The arrival of the second week of Wimbledon has always been a usual phenomenon for Roger Federer, but this time there were great unknowns about the state of form of the King. The two knee operations, the 40 years in just over a month and the long absence from the circuit had raised a long series of doubts, which the Swiss was able to clear game after game.
The 39-year-old from Basel broke the pass for the second round by liquidating Cameron Norrie in four sets, who was not enough with a brave swipe in the final of the third quarter. For the former world number 1 this is the 104th victory at Church Road, 20 years after that historic feat against his idol Pete Sampras.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, chasing the ninth crown in London, will now face Italian Lorenzo Sonego for a place in the quarter-finals. There is only one precedent between the two, which Federer won at Roland Garros 2019.
At the press conference, the Swiss was asked if Novak Djokovic’s dominance is one of the reasons that push him to continue playing. “I’m not playing just because Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal do great things,” replied the eight-time Wimbledon champion.
“I have my path and my problems, like the knee one. It is really impressive to see what Nole is achieving this year. There are always different dangers when a draw is drawn, but he has so many different ways to be able to win matches.
He was great in Australia and also in Paris where he wasn’t the number one favorite. If he deserves it, he has worked hard and is playing great, so it will be very difficult to stop him” – he continued. Federer was then questioned about the quality of the surface: “I don’t think the grass is so different from previous years, I have fallen several times even in previous editions.
My opinion is that it is the same herb as always.”
Federer on life in the Wimbledon bubble
After his win over Norrie, Roger Federer was asked by Tennis Channel’s Martina Navratilova if his first-round clash against Mannarino had played out in a similar manner to his defeat against Felix Auger-Aliassime at Halle, where the Swiss had allowed “negative thoughts” to enter his mind.
“The same thing against Norrie, I was very clear how I wanted to play and this is how I wanna feel so I feel like maybe thanks to Gasquet and now, Norrie I’m in a much better frame of mind mentally and I have to be if I wanna be competitive in that second week here at Wimbledon.”
Federer was then asked to give his thoughts on life in the Wimbledon bubble, where he is currently locawithout his family. The 39-year-old expressed his displeasure at being away from his wife and four children. “Well, terrible (on how bubble life is)!
I have not seen them, I am not with them and that in itself is no good,” Federer added. “I speak to them you know, three times a day, checking with Mirka if everything’s okay at home.”