Roger Federer’s quest at the All England Club for the eighth Wimbledon title got off to a promising and a comfortable start on Center Court. The Swiss is going after a record eighth Wimbledon title to surpass Pete Sampras’ record of seven crowns at SW19. He got things off to an easy start needing just 44 minutes before moving into the second round after his opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov retired hurt. Federer led 6-3, 3-0 before the Ukranian called it quits with ankle trouble.
Federer’s easy win had two milestones in it as the Swiss player recorded his 10,000th career ace in the eighth game of the opening set with a beautiful outward serve on the deuce court. Only now retired Goran Ivanisevic (10,131) and Ivo Karlovic (12,018) have more aces than Federer.
With the win, Federer now has 85 match wins at Wimbledon which is the highest in the Open Era – going past Jimmy Connors. The last also includes Boris Becker (71), Sampras (63), John McEnroe (59), Novak Djokovic (55), Andy Murray (54), Bjorn Borg (51), Ivanisevic/Stefan Edberg (49).
After the win, Federer said, “It feels great to be back on Centre Court. I was hoping he was feeling better today but he’s had a rough one this year and had to pull out a lot of matches. I’m happy to be back and getting another win here is great news so I’m very happy. Just because I haven’t played the clay court season doesn’t make me the favourite you’d think Rafa would be feeling good about his chances, the same for Murray, same for Djokovic. I’m happy to be here and that was my big goal that I would be back here healthy and I made it, so I already achieved my dream. We’ll see how far I can go.”