Three years after their previous clash at Wimbledon, Roger Federer defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-7, 3-6, 6-2 in two hours and 42 minutes, with the Frenchman retiring at the start of the fifth set due to a knee injury. The Frenchman played well to take a two-set-to-one lead before a nasty fall in set number four that crushed his dreams of beating an eight-time champion on his birthday.
Thus, Federer secured his 102nd win at Wimbledon, competing in his beloved Major for a record 22nd time and avoiding the first Majors outing since 2002. The Swiss fired 53 winners and 45 unforced errors and made four of the 13 break points to hold on and stay in the race with a good performance on the set number four before Adrian injury.
However, Federer did not look so good in the previous sets, he did not trust his punches and did not impose his shots and took Mannarino out of the comfort zone. They saved five break opportunities in the first four service games to stay side by side before Roger fired a cross backhand shot at 5-4 to take a break and secure the first set.
Mannarino played better in the second set, taming his punches well and keeping Federer away from break opportunities.
Rosset opens up on Roger Federer
Former Olympic singles champion Marc Rosset believes Roger Federer deserves to go out on his own terms considering the kind of career the Swiss legend has had.
"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. 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."
During his pre-tournament press conference, the Swiss said he was feeling pumped up for his return to Wimbledon. “I'm excited. I think I've got to take the positives out of these past few weeks, that I'm actually here at Wimbledon right now and I have a chance," he said.
“I know if I get rolling, I get into the second week – which is the goal here right now – that I get stronger and stronger as every match goes by. I believe it's very much possible”.