held on for the breaker and ultimately the match.
“There’s no reason to panic or anything. I’m not that type of a person anyway. I’ll try to remain positive because I know that’s one of the toughest things, especially when you exit early in the tournament,” Dimitrov said. “You have to stay positive, simple as that. You can’t just go down on yourself.
“It’s hard for me to just accept losing, period,” Dimitrov added. “Especially at an event like this that I’ve done so well at in the past. I’ve beaten big names on that Centre Court, played tough matches against big players. It’s kind of at the same time a tough pill to swallow. Again, in order to get to the trophy, you need to win seven matches.”
The last two men to finish runner-up were in good form. Queen’s winner Marin Cilic picked apart Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
“Luckily I opened really nicely and got a double break in the first set,” said Cilic. “Yoshihito, later in the second and third, showed good tennis. He was very solid… so he made me work.
“But I felt quite confident in my serving. I served really well. Didn’t have too much trouble during the match and I am definitely extremely happy with that.”
And Milos Raonic shook off injuries of the last month to cruise past Brit Liam Broady 7-5, 6-0, 6-1.
Gael Monfils won in three over countryman and 2-time Wimbledon semifinalist Richard Gasquet. Americans John Isner, Ryan Harrison, Jared Donaldson and 2017 semifinalist Sam Querrey were straight set winners while Steve Johnson came from 2-sets down but couldn’t keep it going losing to Belgian qualifying king Ruben Bemelmens 8-6 in the fifth.
“For some reason, I don’t know if it’s visual or what, but I seem to serve better on the grass,” said Querrey. “Maybe on second serves, I might go a little more into the body because the ball skids a little bit compared to the other surfaces. But strategy-wise, I don’t mix it up on the grass.
“If my first serve goes in on grass it’s going to be harder for someone to time it and get it into the court. That’s the biggest difference. You get more free points — not necessarily aces, but balls that aren’t coming back in.”
In mild surprise of the day, a year after shocking Stan Wawrinka in the first round, Daniil Medvedev upset Halle champion Borna Coric 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-2.
“He was the much better player today,” Coric lamented. “I had a set point in the first set. I thought maybe if I get that first set, it could turn around a little bit. But then after that, my level just really dropped. He started to play much better… [in the] second and the third set he was the better player, by far.”
Coric was seeded to meet Federer in the fourth round. That’s good news for Roger who lost to the Croat in Halle and dropped a set to him at Indian Wells.
Lucas Pouille, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Kevin Anderson were also winner on a warm first day.
On Tuesday, World No. 1 and 2-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal returns to take on Dudi Sela who upset John Isner a year ago. Three-time winner Novak Djokovic opens play against Australian Open surprise Tennys Sandgren and French Open semifinal Juan Martin del Potro matches up with Peter Gojowczyk.
British No. 1 Kyle Edmund, Dominic Thiem, David Goffin, Nick Kyrgios, Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov are also in action. The Canadian Shapovalov meets Jeremy Chardy.
TUESDAY WIMBLEDON SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT – 1:00PM
1. Garbine Muguruza v Naomi Broady
2. Dudi Sela v Rafael Nadal
3. Simona Halep v Kurumi Nara
NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Kyle Edmund v Alex Bolt
2. Aliaksandra Sasnovich v Petra Kvitova
3. Tennys Sandgren v Novak Djokovic
NO.2 COURT – 11:30AM
1. Johanna Konta v Natalia Vikhlyantseva
2. James Duckworth v Alexander Zverev
3. Dominic Thiem v Marcos Baghdatis
4. Vitalia Diatchenko v Maria Sharapova
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