July 24, 2021

Wimbledon, Federer forward. Find Sonego in the round of 16

Roger starts off with momentum and climbs 2 sets to 0 against the British then an empty pass in the 3rd set. In the end he wins the passage of the turn. The match against Turin on Monday

Roger Federer also arrives in the second week of Wimbledon who struggles for four sets to beat the British Cameron Norrie: 6-4 6-4 5-7 6-4 for the Swiss in 2 hours and 35 minutes. An almost perfect Federer for the first two sets, then continuous ups and downs until the end.

Federer smells the break already in the first game thanks to the double fault of Norrie, who then is saved. The balance lasts until the seventh game, then the Swiss raises the pace, snatches the bar from the British thanks to an amazing straight on the line (4-3). The former world number 1 keeps the following two rounds very calmly to close with ease for 6-4. In the second game of the second set Federer is forced to face two break points which he saves thanks to the first serve. The Briton suffers the backlash and in the next game he gives up again, throwing Federer forward 2-1 and serve. Federer is definitely playing the best game of the year: serve and forehand work beautifully and with the backhand he doesn’t mess around. At 5-3 Norrie concedes two set points which, however, cancels playing with a lot of intelligence. To close the set Federer still relies on the service and after 69 minutes he is already ahead 6-4 6-4.

The decline

In the third set Norrie rises in tone, holds her own batting shifts with more ease, Federer, on the other hand, is always agile. On 5 all the Swiss gets two balls to go to serve for the match but Norrie cancels them by projecting to the net. So the Brit, supported by the public, is guaranteed at least the tie break. Which Federer does not reach, however; the Swiss missed four shots and Norrie dragged the match to the fourth set. Roger closes the third set with zero aces, only 63% of points won on the first, 10 winners and 11 free. The fourth, like all the other sets, opens with Norrie serving and Federer chasing. The inertia of the match seems to have passed into the hands of the British who, however, on 2 all makes four mistakes, yielding to zero the serve to Federer. The Swiss arrives at the ball of 4-2, but does not confirm the break advantage and the balance returns to be the master. On 3 all the Swiss returns to the break point but this time too he fails to take that extra step to close. At 3-4 the Swiss takes a dramatic turn and then on 4 all goes up again 15-40. Norrie clears his first break point with an ace and the second when Federer can’t find the forehand. The tape, however, insults Norrie and Federer has the third chance of the game to go to serve for the match. The British resorted to the second, Federer attacks him and with a super straight takes him 5-4 and serve. Last game still not easy, but Federer is there, he gets the match point and pulls out a urlaccio when he scores with the last point of the match.

The budget

This against Norrie was the eleventh match played by Federer in 2021: the balance is now 8 games won and 3 losses (against Basilashvili in Doha, against Andujar in Geneva and against Auger-Aliassime in Halle). For Federer it was the 104th game he won at Wimbledon out of 117 played and for the 18th time he reached the second week of competitions. In the 17 times Federer has reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon, he has then closed the tournament with 8 final wins, 4 lost finals, a semi-final and 4 quarter-finals. He never lost in the round of 16. On Monday, probably on the Center Court, Federer will face our Lorenzo Sonego in the second round. There is only one precedent between the two played at Roland Garros in May 2019: the Swiss overtook the blue, who was number 74 in the world, clearly 6-2 6-4 6-4. The winner between Federer and Sonego will then have in the quarters one between the Polish Hubert Hurkacz and the winner between Medvedev-Cilic. “What a relief, it was a tough battle.” Federer said. “He deserved the 3rd set, but I am happy to have been able to maintain a high level of play.” Not bad for an almost forty-year-old: “Everything that gets to this point is something good. I hope I still have some energy left, because at the age of 40 I always wake up sore.”