A month short of his 40th birthday, Roger Federer is still capable of playing well in his beloved Major. The Swiss defeated Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 34 minutes to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon for the 18th time after 22 trips to London!
An eight-time champion had a chance to seal the deal in straight sets, failing but advancing in the fourth set after a solid performance that keeps him on track for the title. Roger played better on both the first and second serves, broke twice and secured four 11-shot return games that took him to the top and into the second week.
Hitting with a better rhythm than in the previous two meetings in London, Roger had 48 winners and 33 unforced errors. At the same time, Norrie added 34 winners and 32 errors to his account, trying his best, but not matching the opponent's numbers.
The Swiss lost just three points on serve in the first set, navigating through his games and hoping for a shot at the return. Cameron fended off a break opportunity in the opening game before Roger broke it at 3-3 with a forehand on the winning line.
Serving for the set at 5-4, Federer hit a winning serve to close out the first set in half an hour, playing well so far and expecting more of the same in the remaining sets. Pushing even harder in the second set, Roger turned down two break opportunities in the early stages and kept the pressure on the other side of the net.
The Swiss saved with winners in the second game and stole serve a few minutes later when Norrie sent a long forehand. The Briton saved a set point on serve in game nine before Federer closed on serve 6-4 and another big step towards victory.
Both players served well until 5-5 in the third set, and Norrie showed mental toughness in the 11th game, saving two break points and winning his first break in the next to steal the 7-5 set and prolong the match.
Roger Federer on spending his off-day
Middle Sunday is traditionally a rest day at Wimbledon with no play scheduled.
However, this is set to change from next year when matches will be held on all days. When asked about how he planned to spend his off-day, Roger Federer joked that he had limited options in terms of pastimes. "I was just asked in the press for the Swiss media 'well, what are you gonna do tomorrow (Sunday) on your off day?' I said I'll go for a tour through the lobby and go back to the room and that's the most exciting part of the day," Federer said.
"But in all seriousness I'll go train a little bit, I'll come back and play some cards with the team and that's about it."