Twenty-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer and France's Adrian Mannarino found themselves embroiled in a close fight on center court. The southpaw was producing extremely high levels of tennis and Roger was, well, it was just Roger.
Everything indicated that the match would be fought in a deciding set until Mannarino had a terrible fall. Both players jab for jab Federer started the match in good style, his fast hands proving to be a threat to Mannarino.
The Swiss master took the first set 6-4 after breaking at the end of the second. Both players had opportunities to consolidate an advantage in the match but failed on several occasions. As the First Round match progressed, the French player only got better, playing much flatter and faster.
His serve was more lethal, causing trouble for Federer from a wide angle. In what was a rare sight at Wimbledon, Federer often seemed to be wrong. A deflated sixth seed conceded the second and third sets to an inspired Mannarino, 6-7 (3) 3-6.
Resuming play in the penultimate set, Roger came out in a renewed spirit. He started hitting the ball sweetly and was using the ball rhythm wonderfully. With a 4-2 lead in the fourth set, Federer was serving to stay on a break.
At 15-15, Mannarino lost his balance during the point and his knee evidently buckled. While viewers still understood what had just happened, eight-time champion Federer reached out to the other side of the net and asked Adrian if he was okay.
It was a sensational gesture from a sensational champion, and no one was surprised by it. It was indeed a very unfortunate circumstance, but Roger Federer proved once again how chivalrous he is. He finally took the fourth set 6-2 before Mannarino was forced to finish.
Federer advanced to Round 2, where he will face another French player in Richard Gasquet.
Marc Rosset talks about Roger Federer
In an interview with L'Equipe, Marc Rosset, who won the singles gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, said Roger Federer needs to be cautious of injuring his knee agains, as another operation could potentially spell the end of his career.
"There is a parameter that must not be lost when we analyse what Roger is doing on the court: if suddenly there is a relapse, or another problem in the knee, it's over. You don't have a third possible operation and a comeback at 41.
So you've got to have that somewhere in your brain." The 50-year-old also said considering the kind of career Federer has had, he deserves to play for as long as his body allows him to. "If you love tennis like he loves tennis, and if you have the career he has, you don't want it to be a fluke that decides when it's the end," he added. "You want to play as long as possible, so I can understand that there is less carelessness."