Roger Federer's debut at Wimbledon certainly did not clear the clouds that revolved around the form of the Swiss. The eight-time Church Road champion struggled a lot against an excellent version of Adrian Mannarino, who was forced to retire at the start of the fifth set after a bad slide on the damp grass of the Center Court.
The performance offered by the 39-year-old from Basel had been really opaque until then, along the lines of what had been seen in Halle a few weeks ago. This Federer does not seem destined to go very far, even if the next obstacle comes under the name of Richard Gasquet, beaten in 18 of the 20 head-to-head matches on the major circuit.
In a lengthy interview on 'Tennis.com', former WTA star Daniela Hantuchova expressed strong doubts about King Roger's chances in this edition of the Championships. The number one favorite for the win remains Novak Djokovic, who has already posted two Slams this year and wants to hold the 'Calendar Golden Slam' (including the Tokyo Olympics).
Hantuchova on Roger Federer
"For Novak Djokovic, there’s a combined advantage for him in that Rafael Nadal is not playing and Roger Federer doesn’t have the same number of matches he’s used to ahead of a Wimbledon Championships; don’t forget, he’s won Halle 10 times!" Daniela Hantuchova said to Tennis.com.
"With those two factors in his favor, it wouldn’t surprise me if Novak goes on to win all four Slams and the Olympics." But Hantuchova believes Federer should not be counted among the top three favorites at this point in time due to his lack of match practice.
"I know many people think this tournament will come down to Novak or Federer, but looking at the draw, I’m not even putting Roger in my Top 3 picks," Hantuchova said. "There is nothing like match play, and for Roger, it’ll be so important for him to get through the first week and, if he can manage that, he’ll deserve to be as big of a favorite here as he’s ever been.
I just think it’ll be interesting to see how he performs through the first few rounds." Talking about the match on-court, Roger Federer sympathized his opponent for that unfortunate fall. “Yeah, it’s awful.
It shows that one shot can change the outcome of a match, a season, a career. I wish him all the best and he recovers quickly so we see him back on the courts”.